By Craig Harper
For the Courier
LAKEWOOD — One of the marquee finals matches of the Feb. 8 Pre-Regional Rumble at Bear Creek High School played out like a board game for brainiacs.
Columbine’s Karl Breidenbach and Doherty’s Brandon Supernow, ranked second and fourth at 160 pounds in 5A by On the Mat, played cat-and-mouse with neither wrestler able to score a takedown. Tied 1-1 after Breidenbach’s third-period escape, the Rebels senior won when Supernow was assessed a one-point penalty for stalling.
“That’s the thing about wrestling,” Breidenbach said, “more than anything it’s a chess match. This time I happened to win. It could as easily have gone in his favor.”
Breidenbach, a fourth-place finisher at state last year, went 3-0 at the Rumble, which replaced the Jeffco League Championships. He improved to 31-2 and will be a solid favorite to win a regional title this weekend at Cherokee Trail.
After reaching the Rumble final with a fall and major decision, Breidenbach was glad to face an opponent of Supernow’s caliber. “I needed a tough match like that going into regionals,” he said “It’s exactly what I was looking forward to all week.”
Breidenbach and heavyweight Anthony Gibson, who wrestled for the first time since a knee injury and went 4-1 in a round robin (the format for all weights above 160), paced Columbine.
Chatfield’s upper-weights duo of Wilson George (182) and Dylan Seeman (195) went 3-0 to and 4-1, respectively, improving to 25-5 and 28-2 on the season.
“I feel this is the best I’ve ever wrestled in a long time,” said George, who had two falls and a major decision and has not lost since December. “Last year, I didn’t qualify (for state, finishing fifth in the regional), and that’s always been a chip on my shoulder.”
Seeman’s lone loss in the Rumble was an 8-7 decision to Ralston Valley’s Rocky Michaelson, ranked fourth in 4A. He beat Golden’s Ian Cheatum, No. 3 in 4A, 8-4 en route to setting the school record for near falls.
One of the meet’s best matches involved Chatfield’s Zach Lowe and Columbine’s Trevor Newton in the second round at 220. Newton won 4-3 on an escape in the fourth overtime in what Chargers coach Paul Peronard said could be a regional preview with a state-tournament berth on the line. Newton, 2-2 in the tournament and 17-13 overall, lost his final two matches and Lowe went 1-3, dropping to 20-17 on the year.
Chatfield advanced Andrew Erickson and Nic Konen to the 152 semifinals, where Erickson (5-6) won by a fall in 20 seconds to earn the team’s berth to regionals before being pinned in 1 minute, 22 seconds by Devon Butler of Wheat Ridge.
The Chargers’ Riley Thayer rebounded from an early loss with two victories before bowing 8-4 to Columbine’s Davis Rhodes in the consolation semifinals. Rhodes, who had lost in the semifinals, then pinned Green Mountain’s Frank Trujillo in 2:59 for third place and a 13-6 record. Rebel teammate Angelo Romero was fourth at 138.