Rebels’ Schraeder, Forbes take second at Arapahoe Invite

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By Michael Hicks

CENTENNIAL — It was difficult enough for Columbine sophomore Zach Schraeder to wait around Saturday. The 285-pound heavyweight struggled to stay loose before his semifinal match with Heritage’s Moises Islas, which didn’t take the mat until 2:49 p.m., nearly seven hours after the Arapahoe Invitational started.
“It was pretty difficult to start going again,” Schraeder said.
Fifty-five seconds later, he was chomping at the bits for what he came to Arapahoe High School for, a rematch with the Warriors’ Jason Washington.
Washington, ranked sixth in the On the Mat 5A heavyweight preseason poll, ended Schraeder’s freshman season at the state tournament in February. On Saturday, the Columbine grappler had his shot at revenge.
He was expecting to meet the Arapahoe senior in the tournament’s final bout. What he didn’t anticipate was Washington to work more on under hooks.
“I just needed to pretty much protect myself against those,” said Schraeder, who entered the season ranked No. 3 at 285 pounds.
He did, but not enough. Struggling to turn Washington, Schraeder played catch up for most of the match, ending with a stalling call against the Columbine wrestler, an escape point and a late takedown for Washington in a 10-6 decision.
It was one of two second-place finishes for Columbine, which took 13th in the 18-team field with 61 points. Coronado ran away with the team title with 207 points, followed by Eaglecrest with 156 and Douglas County at 134.5.
The Rebels’ other runner-up finish came at 182 pounds, where sophomore Jack Forbes won three straight matches in dominating fashion before falling to Cherry Creek senior Kai Blake in the finals in 1 minute, 8 seconds.
Forbes dominated three straight juniors — Douglas County’s Phillip Wandruff (15-2 major decision), Northglenn’s Thomas Maldonado (9-1 major decision) and Heritage’s Grason Randall (1:23) — before facing Blake.
The setback, however, didn’t deter Forbes, who saw it as a learning experience to get better.
“I need to keep working to get better and better to beat more juniors and seniors,” Forbes said. “It started last year. I got my (rear) beat a couple of times, but I got through it.”
Chatfield, behind a pair of fifth-place finishes, took 10th place with 70.5 points. Freshmen Murphy Menke and Elijah Hernandez took similar approaches to their final-match victories. They both shot fast at the most opportune moment.
Menke, at 113 pounds, trailed 5-3 going into the third period before Fruita Monument’s Trea Fantin was called for stalling twice, tying the match up. In overtime, Menke wasted little time in scoring a takedown and the win.
“I knew that I was going to win,” Menke said.
Likewise, Hernandez trailed 5-4 to Fruita Monument’s Joseph Barnes in the third period before scoring an escape, a quick takedown and pinfall in 4:44. It was his second win of the day against Barnes, who he defeated in the opening round, also by pinfall.
“He was too high. He was not in his stance,” Hernandez said of the match-ending takedown and pin.Hernandez almost didn’t wrestle his final match after suffering a cramp in his left hamstring prior to the bout. The muscle, however, loosened up in time for him to compete.
Senior 126-pounder Aaron Fuller, however, wasn’t as fortunate. The ninth-ranked wrestler in the preseason and a state qualifier last year suffered a concussion in his opening-round loss to Seth Garcia of Coronado and was pulled from the tournament immediately thereafter.
Chatfield’s Jacob Badger (152) and Isaac Medrano (195) placed sixth.