Six Gunnison High grapplers finish in top five
Brandon Warr                    Zeb Alexander works to turn on a Hotchkiss wrestler during Saturday’s tournament.
Brandon Warr Zeb Alexander works to turn on a Hotchkiss wrestler during Saturday’s tournament.

Brandon Warr

Times Staff Writer

 

GHS Wrestling — The amount of work an athlete puts in during the off season is a key factor in determining his success once their season starts. Gunnison High School (GHS) wrestlers Tyler Laudick and Zeb Alexander can attest to as much.

“Being able to be stronger and tougher than my opponent allows me to have success, but only if I'm working hard and using my technique alongside,” said Alexander.

Coming into the season, Laudick and Alexander were two of four wrestlers that head coach Jesse Cruz recognized as possessing the talent to be able to qualify for the state tournament.

While Laudick may have previously lacked confidence, resulting in an up-and-down 2016-17 season, Cruz noticed the wrestler’s improvement over the summer through camps and team bonding exercises.

Much of the same is true for Alexander, who came into this season 28 pounds heavier than last. He’s been competing at the 160-pound weight class this season after wrestling at 132 pounds in 2016-17.

So far this season, Laudick, wrestling at 120 pounds, and Alexander have not disappointed. Both have managed to finish in the top three at tournaments multiple times this season.

However, there is still a long way to go if Alexander and Laudick hope to achieve the goal they set out for themselves this year of placing in the top four at regionals.

“My goals right now are to win a tournament and place top four at regionals,” said Laudick. “If I achieve that, I will give myself a chance to place high at state.”

In their first home meet of the season this past Saturday at Mountaineer Field House, Laudick and Alexander stood out for GHS. They both took second place in their respective weight classes. Teammate Bryson Van Hee, at 106 pounds, was the only other GHS wrestler to place that high, while one Cowboy grapper finished fourth and two others fifth.  

GHS hosted the tournament in conjunction with Western, which competing in their annual Tracy Borah Duals.

The Field House was packed throughout the day as college and high school fans cheered loudly for the wrestlers. GHS arrived at 10 a.m. to kick off what would be a long day of wrestling. When all was said and done, the Cowboys finished sixth as a team and had six wrestlers place in the top five in their weight classes.

GHS will be back on the mat Friday, Jan. 12 as they travel to Custer County.

 

(Brandon Warr can be reached at 970.641.1414 or brandon@gunnisontimes.com.)