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Five storylines to watch in the second half

With the regional tournament one month away and the start of the state tournament looming Feb. 15, Denver Post preps editor Kyle Newman breaks down five storylines to watch in Classes 5A and 4A wrestling during the second half of the season.

Pomona, County dominating

If the first half of the season has cemented anything, it’s that it’s going to be tough to deny two-time defending champions Pomona (5A) and Pueblo County (4A) of a three-peat at the Pepsi Center.

Both teams are top-ranked by On The Mat and are loaded, with the Panthers highlighted by defending champions Theorius Robison (No. 1 at 132 pounds) and Colton Yapoujian (No. 1 at 138), while the Hornets also boast a defending champion in Brendon Garcia (No. 1 at 113).

And beyond each team’s star power, the depth of both programs — the Panthers have five wrestlers in the top four in their respective weights, and the Hornets have eight — will likely make it a one-horse race at state in each classification.

Watch out for Windsor

The Wizards are No. 2 in 4A thanks to a core featuring Will Vombaur (No. 2 at 113), Vance Vombaur (No. 1 at 120), Dominick Serrano (No. 1 at 126), Cody Eaton (No. 4 at 152), Isaiah Salazar (No. 1 at 170) and Victor Bravo (No. 4 at 285).

Tenth-year coach Monte Trusty specifically credited the Vombaur brothers, as well as the team’s defending state champions in Serrano and Salazar (who won a 3A title at Eaton last season), with motivating the team as a whole.

“Our leaders have elevated the room, and if we’re on a lift or a run, those guys are out in front pushing the pace,” Trusty said. “That increased intensity on the training side of things has translated to the competition side of things for everyone in our lineup.”

Brighton keeps on building

Brighton is back again with an array of scrappy grapplers who are intent on proving last year’s third-place team finish at state — the first time the Bulldogs had finished in the top five in a decade — was no fluke.

Though 5A No. 5 Brighton like can’t challenge Pomona for the program’s eighth state title and first since 1994, the Bulldogs do have an array of guys who can make noise at the Pepsi Center, including Kenny Sailas (No. 3 at 106), Jarron Martinez (No. 3 at 113), Nathan Baca (No. 5 at 160), Tarron Adams (No. 4 at 170), Santana Solano (No. 5 at 220) and Marselino Vazquez (No. 4 at 285).

And with the recent return of G’avonti Patton at 126 and Ian Helwick at 285, the Bulldogs will see some shuffling in a lineup that is only getting deeper.

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