Spanish Springs wins dual meet between 4A powers
Spanish Springs and Carson have been two of the most powerful 4A wrestling programs in recent years.
Both were hurt by graduation last June, but both showed Wednesday night the cupboard is far from bare.
The Cougars took advantage of Carson’s inexperience at the heavier weights to record two pins and grab a forfeit win to capture a 39-24 victory at Morse Burley Gym.
Carson did manage one win, albeit the nonleague variety when it stopped Fallon 42-27. Spanish Springs topped Fallon 53-24.
“We were hanging with them,” Carson coach Tim McCarthy said. “The lightweights and middleweights, the meat of our order was hanging in with them. We had to forfeit at 215, had a first-year guy at 189 and a freshman at heavyweight (because of an injury).
“Spanish Springs has so many kids in their program. They are able to put a pretty good wrestler out there in each weight class.
Sophomore Jordan Woodward, Carson’s heavyweight, missed the match after suffering a concussion when he got dropped on his head at last week’s Capital City Duals event.
Win or lose, this was one exciting match.
“It was intense,” Carson’s 160-pounder Nico Garcia said. “I was so excited I couldn’t sit down. I knew it was going to be close. We just don’t have as much experience as we had last year.”
It was a first-round pin by Garcia against Garek Tauchen and a 7-3 win by first-year wrestler Aaron Lopez over Joe White at 171 that tied the match at 24.
Lopez probably should have won by a bigger margin, but he’s still learning some of the finer points of the sport. It was brute strength that enabled him to hold on for the victory.
Lopez had takedowns in each of the opening two periods in building a 4-0 lead. He increased the lead to 6-0 with another takedown to start the third period. He gave up three straight points before being awarded a final point when White was called for an illegal hold.
“He (Lopez) has a lot of potential,” Garcia said of his teammate. “He has tremendous strength.”
“He’s super strong,” McCarthy said. “Pound-for-pound, he’s probably one of the top kids in school as far as strength goes. If we’d had him as a freshman, he would have been much better.”
Carson won two of the first three matches, as 112-pounder Pat Craugh dominated Austin Lee 18-3 to give the Senators a 5-0 lead. Cole McCarthy pinned Rito Hernandez with 1.8 seconds left for an 11-4 lead. McCarthy was only leading 9-5 at the time, so he got his team three extra points.
Spanish Springs took a 15-11 lead, as Austin Yohey dominated Ty Welch (130) 19-7, Austin Brown (135) lost a 12-10 decision in overtime and Zach Perez (140) pounded Cruz Kerver. Brown was 10-10 at the end of regulation, but was put on his back in the sudden-death extra period.
McCarthy was disappointed in the outcome of Brown’s match.
“I wish the official would have let the match go,” McCarthy said. “It wasn’t a takedown (in my opinion). He called it too quick.”
Jordan Luhrs won a 10-2 decision at 145 and Cody Cunningham lost a close match, 12-11, at 152.
In their win over Fallon, the Senators got pins from Nick Lani (119), McCarthy, Luhrs and Garcia. Carson also won three matches by forfeits.
• Carson’s JV team also wrestled against Fallon and Spanish Springs. No team scores were kept.
Sam Mercado, Nate Stevens and Aidan Ortega all went 2-0. Mercado and Ortega won by pin in both matches.