OGDEN — Colfax-Mingo wrestling coach Erin Hume had a frank conversation with sophomore Trystin Ross before the Tigerhawks began their Class 1A Sectional 1 tournament on Feb. 3.
Hume told Ross he would have some tough wrestlers in a tough bracket. He wasn’t sure how the day would go.
“After I told him that, he looked at me and said ‘I got this coach,’” Hume said.
Ross did have it. He didn’t win a sectional title but recorded three pins on the day and finished second despite starting the day seeded fifth at 152 pounds.
Ross was one of five Tigerhawks to advance to next week’s district round in Guthrie Center. And he was down 8-2 in his first match of the day.
“He deserves it. He works hard in the room,” Hume said. “We just tell them all year not to quit. There is a reason they let us wrestle for six minutes.”
The Tigerhawks crowned two champions and placed third as a team. Colfax-Mingo scored 180 points and bested sixth-ranked Martensdale-St. Marys by 15 points.
Panorama won the team title with 217.5 points. Tenth-ranked Interstate 35 also advanced to Tuesday’s regional duals after scoring 210.5 points in second.
“We got third behind two really solid teams and beat a top 10 team,” Hume said. “The guys showed up today. We didn’t let the fact that we had a tough sectional get in the way. It was awesome.
“They did a great job. It was a great effort.”
Seniors Chance Rice (160) and Colton Lourens (285) were both sectional champions at their weights, and siblings Cauy (120) and Cyden Fitch (126) joined Ross as runner-ups.
All five wrestlers advanced to next week’s district tournament.
The top two finishers at sectionals at each weight move on. The top two finishers at districts then advance to the state meet.
Cyden Fitch (38-12) lost the 126-pound championship match to Panorama’s Danny Nordquist by fall. His 6-4 win over Martensdale-St. Marys Dominick DiCesare was good enough for him to advance though.
Ross and Cauy Fitch both won wrestlebacks to advance. And both ended their day with pins.
Freshman Noah Strohmeyer (23-15) and sophomore Zack Barnes (30-7) also had wrestleback opportunities at 106 and 113, respectively. Both Tigerhawks came up one win short of advancement though.
Senior Nathan Evans (19-20) finished third at 145, senior Nick Barnes (35-13) and junior Damir Gumerov (28-11) were both fourth at 195 and 182, respectively, and junior Skyler Aikin (23-17) placed fifth at 220.
Rice, a C-M senior, had to defeat No. 5 Jacob Steinlage of Interstate 35 to win the 160-pound title. He jumped out to a 4-0 lead and coasted to a 6-4 victory. Rice (44-3) won his only other match by fall.
“I got an early takedown, which was big,” the sixth-ranked Rice said. “My main goal after getting the early lead was to stay off my back. I knew I was in it if I did that. Then I kept pounding.
“It feels great. I can’t ask for a better matchup before state. I have to take them all down at some point.”
Lourens (44-3) entered the day as the second seed. He won his first match over Panorama’s Dan Jensen by first-period fall.
In the finals, ninth-ranked Lourens faced top-seeded Jake Hutton of I-35. Hutton had a significant weight advantage, but Lourens got a takedown just before time expired in the first period before eventually winning by injury forfeit.
“I felt terrible. That’s not how you want to win a sectional,” Lourens said. “The only thing I am happy about is that he didn’t have to wrestle again to advance.”
Hume added, “That’s not how he wanted to win. But we’ll get him ready for next week. I hope (Hutton) is ready to go. I want Colton to get some tough matches before he gets to the state tournament.”
Cauy Fitch (45-6) won his first match by fall in 33 seconds. He survived a tough 11-6 win over ACGC’s Blaine Beeler before losing 15-6 to second-ranked Casey Baker of I-35.
In his wrestleback, he trailed early but rallied with pin against Coon Rapids-Bayard’s Peyton Clipperton. Fitch caught Clipperton with a spadle. He pinned him in a dual earlier this season, too.
“(Cauy’s) a tough kid to ride. I wasn’t in fear of losing that match,” Hume said. “I am glad he got it with that move. He’s been trying that spladle all year.”
Ross was the story of the day. He was a long ways from advancing after falling behind 8-2 to CR-B’s Lane Namanny in the opening round.
That all changed when he pinned Namanny in with 55 seconds to go in the match. After losing 9-1 to the top seeded Brayden Egli of I-35 in the semifinals, Ross (39-17) bounced back with a first-period pin over second-seeded Kaleb Stogdill of Panorama.
After Egli pinned Ogden’s Jacob Kathman in the finals, Ross got his wrestleback opportunity. He fell behind again but stuck Kathman with 23 seconds to go in the opening period to advance.
“I just stayed focused,” Ross said about rallying from an 8-2 deficit in the opening round. “I had never seen him before so I knew I had to do something new. It was near the end of the period. I was able to catch him.
“I have never been as nervous as I was today. Once I got the nerves out, it was time to go wrestle.”
The Tigerhawks’ district tournament takes places at noon on Feb. 10 in Guthrie Center.