GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. The Colorado state wrestling tournament will be held this coming weekend at the Pepsi Center in Denver, and fans can expect a strong representation from the Western Slope with over 60 athletes walking away from regionals as a state qualifier.
Fruita's Jacob Seely, Olathe's Trenton Piatt, and Paonia's two-time state champion Jesse Reed are just a few of the athletes who enter state with a perfect record, but in no way are these the only three to look out for.
Grand Junction's reigning state champion Jacob Trujillo finished 24-1 in the 160's, once again a big threat among the Tigers' six wrestlers.
For Fruita, keep an eye on Seely in the 195's with their other strong three being Konrad, Fife, and Taylor.
In region four Central's young freshman Riley Garner finished 3rd in the 113's over the weekend and Rowdy Allen qualified at fourth in the 195's. All in all our 5A group has 12 heading to Denver.
As the class got smaller the representation only got bigger. Fourteen guys are coming out of 4A, including Palisade's reigning champ Dalton Hannigan. He suffered just one loss this season after battling back from an injury.
For Montrose, they'll be represented from the lightweights all the way to the heavy weights with Jesus Casillas - a 2013 state placer - finishing first at regionals in the 285's.
Looking at Delta, they earned their keep at state, sending seven guys to the tournament with all of their wrestlers finishing 3rd and 4th at regionals except for Marcus Garcia who came in 2nd.
Down to 3A, between Hotchkiss, Cedaredge and Olathe, look out. They have some strong teams this season and will be sending 27 wrestlers over to the Front Range. Olathe had four of their 11 guys finish in first at regionals.
Finally in 2A, it's the same story of success as top-ranked Paonia will take ten athletes to state - including their two-time reigning state champ Jesse Reed.
The state tournament begins Thursday at the Pepsi Center in Denver.