4A boys wrestling: Cheyenne Mountain claims first team title

(Dan Mohrmann/CHSAANow.com)

PUEBLO — Of the 101 team state championships that Cheyenne Mountain now lays claim to, boys wrestling is a new one.

Never before had the school put together a solid enough season on the mat that a wrestling championship trophy was heading to the display case.

Volleyball? Several. Baseball? Multiple. Football? One very legendary run back in 1963.

Perhaps Cheyenne Mountain's first wrestling title will carry as much folklore around Colorado Springs as that football championship. Uncertainty was the word of the 2021 season as the COVID-19 pandemic raised questions over whether or not a season could even happen.

Once it got off and running, Cheyenne Mountain quickly established itself as a top team in the state. The team entered the season as the No. 3 team in the rankings. But when all was said and done, it stood at the top of the podium.

En route to the team championship, it won two individual titles with Nico Gagliardi taking the 195-pound title with a pin over Montrose's Raul Martinez. Jake Boley took the 220-pound championship when he pinned Broomfield's Morgen Watt.

Nicholas Grizales (126) and Jesse Boley (285) each reached their championship matches, but couldn't capture titles. Still, their road to the finals played a crucial role in Cheyenne Mountain capturing the team title.

Soren Herzog (182) took third, Raife Manjarrez (145) took fourth and Chase Johnsonn (132) took fifth. But even without individual medals, they still get to go home champions after their efforts helped bring the team point total to 123.5.

Pueblo County narrowly too second as a team as Richard Palomar took third in the 152-pound bracket to break a 100-100 tie with Pueblo East.

Elsewhere in the classification, five wrestlers entered the tournament as defending state champions and three of them claimed a second title.

Loveland junior Kobi Johnson won his second title and will have a chance to go for three in a row as a senior next year. He beat Mesa Ridge's Frankie Gallegos by a 14-5 major decision to claim his title.

Pueblo East sophomore Weston Dalton was hoping to win a second title to keep his hopes for four alive, but Loveland's Cody Thompson got a 11-4 decision to win the state title in 138. With Dalton's loss, the class of 2023 will be the first class to not produce a potential four-time state champion since 2013. Woodland Park junior Brady Hankin won his third title Friday night, so the class of 2022 already has a shot to get a four-timer.

Seniors Vance Vombaur (Windsor) and Isaias Estrada (Thomas Jefferson) defended their titles to become two-time champions.

(Dan Mohrmann/CHSAANow.com)