Manitou sending three wrestlers to state tournament

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The Manitou Springs wrestling teams are all smiles after last week’s regional tournaments. Wesley Reeves, Abbie Reeves and Kara Donegan will all compete at the state tournament at Ball Arena. From left, Kara Donegan, coach Paul Bonner, Wes Reeves, Abbie Reeves, Cam Jacobson, Brett Arnoldussen, Michaelray Abeyta and Bradyn Dowling. (Photo courtesy of Paul Bonner)

It’s so cool that we get to do this together. — Abbie Reeves

Family dinners for the Reeves siblings have been fun for the past several days. They’ll culminate with a trip up north together as both Wesley and Abbie won their respective regional tournaments to qualify for the state wrestling tournament at Ball Arena in Denver.

Teammate Kara Donegan also put together a solid regional showing and finished third. She’ll also represent the Mustangs at state.

For Wes, the win doesn’t come as a surprise as he has dominated the 190-pound ranks in Class 3A. He enters the tournament as the No. 2 overall seed and is looking to become the first Mustang to win a state title since 2001, when Brandon Pritchard accomplished that feat.

“I just have to keep training and keep training hard,” he says. “The key is to stay focused. The big part of this whole thing is the mental part of going to state and being the No. 2 seed.”

But he feels some levity with the situation, as he gets to experience state competition alongside his sister.

“This is the main reason I came back, to wrestle with Abbie,” Wes says. “And I love coach [Paul] Bonner. This is everything I’ve wanted this year.”

Wes won all three of his regional matches with pins in the first period. If anything, his energy will be high when he heads to Ball Arena for the state tournament’s first session, which begins at noon Thursday, Feb. 16.

Abbie’s win came as a little more of a surprise, considering she wasn’t the top seed in the 130-bracket at regionals. She beat Fort Lupton’s Valeria Villalobos by a pin in the second period, then battled to two decision wins to become Manitou Spring High School’s first girls regional wrestling champion.

“It was surprising,” Abbie says. “I didn’t think that I had won that last match.”

That was a 19-7 decision over Woodland Park’s Trinity Diamond on Feb. 10.

The next day, she was able to get to The Classical Academy and watch Wes just wreck every wrestler in his bracket. There was nothing but hugs and tears of joy between the two.

“I was so proud of him, and he was so proud of me,” Abbie says. “It’s so cool that we get to do this together with it being his senior year and going off to college.”

Donegan looked dominant in her first match, getting a first-period pin before moving onto the quarterfinals and battling to a 4-3 decision win over Fountain-Fort Carson’s Aryah Quintanilla. She lost in the semifinals but bounced right back to get two decision wins and advance to state.

The three Manitou wrestlers will kick off their state tournament runs on Thursday with placing matches wrapping up Saturday night at Ball Arena.

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