Alder Creek wrestlers headed to state championship
Alder Creek wrestling continued its successful season with a second-place finish behind host Carson Middle School at the state qualifying tournament last week.
Truckee had 11 finalists and 18 who earned medals. Those 18 will represent the Cougars at state, giving Alder Creek a fighting chance to win it all.
Alder Creek managed the podium finish against a Carson team with three times as many wrestlers. And the Cougars were not even at full strength, as three of their wrestlers were sick and vomited before the competition. Others felt woozy but still walked home with a second-place trophy.
“We were not at our best,” said head coach Danny Curtis. “There has been some sickness going around, so we had to fight harder to overcome it.”
Among the finalists were Cody Tilton, Thor Retzlaff, Mitchell Harrity, Gregory Engler, Ryley McConn, Alex Davis, Justin Carter, Tyler Curtis, Nick Arnone, Julian Aguiere and Javier Virrey.
“It’s nice to see more wrestlers in the finals,” said assistant coach Kyle Mullen.
Other state qualifiers who placed third or fourth include Gabe Deiro, Sam Tucker, Carl Buschmann, Paul Buschmann, Spencer Pearson, Nathan Golden and Sam Mohun.
Captain Thor Retzlaff made it to the finals only to face his own teammate Mitchell Harrity, who’s record is 16-3. The match started out 0-0 after the first period. In the second period Retzlaff got a takedown, making the score 2-0 going into the stressful third period when a clutch takedown was scored with time running to give Retzlaff a tight 4-0 win. Harrity is undefeated other than losing twice to Retzlaff and once to teammate Gregory Engler.
“Mitchell would still be undefeated if it weren’t for running into his own teammates,” Curtis said.
Captain Gregory Engler, who leads the team in near falls, took second at the qualifier and will enter the championships with a stellar record of 17-5.
Captain Javier Virrey took first at the qualifier after beating Javier Torres of Eagle Valley in the finals. It was the second time Virrey, who remains undefeated at 17-0, and Torres have met in the finals.
Eighth-grader Justin Carter took first in his weight class, beating Hearn from South Tahoe by pin to get to the finals. Carter is 14-1 on the season.
Tyler Curtis, brother of coach Curtis, qualified for the championships by putting himself into the finals. His record now stands at 11-4.
Alex Davis continues to beat his opponents from the bottom position and took home a gold medal.
Sam Mohun had to face teammate Colten Rodrigue in a match that would send only one to the championships.
“It’s rough to see two teammates go head-to-head in a do-or-die situation,” Curtis said. “Both wrestlers are good enough to place at the state championships.
The match started with the score tied 0-0 at the end of the first period. The first point was scored by a “locking hands” call, awarding Mohun one point. Mohun then scored a one-point escape. Going into the third up 2-0, Mohun stalled out the period to run the clock down as Rodrigue continued to pursue for a tie into overtime. Time ran out and Mohun won a bittersweet match to qualify for state.
Cody Tilton wrestled in a full bracket and put himself in the finals by placing second. He enters the championships with a record of 14-5.
Sixth-grader Carl Buschmann placed third after picking up his first loss, and enters the championships with a record of 8-1. Older brother Paul Buschmann placed fourth and qualified for the championships.
Sam Tucker went 3-1 at the qualifier and placed third, and is now 7-5 while continuing to improve.
Spencer Pearson wasn’t feeling well but managed to qualify by placing fourth and improving his record to 15-6 with 15 pins, which leads the team.