MONTROSE - With only six wrestlers competing, Montrose High School brought more "ruckus" than may have been expected to the Class 4A State Championships, Coach Kevin Passehl said.
The team took fifth place overall, with four wrestlers grappling a fourth-place ranking or better and one claiming the 145-pound state title.
"The kids wrestled the best they've wrestled all year," Passehl said. "We try to plan it that way."
Rising to the top was senior Geordon Hudson who defeated two-time state champion Nick Swanson of Wheat Ridge in a 4-3 battle that got Hudson his first state title in a wrestling career that started more than a decade ago.
"I feel pretty good in my high school career with first place at state and with fulfilling one of my lifelong dreams," Hudson said.
Going into the tournament, Hudson knew he had several challenges ahead — the third-, second- and first-ranked wrestlers in his weight division.
"I knew I had no easy route to win it," he said. "But I knew if I wrestled like I had been wrestling the last few weeks, I'd have no problems."
He was relieved when the third-ranked wrestler was defeated in the first round, and Hudson breezed through his first two matches with a pin and a 16-0 win.
In the semifinals, Hudson was down two points in the second period against the division's second-ranked wrestler, but was able to get a reversal and put the guy on his back for six points to win the match 8-4, Hudson said.
Then it was time to defeat Swanson.
"Kevin (Passehl) and I were discussing that it would come down to beating him on my feet, wrestling the full six minutes without slowing down at all and wrestling the way I had been all weekend," Hudson said.
The two were tied 2-2 with 45 seconds left in the match when Hudson was able to get around and score to make it 4-2 with 10 seconds left, he said. Hudson then gave away the escape to bring the score to 4-3, but was able to hold on for the win.
"I felt relief — and accomplishment," he said.
Hudson is a four-time state qualifier and took third place as a sophomore and sixth place as a junior.
"I think every year as he grew up, he got better and worked harder, especially this year," Passehl said. "He worked harder than he ever did and it panned out, which is expected when you put that kind of effort into it."
Five other Montrose grapplers also wrestled hard at state including, Jason Cooper (113), Jeremiah Banuelos (120), Kordell Bradshaw (138), Marcus Velasquez (152) and Cole Panter (195).
Banuelos placed second, Panter took third and Bradshaw and Velasquez placed fourth.