RMN Events Hosts 20th Annual National Championships
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); other 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.