Surprises and Summary
By David Tesitor
Denver, CO-Pepsi Center 10:45 p.m. – The second day officially ended and as in previous tournaments of the past served up many surprises, upsets and predictable outcomes. As we reported earlier, Adam Ortivez, the La Veta freshman and great hope for the Skins first ever wrestling championship was upset. His loss means there will be no ’Parade of Champions’ tomorrow evening. The best He can hope for is third place. He needs to win one more match to advance into the third place bracket. A loss means the best he could finish is 6th place. The same also applies to Clayton Archuleta, who lost his bid to advance into the championship finals.
Stephen Kimbrel and Justin Pacheco also have a chance of grappling for third place. They need two more victories.
What made this day special were the surroundings of the Arena itself. For the semi-finals, 15,000 people filled the stands. All eyes were cast upon the 10 mats on the floor. There will be an estimated 19,000 people tomorrow night for the finals. The other sights to remember were the 896 wrestlers who started out the tournament only to be whittled in half today and half again after the first round tomorrow. Everyone has a dream of standing on the podium, with their hands and head held high. Unfortunately, there will be only 14 champions in each class. Sixty-four in all. The other 832 wrestlers will have to wait. In their losses, you could see it in their faces; the agony of injury or defeat.
The fans also make the tournament an experience. It is the thunderous sound of excitement or encouragement. The noise is unlike any Avalanche or Nuggets game.
To be able to report on something as grand as the tournament is an experience. It is simply not enough for anyone to look at the final brackets and report the winners and losers. The Journal has been there for two consecutive years and still remains the only Huerfano County newspaper committed to the accomplishments of the students, athletes and those who support and encourage their kids. Conspicuously absent were the other papers in the county.
Tomorrow will be a fast paced morning with the first matches at 11 a.m. Winners will then advance into the consolation rounds at 2:30. We will continue to post the winners as they happen. We will also have complete tournament coverage in Thursday’s print edition.