Earning top-six status at the Region III Championships held at Adams State University in Alamosa, an impressive seven Bayfield Middle Schoolers qualified for the recent Colorado Middle School State Wrestling Championships, held March 30-31 in Denver.
Leading the way was Kobe Prior, who ended his season sixth at 145 pounds. Coming off a third-place finish at ASU, Prior hit the mats inside the National Western Complex authoritatively, advancing into the semifinals via an 8-3 decision over Ault-based Highland's Greg Coy, a pin in just 57 seconds over Lamar's Jayden West, and a pin in an elapsed 2:16 over Windsor's Mitch Madril.
In the semis, however, Greeley Elite's Yahir Chairez administered a 13-0 major-decision schooling, forcing the Wolverine to battle back through the consolation stages. But a loss via pin to Elite's Robert Bernal in the consolation semis dropped Prior into the fifth-place match, which he lost 11-6 to Brush's Jayce Kreegar.
Also at the single-classification showcase, where entrants were seeded by weight and not age - meaning a sixth-grader could wrestle an eighth-grader - Keaton Pickering finished 3-2 at 70 pounds after a first-round bye, but just missed a chance at top-six status after an injury forced him to forfeit to Pagosa Springs' Luke Tressler.
At 80 pounds, Daxson Michaeli finished 2-2, as did 95-pounder Simon Schneider. Keyton Cugnini went 0-2 at 105 pounds, as did Brooke Morse at 130, while 110-pounder Deegan Barnes went 2-2.
He and Schneider had each placed a squad-best second at the ASU regional, while Pickering qualified for Denver by placing third, Michaeli and Cugnini by placing fourth and Morse by placing sixth.
Regional champ Zayden Cundiff competed at 85 pounds within the 4th/5th-grade 'Youth Super State' division, and began by scoring a fast pin (0:48) and a close decision-win (8 to 5) after a first-round bye. But in the first-place match he lost a 9-0 major decision to Brighton's Emmitt Munson, leaving him 2-1 for the tournament.