Sure, Discovery Canyon’s Sam Turner (120-pound weight class), Tyler Oberg (145) and David Traynor (195) each enjoyed their respective time atop the 2014 Colorado Springs Metro Wrestling Championships podium on Saturday.
It was all smiles and poses for the cameras after Turner (ranked No. 3 in Class 4A by On the Mat Rankings) won by major decision over Mesa Ridge’s Samuel Freeman 13-1, Tyler Oberg (No. 1) inched out Pine Creek’s Chris Cos 1-0 for his second consecutive Metro title and David Traynor (No. 1), who lost 33 pounds a month before the season, won his third consecutive title when he beat Air Academy’s Ben Self 9-3.
“It feels three times as great to win this again,” Traynor said afterward, “but we aren’t finished. We are just preparing for state.”
And Saturday, they continue to prepare as these three state runner-ups from a season ago, along with the rest of Class 4A team state runner-up Discovery Canyon (ranked No. 5 in the state) will host defending 4A champion Broomfield and 5A state-contender Cherry Creek, along with Windsor, Montrose, Elizabeth and Pueblo Centennial in the Discovery Canyon Duals Meet.
Thunder coach Ron Sukle looks at it as one of the final times his team can clean up some things before regionals and the state tournament in mid-February at the Pepsi Center.
That’s the reason, he said, he chose to leave Discovery Canyon as the only area team in the tournament.
“We wanted to practice against some teams we haven’t had a ton of practice against and face some of the best teams in the state so we can get better and better,” Sukle said. “We have just a couple weeks before state, so we want to get every chance at experience we can.”
Sukle knows they’ll need it. Other than Turner, Oberg and Traynor, many of the Thunder wrestlers fell well short of expectations at the Metro meet.
Discovery Canyon, the 2013 team Metro winners, not only dropped behind 5A Pine Creek (No. 7) in the final standings, but slipped to third place behind the Lewis-Palmer Rangers, who weren’t ranked in the 4A top 10 before the meet.
Sukle, who had a number of injuries on his team headed into the tournament, wasn’t ready to make any excuses. He said the wrestlers enjoy the added practice before the high school season finale.
“Obviously we wrestled better on day two at league than we did on day one and got some good things,” Sukle said. “But it showed us we have a long way to improve before state. You can’t change how you wrestle at this point but you can work on some things, things that could be key for us, and I think our tournament will be the perfect place for us to do that.”
The tournament is expected to go from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Brent W. New, The Gazette
Twitter: @brentwnew @gazettepreps