Story and photo by Daniel Mohrmann
After a couple weeks off for the winter break, the Manitou Springs wrestling team returned to action as it traveled to Denver South for the 2023 Raven Rumble. Both teams put together solid efforts, with the boys finishing third out of 12 teams and the girls finishing fifth of 12 teams.
The usual suspects left Denver with the expected hardware as Wesley Reeves won the 190-pound title, while Bradyn Dowling took second at 215.
“Excitement is the word I would use (for this weekend),” coach Paul Bonner said. “We keep talking to the kids that it’s no secret that the key to success is consistency. For the most part, a lot of the kids were consistently at practice over break.”
In a rare occurrence, teammates Brett Arnoldussen and Connor Crossen wrestled each other for third place in the 132-pound bracket. Arnoldussen worked his way to a technical fall victory (17-0).
Cody Wyman took third at 144 and, overall, nine Manitou boys made their way to the podium at the tournament.
The girls’ strong team finish was built on the strength of first-place finishes from Abbie Reeves (130) and Kara Donegan (135).
Both champions pinned each of their opponents; Reeves showed complete dominance in her championship match, pinning Legacy’s Emilia Garcia in just 45 seconds to secure the win. Her overall effort was good enough that she was voted the outstanding wrestler of the entire tournament.
The gears will now shift for the team as they begin to ponder what they can accomplish at the state tournament in a little more than five weeks.
“We’ll have some shorter practices that are a little more intense and more intentional,” Bonner said. “We need to be working and drilling specific aspects of each wrestler’s game plan.”
The Mustangs venture to arguably their toughest challenge of the year as they head to the Florence Invite this weekend. Regarded as a “mini 3A state tournament,” the Mustangs will likely see the best opponents from all across the state.