RMN Events Hosts 20th Annual National Championships - 2019 

By Bill X. Barron, RMN Events Writer

For the 20th year, RMN Events celebrated two decades of excellence with its culminating event, the Rocky Mountain National Championships on March 15-17 in Denver, Colorado. Nearly 3,000 wrestlers from 31 states competed on 20 mats for individual weight class and age groups champions, with featured matches on raised mats such as Drew Eller, a 3-time Georgia state champion who defeated 3-time Wyoming state champion Jace Palmer 11-4 for the 132-pound 18-&-Under title. Not only was the competition top notch, but the nation’s best officials represented ten states and Colorado.

RMN Events holds over twenty large youth wrestling tournaments in Arizona, California, Colorado, Missouri, New Mexico, Nevada, and Wyoming with additional 2019-20 events planned, including new exciting championships like D-Day on the Midway held on the deck of an aircraft carrier in San Diego and the Mount Rushmore Mayhem in the mountains of South Dakota.

In a close team title race for the 2019 RMN National Championship team trophy, Pomona Elite (CO) edged Duran Elite (CO) 161 to 155 points. Rounding out the top 10 teams: 3rd Team Prestige (UT) 146, 4th Team Kansas 144, 5th Chatfield Jr. (CO) 141, 6th Golden Eagles (CO) 136, 7th Team Aggression (WA) 116, 8th Sons of Thunder (CO) 111, 9th Bear Cave (CO) 106, and 10th Brighton (CO) 103.

In the coed middle school dual championships, the team champion was Pueblo Flav (CO), who finished undefeated and beat second-place and returning champ Team Montana 57-48. Mile High (CO) earned 3rd place, Pomona (CO) was 4th, Adams City (CO) came in 5th, with Wasatch (UT) 6th. For the 8th consecutive year, Team Kansas won the high school duals with both teams in the finals (there was no title match). Wasatch (UT) defeated POWA (CO) in the 3rd and 4th-place match.

For the first year, the girls competed in separate duals. The Colorado All-Stars defeated the Rocky Mountain Blue Grapplers 36-11 for the middle school championship, while a combined Hawaii-California-Arizona team earned 3rd place with a 34-24 victory over Rocky Mtn. Red Grapplers. In the high school division, Team Hawaii-California-Arizona won the championship bout 25-24 over Team Colorado. For 3rd and 4th place, the Rocky Mtn. Girl Grapplers faced off, with the Blue Team prevailing over Red by a 36-24 margin.

Drew Totter of Cody (WY) with 6 pins in a total of 6:33 earned the Most Pins in the Least Time. Also accruing six falls were Jaron Mahler of Mile High (CO) in 7:02 and Victor Martinez of Segura Boys (CO) in 8:57. Team Montana proved to be the best team pinners, compiling 65 pins in a total of 128:15, while outdistancing Pomona Elite CO (46 in 70:23) and Bear Cave CO (43 in 74:17).

Earning recognition for the Most Tech Falls in the Least Time was Noah Hone of Eastside United (WY); others with two tech falls include Tanner Baumgartner of Mile High (CO), Braden Morgan of Team Kansas (who recorded the quickest TF in 1:26), Drew Eller of Evans HS (GA – 18U Champ), and Nazeyah Pina of Maverick Elite (TX). In the team, category Pomona Elite CO (6 TF in 17:12) bested Team Montana (6 TF in 21:23) and Mile High CO (5 TF in 14:39).

Earning the Fastest Fall was Truett Fettig of MATPAC (ND) with an 8-second pin; just behind, with pins in 9 seconds, were Bronx Shanley-Martinez of Duran Elite (CO) and Lance Vigil of Pomona Elite (CO). Jacob Eck of JET (ID) recorded the most (28) single match points, while Scott Kellenberger of Grindhouse (AZ) totaled the most (69) total match points, closely followed with 68 by Drew Eller of Evans HS (GA) and Jace Palmer of Eastside United (WY). The team leaders in total match points were Team Montana with 1117, Pomona Elite (CO) 962, and Team Aggression (WA) 739.

In freestyle, four wrestlers earned 4 tech falls: Wesley Thompson and Trevor Anderson of Team Aggression WA (5:18 and 6:28 total time), LJ Herburger of La Gente CO (8:32), and Thomas Dalton of Green River Grapplers NV (8:49). Team Aggression WA dominated with 12 pins and 33 technical falls.

Rocky Mountain Nationals 2018

Where the Great Get Tested & the Good Get Better

By Bill X. Barron – RMN Events Writer

Each wrestling season from October through May, RMN Events holds twenty large youth wrestling tournaments each with one thousand or more competitors in venues across the country in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, New Mexico, Nevada, and Wyoming. The culminating event for each of these individual events is the Rocky Mountain Nationals held in Denver over a span of three days in March.

The 2018 Rocky Mountain Nationals totaled 2,312 participants from 29 states as well as a full team from Canada. Wrestlers competed in middle and high school duals in addition to freestyle on Friday, then wrestled in a Folkstyle tournament format Saturday and Sunday for all age groups. Sunday’s national’s final bouts were individually announced by RMN CEO Ed Gutierrez and the contestants were featured on two elevated platforms.

Like the Rocky Mountains with which this tournament shares a name, the Rocky Mountain Nationals stands tall above the landscape of annual events. Now in its 19th year, the Rocky Mountain Nationals features wrestlers of all ages, beginning at age 6, going through age 18, as well as an Open Division (above 18).  Danny Coles (18U, 145 lbs.) of the Delchev Trained Club from Alberta became the first Canadian to earn the RMN Triple Crown.

In Friday’s team duals, Team Kansas (Red) won its seventh consecutive high school crown, while the middle school division welcomed a new team champion POWA from Pueblo, Colorado. The top three teams in the individual tournament were Ages 6-15 – Team Montana, 1st (Coach Mike Stokes); Bear Cave (CO), 2nd (Coach Ben VomBaur); Sons of Thunder (CO), 3rd (Coaches Jeff Estrada & Luke Morris). In the All-Star team category, the top teams were Team Kansas, 1st (Coach Eric Johnson); Golden Eagle WC (CO), 2nd (Coach Scott McDoniel); Duran Elite WC, 3rd (Coach David Duran).

Outstanding Wrestlers for the 2018 RM Nationals were determined by most pins in the least amount of time. 6 & Under: Aiden Axtell, CO (Duran WC); 8 & Under: Boden Harker, ID (Upper Valley Aces (ID); 10 & Under: Derek Barrows, CO (Bear Cave WC); 12 & Under: D’mitri Alarcon, CO (Bear Cave); 15 & Under: Matthew Moore, CO (CO Bad Boys); 18 & Under: Wyatt Hendrickson, KS (Team Kansas).

In addition to individual honors, there is the opportunity to earn several huge annual trophies which range from winning 3-6 championships. These recipients must win the Rocky Mountain Nationals in March and at least one title must be won outside of Colorado. For the 2017-18 wrestling season, there were 24 Triple Crown Winners (3 titles, representing 10 states and Canada), 18 Golden Gear Champions (4 titles, 7 states), nine RMN World Championship Belt Holders (5 titles, 5 states), and the most prestigious award: a record seven Ring of Fame Recipients (6 titles, 4 states).

Ring of Fame recipients winning six titles in 2017-18, including the 2018 Rocky Mountain Nationals: D’mitri Alarcon, 12U 98 lbs. – Bear Cave WC (CO), Boden Harker, 8U 58 lbs. – Upper Valley Aces (ID), Richard Flores Jr., 6U 37 lbs. – Adams City (CO), Riker O’Hearon, 8U 62 lbs. – Champions WC (UT), Austin Paris, 10U 65 lbs. – Champions WC (UT), Ryder Schulte, 8U 78 lbs. – Grindhouse (AZ), and Thomas Verrette, 10U 77 lbs. – Sons of Thunder (CO).