by David Tesitor
DENVER — Trinidad’s Alberto Felthager, a freshman, was the first Miner to stand atop the placers’ podium since the 2016 tournament, this time bringing home to Trinidad a second place finish.
It was a rough road for Felthager, having to meet in the first round Santana Hernandez of Weld County who entered the tournament as the number one seed and top ranked wrestler in the state. Because of Felthager’s fourth place at the the regional tournament the week before, he was matched against the top seed. Because of the luck of the draw, what many would have expected to be the finals match was his opening match.
Hernandez opened with a 2-point takedown which Felthager immediately reversed. Felthager also scored on a takedown and near pin to take a 5-2 lead after one. It was even until seconds remaining when Felthager allowed an escape to avoid a reversal and pin.
The match ended 5-3, sending Felthager into the quarterfinals where he met Erik Wyman of Pagosa Springs, pinning his opponent with two seconds remaining in the second. Felthager was leading 2-1 before a takedown late in the second and the subsequent pin.
In the semifinals, Felthager again dominated his opponent, Zach Dooley of Woodland Park with a pin 23 seconds into the second period. From the down position, Felthager rolled over Dooley for the pin and a trip to the finals.
In the finals, Felthager met Davion Chavez of Alamosa who boasted a 33-8 record going into the tournament, and # 2 seed. When the final buzzer blew, Chavez won the championship with a 6-2 decision. Felthager struggled with the fast Chavez and was not able to score any takedown during the match but was able to score off two escapes. He was never in any danger of getting pinned.