PUEBLO — Down 12 points heading into the placing matches on Saturday night, Pomona roared back to win yet another state wrestling championship.
The Panthers had 12 wrestlers place, including four individual champions, as they won a third-straight Class 5A championship, and eighth overall.
Winning titles for Pomona were:
- Jakob Romero, at 120 pounds
- Elijah Olguin, at 126 pounds
- Daniel Cardenas, at 145 pounds
- Franklin Cruz, at 220 pounds
Also placing were:
- Mark Cardenas, fifth at 106 pounds
- Jeramiah Steele, third at 113
- Josiah Parsons, third at 132
- Gage Bernall, third at 160
- Jacob Judd, third at 170
- Roman Cruz, sixth at 182
- Justin Cullen, fifth at 195
- Jose Rosales, fifth at heavyweight
Heading into the final round of the event, Pomona trailed Ponderosa's 155 points to their 143. But the Panthers' depth quickly helped them close the gap.
Wrestling two weight classes at a time in the final session, Pomona shrunk the lead to 155-150 after two weight classes. After four, they jumped into the lead at 157-155.
They never trailed again.
A key match came in the 120-pound bracket when Pomona's Romero beat Ponderosa's Jett Strickenberger 7-5 thanks to a late takedown. His win, coupled with the fifth-place finish by Cullen at 195, expanded the lead to 163-155.
They two teams also had a head-to-head championship matchup in 126, where Pomona's Elijah Olguin beat Ponderosa's Jacob Bostelman with a 3-0 decision.
Pomona, which ended with 180 team points, has now finished either first or second at the tournament in each of the past seven years.
Ponderosa ended up having 10 wrestlers place, and finished the event with 159 team points, which earned them the runner-up trophy.
The night was headlined by Monarch's Vince Cornella becoming the 29th four-time champion, as he won the 138-pound division.
Pomona's Daniel Cardenas positioned himself to potentially join that club next season with his third state championship. Cardenas, a junior, won the 145-pound division with a 13-3 major decision against Ponderosa's Jaron Mahler.
It was a night for multiple-time champions.
Three others also won a third championship: Regis Jesuit senior Antonio Segura, who captured 152 pounds; Pomona senior Franklin Cruz, who won at 220 pounds; and Brighton senior Kenny Sailas, who won at 113.
Additionally, Columbine teammates Jack Forbes and Zach Schraeder are now two-time champions. Forbes won his second title at 195, while Schraeder won at heavyweight.
In terms of the team race, Monarch (65 points), Chaparral (53) and Brighton (52.5) also finished among the top-5.