Competition for a tournament's Outstanding Wrestler award?
Colter McMenimen found some last Saturday in Ignacio, but primarily from a glad-to-be-back teammate.
Dominant in a 4-0 dash to the 145-pound division's championship at the 2015 Butch Melton Memorial Invitational, McMenimen had plenty of help racking up points to Bayfield's eventual third-place finish inside SunUte Community Center, especially from Ryan Nava.
Nava notched three pins. One was at the expense of Piedra Vista JV talent Taylor Atencio of Farmington, as well as a 17-2 technical-fall rout of Pagosa Springs' Tanner Schlom and, ultimately, a 17-8 major decision over 2A Dove Creek's Case Baughman. That capped the BHS sophomore's 5-for-5 run to prevail over all other 126-pounders.
"We're starting to become a wrestling team," head coach Todd McMenimen said proudly afterwards, acknowledging the contributions of all nine competitors representing the purple-and-gold at Ignacio's annual event.
Bayfield amassed 87 points, trailing only Intermountain League rival Pagosa's 125 and 4A Bloomfield at 156.5 at the 12-team gathering. The hosting Bobcats' 85 tied Piedra Vista's total for a share of fourth place.
Named the Lower Weight Outstanding Wrestler, McMenimen's senior-year dominance continued with a 16-0 tech of IHS' Dalton Mickey and a 15-0 tech of 3A Cedaredge's Colton Hoerr - both technical falls were achieved in less than one minute, 45 seconds. McMenimen also won a 15-0 tech in the semifinals against Bloomfield's Avery Scott, then he handled Monticello's Brandon Musselman (Utah's reigning Class 1A, 138-pound State Champion) at 16-1.
A tense one-point defeat of another Monticello wrestler helped pave the way for another Wolverine to depart with championship in hand. Heavyweight Sam Westbrook's swift development continued with a 4-0 day, but his 8-7 defeat of Parker Knudsen (third place at the 2014 UHSAA 1A Championships) shone brightest, maybe more so than his final-round pin 48 seconds into the second period against Cedaredge's Mario Madaleno.
152-pounder Cash Snooks and 120-pounder Cody Speece each went 3-2, and Garrett Beebe was 2-2 at 106. Jake Jensen (138) and Lane Grimwood (132) also departed with a win to their respective names, though three losses each kept both from placing consideration.
Austin Baughman finished 0-4 at 152 and was pinned 3:40 into his last match by, ironically, Snooks.
The 2015 Melton's Upper Weight Outstanding Wrestler was Bloomfield 160-pounder J.D. Robinson.
Up next for the Wolverines will be a non-league dual tonight (7 p.m. start) versus 4A Durango. Results from last night's Intermountain League head-to-head clash with Alamosa were unavailable at press time.
"If we can peak in a couple weeks I think we're going to be in good shape!" Todd McMenimen said.