PUEBLO — A year ago to the date, it felt like the world was ending. But after a night of tough competition and well-earned medals, high school wrestling in Colorado indeed stepped into a brand new world.
Two years ago, the CHSAA Legislative Council sanctioned girls wrestling as the newest sport. At the Southwest Motors Event Center in Pueblo, a year after the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Chatfield became the very first face of that sport as the Chargers claimed the first official state championship.
“This has been the best thing we could ask for,” coach Sandra George said. “We’ve been having duals all season the. To just come into a tournament and fight from the beginning was special. At regionals we had to fight to get here and here we had to fight to be on top.”
Overall, the Chargers finished with five placers and totaled 91 points. Jeffco League rival Pomona took second as a team with 65.
The championship night for Chatfield was highlighted by the 127-pound championship performance from Savannah Cosme.
Her 9-3 decision over Doherty’s Sarah Savidge was the Chargers only gold medal of the night, but it served as the perfect representation of the effort the overall team gave since the start of the season in mid-January.
“It means a lot to me,” Cosme said. “I love my team. We put in a lot of hard work together. To all come together and be able to win this is really amazing.”
Janessa George took second in 105 while Journey Ruiz (111) and Taylor Miess (136) each finished third.
But the real winners of the night were each every single girl that stepped on a mat; from the very first 100-pound match of the day to the 215-pound championship. It will be something that each girl can point to in five years as a significant moment in Colorado school sports history and identify their role in laying the foundation.
"I'm going to look back and see that we made history," Cosme said. "We've created something where people can continue to come and continue to grow. We're going to make Colorado one of the top states for girls wrestling."
The Chargers will have the unenviable burden of heading into the 2020-21 season with a target on its back as the first defending state champion.
But with the way the girls competed throughout the one-day, it's a challenge their eager to take on and they're anxious to get back on the mat, continue competing and using every opportunity to get better.
"My girls are such a great group of girls," George said. "They're appreciative of everything we've worked for. It's amazing. We're all on Cloud 9 and we're going to keep wrestling through the summer. Next year will be even better because hopefully we'll do this at (Ball Arena)."
While the future of the event's home has time to get sorted out, one very important fact is clear: the evolution of girls wrestling in Colorado has only just begun.
The future is bright, but the historic night that saw the first state champion crowned will forever serve as a launching pad for future generations of student-athletes.