Ignacio wrestling made a strong showing at the Rocky Mountain Invitational Saturday in Pagosa Springs, taking eighth overall.
Starting the meet with a 44-second pin of Durango junior Tyrell Thorsheim, junior Ethan Appenzeller picked up his pace and stuck Monte Vista sophomore Mario Dominguez in only 27 seconds to reach the semifinals at 138.
Aztec, N.M., soph Dominic Dufur fared only slightly better than the preceding foes, lasting 95 seconds before hearing the referee's hand smack the mat, and Appenzeller roared into the championship where he actually had to last the regulation 360 before locking up first place, 10 to 3, over Denver Sheridan senior Carlos Maez.
With a last name nearly sounding like "play injure," Timmy Plehinger has the name that describes wrestling's pleasure/pain nature.
Face down on the mat, left hand hurriedly trying to knead an ailing right shoulder back into compliance, and opponent Avery Scott looking down upon him, Plehinger had only a few seconds to decide how badly he wanted to leave Pagosa victorious.
The 152-pound division's title was not a possibility, but his choice quickly became evident.
After action resumed, the Ignacio Bobcat junior rallied himself to pin the Bloomfield (N.M.) Bobcat junior 49 seconds into the third period and finish the tournament with a 2-1 record, as well as the weight's third-place medal, and as many points to contribute to IHS' eighth-place total of 122.
Head coach Jordan Larsen beamed while congratulating the winner, still stoked by Appenzeller's success minutes before.
Next to step onto a mat after Plehinger for final-round work was Lorenzo "Woody" Peña, and the junior's ongoing winter rampage continued. Having notched pins in his opening two tries at 160, Pena then shut out AHS senior Josh Snow 7-0 and dispatched DHS senior Cole Gustavson 9-2 to finish his own 4-0 run through a bracket.
Three-and-one at the RMI, junior 113-pounder Stocker Robbins captured third, via a second-period pin of Del Norte senior Brett Fuller after suffering an unexpected 14-4 major-decision loss in the semifinals against La Jara Centauri freshman Joe Chavez.
Senior Wyatt Mickas went 0-2 at 120 and did not place, but senior Tyler Beebe saved the 'Cats seventh-place points at 132 with a pin of Taos senior Cade Cannedy 10 seconds into the second period and posted a 3-2 record for the day. So did Dalton Mickey at 145. The junior's recovery from a first-round loss to eventual champ Austin Littlefield of Aztec ultimately-after losing 11-7 to DNHS junior Tyler Martinez-yielded sixth place.
Squad newcomer Mark Kempinski II, a junior, went 2-2 at 170 pounds but bounced back from an opening loss to eventual champion Chris Martin of Centauri to pin unattached PSHS freshman Brayden Shulda with just six seconds left in the seventh-place match's second period.
At heavyweight, junior Michael "Mikey" Cruz went 1-2 but placed seventh after pinning Durango junior Joseph Gillen with only six seconds left in the first period.
This weekend the Bobcats will be in action at tomorrow's Rob Mickel Memorial Invitational in Salida, after a quick stop tonight in Center for a non-league dual with the 2A Vikings beginning at 5 p.m.
2016 ROCKY MOUNTAIN INVITATIONAL CHAMPIONS: 106-Presiliano Maez (Denver Sheridan); 113-Joe Chavez (La Jara Centauri); 120-Quinton Montague (La Jara Centauri); 126-Brayson Wilcox (Monticello, UT); 132-Zac Musselman (Monticello, UT); 138-ETHAN APPENZELLER (IGNACIO); 145-Austin Littlefield (Aztec, N.M.); 152-Jose Lopez (Monte Vista); 160-LORENZO PENA (IGNACIO); 170-Chris Martin (La Jara Centauri); 182-Aaron Apadaca (Denver Sheridan); 195-Dillan Salter (Del Norte); 220-Ricky Ayala (Denver Sheridan); Hwt-SAM WESTBROOK (BAYFIELD).