NCCT Brings out the Best of the Best: RECAP & RESULTS

In most athletic realms, smaller schools rarely get a chance to test themselves against the largest ones.

Wrestling represents a break from the norm, as shown at the Northern Colorado Christmas Tournament Dec. 14-15 at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland. In a 72-team extravaganza, Eaton and Berthoud (both in 3A) held their own, finishing eighth and ninth in the final standings.

Berthoud’s headliner, senior Austyn Binkly, was the runner-up to Pueblo County’s Jaxon Garoutte in the 145-pound weight class. The matchup proved to be a battle of wills between the 3A No. 1 and 4A No. 1 in Tim Yount’s On The Mat rankings this week, but Garoutte prevailed with a 17-7 decision.

Although the result wasn’t what Binkly was hoping for, simply reaching the finals at the NCCT was an accomplishment. After all, numerous state placers and champions dotted the brackets.

One such wrestler was Isaiah Gamez of La Junta, another 3A competitor who claimed the 120-pound title over Malachi Contreras (Mountain View) with a 9-2 decision. In doing so, he continued an unbeaten season.

Small school grapplers had plenty of notable performances, but the tournament also acted as a precursor to the 4A state tournament as the top three teams in the division collided.

Pueblo County (218) tallied more points than runner-up Pueblo East (211) and Windsor (199.5), the defending 4A champions. All three appear to be serious threats to win the team crown at the Pepsi Center and it will likely be a close margin again. Only 1.5 points separated Windsor from the Steel City powers at the last state tournament.

On Saturday, Garoutte and Christopher Fasano (160-pound weight class) earned gold for Pueblo County, while Zion Freeman (195), Dominic Robles (220), and Andy Garcia (285) nabbed first place honors for East. County had nine overall placers, a remarkable total at such a loaded tournament.

“That’s why we come here,” Windsor junior Dominick Serrano, a member of the second-ranked Wizards, said. “We have that long, four-week break after this before we jump back in. We wanted to see what we can do.”

Serrano and his teammates can do a lot, clinching three consecutive finals wins Saturday at 126 (Will Vombaur), 132 (Vance Vombaur), and 138 (Serrano) pounds. The trio of Wizards are a threat to claim any tournament title they enter, as are Cody Eaton (170 runner-up) and Isaiah Salazar (182 champion).

“I’m very proud of them,” Serrano said. “We’ve worked so hard and we’re the core. We’re the horses of that group.”
Serrano, with multiple national crowns to his name, is still unblemished during his prep career. He continued that over the weekend despite taking on the challenge of moving up a weight class to 138 for this tournament.

Dominick Serrano, Windsor, poses with his new hardware after winning the Northern Colorado Christmas Tournament/Photo by Brock Laue

“The challenges were learning the new people,” he said. “There’s a lot of new styles and they’re not as quick, but they are definitely a lot stronger. I used my speed to my advantage. I had to hit the gym a little bit and get a little weight on me. Without that strength, I don’t know how it would have turned out.”

The University of Nebraska noticed his ability and Serrano, still a junior, has already committed to be a Husker. Before he moves on to the next level, he has plenty of aspirations for the rest of his prep career. The Windsor Wizard comes across as more modest and determined than anything else.

“It felt good testing my limits, seeing how high up in weight I can go,” he reflected. “I think that made me a stronger wrestler to prepare myself for the future. It’s definitely a big stepping stone for this point in the season. I’ve had doubts before, but this really raised my confidence level.”

As for Windsor, the Wizards have their sights set on fulfilling their own potential rather than obsessing over another team title.

“We’re not really focused on getting a state championship, we’re focused on breaking people and wrestling to our full potential,” Serrano said. “The outcome will come later.”

Girls Tournament Recap

The NCCT expanded to include a girls-only tournament for the first time, signifying the growing popularity of the sport among females. It’s the first of two pilot seasons for girls wrestling, essentially serving as a test-run before CHSAA may sanction the sport for girls.

If that happens, Mullen freshman Alina Antillon would be pleased. She was ecstatic to compete in an all girls tournament.

“I think it’s an amazing way to help wrestling in Colorado and to help all girls nationwide thrive in wrestling,” Antillon said.

The weight classes for the ladies were 100, 105, 111, 118, 127, 136, 147, 161, 185, and 215 pounds. Antillon was the 136-pound champion with a pin of Joslyn Anderson (Fountain-Fort Carson) in 3 minutes, 47 seconds. With the perfect tournament under her belt, the first-year improved her record to 7-0.

“My finals match was really tough,” she said. “I just worked my technique and trusted in the moves that I do. I’m just happy to start the season off so well. I love just putting girls wrestling from Mullen on the map.”

Antillon left her mark, as did a trio of Chatfield champions in Savannah Cosme (118), Isabel Garcia (147), and Jaidyn Mueller (161). If CHSAA ends up sanctioning the sport, which is looking like a strong possibility, the Chargers may have a very strong contingent to work with from the get-go.

Prairie View’s Zariyah Alvarado was among the other winners on Saturday, pinning four of five opponents on her way to the 100-pound title.

Team Scores

1 Pueblo County 218.0
2 Pueblo East 211.0
3 Windsor 199.5
4 Cedar Cliff Hs 187.5
5 Cleveland 148.5
6 Brighton 136.5
7 Kelly Walsh 134.5
8 Eaton 123.5
9 Berthoud 103.0
10 Jefferson 101.5
11 Pine Creek 97.5
12 Cheyenne Mountain 94.0
13 Coronado 91.5
13 Discovery Canyon 91.5
15 Falcon 87.0
16 Mesa Ridge 83.0
17 Greeley Central 79.0
17 Thomas Jefferson 79.0
19 Woodland Park 70.5
20 Cheyenne Central 69.5
21 Elizabeth 68.5
22 Cherry Creek 68.0
23 Poudre 67.0
24 Longmont 66.5
25 Northglenn 66.0
26 Centauri 65.0
26 Roosevelt 65.0
28 Loveland 64.5
29 Horizon 64.0
30 Legacy 63.0
30 Valley 63.0
32 Canon City 61.0
32 Douglas County 61.0
34 Adams City 60.5
35 Fossil Ridge 59.5
35 La Junta 59.5
37 Eaglecrest 59.0
38 Doherty 56.0
39 Air Academy 54.0
40 Legend 51.0
41 Valor Christian 50.5
42 Lewis Palmer 47.0
43 Platte Valley 46.5
44 Prairie View 45.0
45 Erie 44.5
46 Castle View 44.0
46 Mullen 44.0
46 Overland 44.0
49 Mountain View 41.0
50 Mountain Range 39.0
50 Regis Jesuit 39.0
52 Bennett 38.5
53 Bear Creek 38.0
53 Thornton 38.0
55 Arvada West 34.5
56 Smoky Hill 31.0
56 Torrington 31.0
58 Chatfield 29.5
58 Laramie 29.5
60 Thunder Ridge 27.5
61 University 24.0
62 Cheyenne South 23.0
63 Westminster 20.0
64 Colorado Springs Christian School 16.0
64 Northridge 16.0
66 Greeley West 15.0
67 Far Northeast 13.0
68 Lakewood 12.0
69 Highland 8.0
69 Highlands Ranch 8.0
71 Niwot 2.0
72 Hinkley 0.0

Individual Results

106

  • 1st Place – Kenny Sailas of Brighton
  • 2nd Place – Brady Hankin of Woodland Park
  • 3rd Place – Aiden Lewis of Cedar Cliff Hs
  • 4th Place – Anthony Franklin of Pueblo East
  • 5th Place – Murphy Menke of Chatfield
  • 6th Place – Eric Griego of Pueblo County
  • 7th Place – Isaiah Marrujo of Cleveland
  • 8th Place – Kobi Johnson of Loveland

1st Place Match

  • Kenny Sailas (Brighton) 17-0, So. over Brady Hankin (Woodland Park) 13-1, Fr. (Dec 4-2)

3rd Place Match

  • Aiden Lewis (Cedar Cliff Hs) 11-1, So. over Anthony Franklin (Pueblo East) 9-3, Jr. (Dec 4-1)

5th Place Match

  • Murphy Menke (Chatfield) 17-3, Fr. over Eric Griego (Pueblo County ) 5-5, So. (Dec 11-4)

7th Place Match

  • Isaiah Marrujo (Cleveland) 9-2, Sr. over Kobi Johnson (Loveland) 8-4, Fr. (SV-1 4-2)

113

  • 1st Place – Jett Strickenberger of Discovery Canyon
  • 2nd Place – Tristan Mascarenas of Cleveland
  • 3rd Place – Brendon Garcia of Pueblo County
  • 4th Place – Angelo Lozado of Jefferson
  • 5th Place – Alec Beltran of Horizon
  • 6th Place – Cody Thompson of Loveland
  • 7th Place – Dalton Williams of Berthoud
  • 8th Place – Zach Dooley of Woodland Park

1st Place Match

  • Jett Strickenberger (Discovery Canyon) 5-0, So. over Tristan Mascarenas (Cleveland) 13-1, Jr. (Dec 5-3)

3rd Place Match

  • Brendon Garcia (Pueblo County ) 5-1, Sr. over Angelo Lozado (Jefferson) 8-2, Fr. (Dec 1-0)

5th Place Match

  • Alec Beltran (Horizon) 11-3, Jr. over Cody Thompson (Loveland) 9-3, So. (Dec 9-6)

7th Place Match

  • Dalton Williams (Berthoud) 4-4, Jr. over Zach Dooley (Woodland Park) 11-5, Jr. (Dec 4-3)

120

  • 1st Place – Isaiah Gamez of La Junta
  • 2nd Place – Malachi Contreras of Mountain View
  • 3rd Place – Bobby Macias of Thomas Jefferson
  • 4th Place – Rudy Lopez of Erie
  • 5th Place – Cole Baer of Cedar Cliff Hs
  • 6th Place – Grant Bradley of Overland
  • 7th Place – Jacob Parker of Windsor
  • 8th Place – Daniel Soto of Jefferson

1st Place Match

  • Isaiah Gamez (La Junta) 6-0, Jr. over Malachi Contreras (Mountain View) 10-2, Jr. (Dec 9-2)

3rd Place Match

  • Bobby Macias (Thomas Jefferson) 9-1, Sr. over Rudy Lopez (Erie) 10-2, So. (MD 10-2)

5th Place Match

  • Cole Baer (Cedar Cliff Hs) 11-2, Sr. over Grant Bradley (Overland) 14-4, Jr. (M. For.)

7th Place Match

  • Jacob Parker (Windsor) 9-5, Jr. over Daniel Soto (Jefferson) 7-3, Fr. (M. For.)

126

  • 1st Place – Will Vombaur of Windsor
  • 2nd Place – Patrick Allis of Discovery Canyon
  • 3rd Place – Dean Noble of Poudre
  • 4th Place – Ivan Morris of Douglas County
  • 5th Place – Joseph Enockson of Bear Creek
  • 6th Place – Max Franz of Cherry Creek
  • 7th Place – Noah Fitzgerald of Castle View
  • 8th Place – Hunter Saiz of Mesa Ridge

1st Place Match

  • Will Vombaur (Windsor) 13-1, Sr. over Patrick Allis (Discovery Canyon) 4-1, Sr. (Dec 5-2)

3rd Place Match

  • Dean Noble (Poudre) 19-4, Jr. over Ivan Morris (Douglas County) 9-4, So. (Dec 12-10)

5th Place Match

  • Joseph Enockson (Bear Creek) 21-3, Sr. over Max Franz (Cherry Creek) 15-4, So. (Fall 2:27)

7th Place Match

  • Noah Fitzgerald (Castle View) 8-4, Sr. over Hunter Saiz (Mesa Ridge) 9-6, Jr. (Fall 2:32)

132

  • 1st Place – Vance Vombaur of Windsor
  • 2nd Place – JJ Wilson of Cedar Cliff Hs
  • 3rd Place – Jace Palmer of Kelly Walsh
  • 4th Place – Ryan Roth of Pueblo East
  • 5th Place – Angel Flores of Coronado
  • 6th Place – Nathan Bonham of Pueblo County
  • 7th Place – Juan Garcia of Roosevelt
  • 8th Place – Bailey Badwound of Air Academy

1st Place Match

  • Vance Vombaur (Windsor) 10-1, So. over JJ Wilson (Cedar Cliff Hs) 11-1, Sr. (Dec 1-0)

3rd Place Match

  • Jace Palmer (Kelly Walsh) 15-1, Jr. over Ryan Roth (Pueblo East) 12-2, Sr. (Dec 4-3)

5th Place Match

  • Angel Flores (Coronado) 12-2, Jr. over Nathan Bonham (Pueblo County ) 3-3, Sr. (For.)

7th Place Match

  • Juan Garcia (Roosevelt) 12-4, Fr. over Bailey Badwound (Air Academy) 11-5, So. (Dec 8-7)

138

  • 1st Place – Dominick Serrano of Windsor
  • 2nd Place – Michael Cassidy of Cedar Cliff Hs
  • 3rd Place – Aaden Valdez of Pueblo East
  • 4th Place – Dylan Yancey of Eaton
  • 5th Place – Joshua Deaguero of Adams City
  • 6th Place – Andrew Sansburn of Jefferson
  • 7th Place – Clint Brown of Falcon
  • 8th Place – DQ Disqualified of Unattached

1st Place Match

  • Dominick Serrano (Windsor) 15-0, Jr. over Michael Cassidy (Cedar Cliff Hs) 11-1, Sr. (Dec 5-0)

3rd Place Match

  • Aaden Valdez (Pueblo East) 18-1, Jr. over Dylan Yancey (Eaton) 18-2, Sr. (Dec 7-2)

5th Place Match

  • Joshua Deaguero (Adams City) 17-2, Jr. over Andrew Sansburn (Jefferson) 6-3, Sr. (Dec 5-4)

7th Place Match

  • Clint Brown (Falcon) 17-2, So. over DQ Disqualified () 11-5, Sr. (DQ)

145

  • 1st Place – Jaxon Garoutte of Pueblo County
  • 2nd Place – Austyn Binkly of Berthoud
  • 3rd Place – Analu Benabise of Kelly Walsh
  • 4th Place – Isaias Estrada of Thomas Jefferson
  • 5th Place – Zander Condit of Jefferson
  • 6th Place – Zach Martin of Centauri
  • 7th Place – Cody Ginther of Fossil Ridge
  • 8th Place – John Sumner of Mullen

1st Place Match

  • Jaxon Garoutte (Pueblo County ) 6-0, Jr. over Austyn Binkly (Berthoud) 13-2, Sr. (MD 17-7)

3rd Place Match

  • Analu Benabise (Kelly Walsh) 15-2, So. over Isaias Estrada (Thomas Jefferson) 5-2, So. (Dec 3-2)

5th Place Match

  • Zander Condit (Jefferson) 7-2, Jr. over Zach Martin (Centauri) 16-4, Sr. (Dec 4-2)

7th Place Match

  • Cody Ginther (Fossil Ridge) 19-3, So. over John Sumner (Mullen) 17-4, Jr. (Fall 2:21)

152

  • 1st Place – Andrew Alirez of Greeley Central
  • 2nd Place – Antonio Segura of Regis Jesuit
  • 3rd Place – Tyler Maccagnan of Eaglecrest
  • 4th Place – Kevin Hooks of Cheyenne Mountain
  • 5th Place – Nick Gallegos of Jefferson
  • 6th Place – Trevor Singleton of Pueblo County
  • 7th Place – Brayden Engelking of Longmont
  • 8th Place – Jack Cunningham of Cedar Cliff Hs

1st Place Match

  • Andrew Alirez (Greeley Central) 16-0, Sr. over Antonio Segura (Regis Jesuit) 14-2, So. (TF-1.5 3:36 (20-5))

3rd Place Match

  • Tyler Maccagnan (Eaglecrest) 20-2, Sr. over Kevin Hooks (Cheyenne Mountain) 15-5, Sr. (Dec 2-1)

5th Place Match

  • Nick Gallegos (Jefferson) 8-2, Jr. over Trevor Singleton (Pueblo County ) 4-3, Sr. (Dec 3-1)

7th Place Match

  • Brayden Engelking (Longmont) 13-2, Jr. over Jack Cunningham (Cedar Cliff Hs) 10-5, So. (Fall 1:20)

160

  • 1st Place – Christopher Fasano of Pueblo County
  • 2nd Place – KJ Kearns of Coronado
  • 3rd Place – Jaziah Whaley of Valley
  • 4th Place – Cole Gray of Woodland Park
  • 5th Place – Mac Copeland of Bennett
  • 6th Place – Austin McFadden of Prairie View
  • 7th Place – Grady Funk of Legacy
  • 8th Place – Kevin Anderson of Kelly Walsh

1st Place Match

  • Christopher Fasano (Pueblo County ) 6-0, Sr. over KJ Kearns (Coronado) 10-1, Sr. (Dec 6-3)

3rd Place Match

  • Jaziah Whaley (Valley) 13-1, Jr. over Cole Gray (Woodland Park) 15-3, Jr. (Dec 6-2)

5th Place Match

  • Mac Copeland (Bennett) 16-2, So. over Austin McFadden (Prairie View) 14-4, Sr. (Dec 1-0)

7th Place Match

  • Grady Funk (Legacy) 13-6, Jr. over Kevin Anderson (Kelly Walsh) 13-4, Jr. (Dec 5-2)

170

  • 1st Place – Drake Engelking of Longmont
  • 2nd Place – Cody Eaton of Windsor
  • 3rd Place – Draygan Colonese of Pine Creek
  • 4th Place – Miles Beam of Roosevelt
  • 5th Place – Kole Kraus of Kelly Walsh
  • 6th Place – Ty Garnhart of Eaton
  • 7th Place – Brock Johnson of Berthoud
  • 8th Place – Jake Martin of Lewis Palmer

1st Place Match

  • Drake Engelking (Longmont) 6-0, Sr. over Cody Eaton (Windsor) 13-2, Jr. (Dec 11-5)

3rd Place Match

  • Draygan Colonese (Pine Creek) 21-1, So. over Miles Beam (Roosevelt) 15-3, Jr. (MD 14-6)

5th Place Match

  • Kole Kraus (Kelly Walsh) 12-4, Jr. over Ty Garnhart (Eaton) 18-3, Sr. (Dec 6-3)

7th Place Match

  • Brock Johnson (Berthoud) 12-4, Sr. over Jake Martin (Lewis Palmer) 15-4, Jr. (Dec 5-1)

182

  • 1st Place – Isaiah Salazar of Windsor
  • 2nd Place – Jayson Davis of Pueblo County
  • 3rd Place – Jake Welch of Valor Christian
  • 4th Place – Kai Blake of Cherry Creek
  • 5th Place – Patrick Golden of Poudre
  • 6th Place – Nico Gagliardi of Cheyenne Mountain
  • 7th Place – Brady Badwound of Air Academy
  • 8th Place – Logan Maslanik of Doherty

1st Place Match

  • Isaiah Salazar (Windsor) 15-0, Jr. over Jayson Davis (Pueblo County ) 4-1, Sr. (Dec 10-3)

3rd Place Match

  • Jake Welch (Valor Christian) 11-1, Sr. over Kai Blake (Cherry Creek) 14-3, Sr. (Fall 2:18)

5th Place Match

  • Patrick Golden (Poudre) 18-3, Sr. over Nico Gagliardi (Cheyenne Mountain) 17-4, Fr. (Dec 10-7)

7th Place Match

  • Brady Badwound (Air Academy) 6-2, Sr. over Logan Maslanik (Doherty) 15-4, Sr. (Dec 7-4)

195

  • 1st Place – Zion Freeman of Pueblo East
  • 2nd Place – Donovon Ball of Cedar Cliff Hs
  • 3rd Place – Abe Leonard of Elizabeth
  • 4th Place – Bryce Garcia of Pueblo County
  • 5th Place – Jared Volcic of Mesa Ridge
  • 6th Place – Micah Sterling of Eaglecrest
  • 7th Place – Gabe Garcia of Cleveland
  • 8th Place – Sam Cole of Thomas Jefferson

1st Place Match

  • Zion Freeman (Pueblo East) 10-0, Sr. over Donovon Ball (Cedar Cliff Hs) 10-1, Sr. (Dec 6-4)

3rd Place Match

  • Abe Leonard (Elizabeth) 16-1, Sr. over Bryce Garcia (Pueblo County ) 4-2, Fr. (Dec 10-7)

5th Place Match

  • Jared Volcic (Mesa Ridge) 13-2, Jr. over Micah Sterling (Eaglecrest) 13-6, Sr. (TF-1.5 2:48 (15-0))

7th Place Match

  • Gabe Garcia (Cleveland) 12-4, Jr. over Sam Cole (Thomas Jefferson) 10-4, Sr. (MD 9-0)

220

  • 1st Place – Dominic Robles of Pueblo East
  • 2nd Place – Dion Hunter of Cleveland
  • 3rd Place – Gage Pruitt of Canon City
  • 4th Place – David Hoage of Smoky Hill
  • 5th Place – Jesus Alvarado of Kelly Walsh
  • 6th Place – Carlos Flores of Northglenn
  • 7th Place – Anthony Alirez of Greeley Central
  • 8th Place – Gavin Howes of Pueblo County

1st Place Match

  • Dominic Robles (Pueblo East) 12-0, Sr. over Dion Hunter (Cleveland) 4-1, Sr. (Inj. 5:35)

3rd Place Match

  • Gage Pruitt (Canon City) 9-3, Sr. over David Hoage (Smoky Hill) 11-3, Sr. (M. For.)

5th Place Match

  • Jesus Alvarado (Kelly Walsh) 14-3, Jr. over Carlos Flores (Northglenn) 15-6, Sr. (Dec 5-2)

7th Place Match

  • Anthony Alirez (Greeley Central) 10-5, Sr. over Gavin Howes (Pueblo County ) 4-3, So. (Fall 1:58)

285

  • 1st Place – Andy Garcia of Pueblo East
  • 2nd Place – Austin Roman of Cleveland
  • 3rd Place – Colin Lavell of Legend
  • 4th Place – Santana Solano of Brighton
  • 5th Place – Emanuel Munoz-Alcala of University
  • 6th Place – Bennie Chacon of Centauri
  • 7th Place – Jeremy Murano of Eaton
  • 8th Place – Adam Sepan of Castle View

1st Place Match

  • Andy Garcia (Pueblo East) 14-0, Jr. over Austin Roman (Cleveland) 13-1, Sr. (Fall 4:14)

3rd Place Match

  • Colin Lavell (Legend) 13-3, Sr. over Santana Solano (Brighton) 16-2, Sr. (Dec 3-2)

5th Place Match

  • Emanuel Munoz-Alcala (University) 10-2, Jr. over Bennie Chacon (Centauri) 14-4, Sr. (Fall 2:21)

7th Place Match

  • Jeremy Murano (Eaton) 13-2, Sr. over Adam Sepan (Castle View) 10-5, Sr. (Dec 2-1)