Fate can certainly play cruel tricks on a wrestler.
Not only, unfortunately, to Bayfield's Colter McMenimen but also to Olathe's Austin Shank.
Both the Wolverine and the Pirate saw their respective, yet shared hopes of a senior-year Class 3A state title dashed in Day 2's semifinals at the 2015 CHSAA State Championships. McMenimen was on the short side of an 11-4 decision against aptly-named Berthoud junior Jimmy Fate, last season's 138-pound king in 4A.
Broomfield Holy Family senior Joseph Prieto pinned Shank.
But when the snow-shrouded sun rose over Pepsi Center in the Mile High City on Day 3, fate actually offered both victims a savory chance for a major measure of redemption.even if the podium's summit was beyond reach.
Both 145's, however, had to survive one last consolation match-an exercise in rhetoric if ever there was one in the sport. Both did, but as real-life fate would have it, with third place in Denver still at stake, Shank remembered what happened that afternoon and even bettered it.
Shank repeated his feat from Montrose and put McMenimen-whose .919 winning percentage trailed only eventual champ Fate's 1.000 (45-0) when the event commenced last Thursday-down long enough to hear the official's mat slap, 40 seconds into the second period.
Understandably dejected but embraced nonetheless by head coach and father Todd McMenimen before taking his last competitive steps out of and away from a prep-level circle, Colter McMenimen still wrapped up his outstanding Wolverine career 37-5 (.881) in the 2014-15 campaign.
And, most importantly, receiving a medal in full view of thousands-a moment all but assured him after his battle through the bracket began as planned, with a 9-5 defeat of La Junta sophomore William Tyler and then a pin in 2:42 of Gilcrest Valley junior Dominick Mozal.
And neither was merely an early-round tuneup; respectively, the Tiger entered the meet with a 35-11 mark, the Viking 34-10. Not bad when compared to the Wolverine's initial 34-3 status.
Bayfield sophomore Ryan Nava also enjoyed being included amongst Colorado's top six at his weight, but after an opening 8-2 loss to Mead senior Jesse Ortiz, his bid for first at 126 was denied and he too ended up fourth. And not without some similar drama to McMenimen's in terms of opposition.
Regrouping to win his first consolation-stage match, 14-9 over Colorado Springs The Classical Academy sophomore Matt Johns, Nava then prepped to face Issik Herod-the same Craig-based Moffat County Bulldog junior who'd pulled out a Region IV-winning stunner of a third-period pin at Nava's expense the previous weekend.
There would be no repeat. Nava handled business, 4 to 1, then beat Berthoud junior Kyler Bailey 5-1 and Fort Lupton senior Dakota Macy 7-3 to set up a third-place showdown against VHS junior Zach Damian. The podium position also came down to points, with the Viking one-upping the Wolverine 5-4.
Still finishing 4-2 at the great gathering, Nava went 15-4 for the season.
113-pounder Jake Sandrey was pinned in his first-ever state match, 1:51 into the first period by Mead freshman standout Jeremy Ashton (who entered 40-8). Sandrey (23-16 final), however, got his first Pepsi Center conquest the next time he stepped onto the mat, 13-8 over Denver West junior Abdikadir Muse. Unfortunately his attempted run at the bracket's consolation side ended with an 11-8 loss to Denver Sheridan junior Justin Salazar.
Finally, sophomore heavyweight Sam Westbrook began by defeating Lamar junior Lucas Montgomery 8-3, but then was pinned as the second period expired by Brush senior (and eventual champion) Joe Carwin.
That set up a consolation-stage test against FLHS sophomore Andrew Adame.
Westbrook prevailed by pin in an elapsed 4:30, but was then eliminated 5-2 by Denver J.K. Mullen sophomore Sam Deseriere-with the Mustang's last point awarded for unsportsmanlike conduct against the Wolverine, unsuccessfully seeking a stalling call on Deseriere, by the official just before his final whistle ending the six regulation minutes and Westbrook's season at an awesome 34-10.