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Senior wrestlers honored

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The Basalt High School Wrestling Program honored four seniors before taking on the Rifle Bears on Friday night in Carbondale. For seniors José Muñoz, a student at Bridges High School, and Brady Samuelson, a student at Roaring Fork High School, it was a doubly special evening. Both boys have worn the purple and gold of Basalt for their entire careers, but rarely get the chance to wrestle in their home gymnasium at Roaring Fork High School.

Before the wrestling got underway, Basalt Assistant Coach Ryan Bradley recognized Brianda Murrieta of Basalt for her years of support as team manager. Up next was Nayeli Membreno, a senior and first-year wrestler for the Lady Longhorns in their inaugural season, followed by “Big Man” Muñoz, a four-year member of the varsity squad. Samuelson rounded out the list of seniors, thanking his family for their support of his wrestling career, which began in second grade.

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Senior Nayeli Membreno throws her opponent to the ground. Photo by Sue Rollyson

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The girls varsity dual between Basalt and Rifle featured two teams in their first year of existence. Basalt’s Paola Cruz Andrade pinned Rifle’s Breauna Sigmon in the second period of their match, while Basalt’s Roselyne Bernal won a 5-2 decision over Rifle’s Mikhayla Washington. Nayeli Membreno and Emely Mejia Garcia of Basalt both won by default, as did Rifle’s Madison Farris for Rifle’s only points of the dual, which finished 21-6 in favor of the Lady Longhorns. Coach Bradley is hopeful that the success of the girls varsity squad this year will inspire younger wrestlers thinking of joining the team.

On the boys side, the Rifle Bears got an early 18-0 lead after three consecutive pins. Basalt’s Dayton Schenk pinned Rifle’s Alex Murchinson to stop the Bear’s momentum, before a pin by Samuelson gave the Longhorns hope and got the crowd going. Muñoz then won by forfeit, evening up the dual 18-18.

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Senior Brady Samuelson scores six points with a quick pin. Photo by Sue Rollyson

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Pins for Rifle’s Ayden Piatt and Basalt’s Towler Scott kept the dual even, and Roaney Requeno pinned Rifle’s Tucker Collier to give Basalt a 30-24 lead with four matches to go. The only match of the dual that went all three periods saw Rifle’s Gavin Nash win a 14-2 decision over Basalt’s Ivan Babonoyaba. Rifle’s Jordan Irwin then pinned Bronze Urfrig of Roaring Fork High School, earning a 34-30 lead for the Bears. Rifle’s Trety Trouskie and Parker Miller both pinned their opponents to seal a 46-30 victory for their team.

Following the duals, several wrestlers got the chance to compete in exhibition matches, which included pins for Basalt’s Membreno and Luca Shafer.

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The evening was a testament to the cooperative work done by Basalt Athletic Director Jason Santo and Roaring Fork Athletic Director Crista Barlow, as well as Coach Ryan Bradley, who had a vision for celebrating their senior wrestlers and brought the community together to pull it off. When asked what his senior wrestlers mean to the program, Coach Bradley did not hold back. “Brady and José give a lot of hope to the young wrestlers who are taking their lumps that if they work hard and learn to wrestle they can compete at a high level.”

Tags: #Basalt High School #Brady Samuelson #Brianda Murrieta #Crista Barlow #Emely Mejia Garcia #Jason Santo #José Muñoz #Lady Longhorns #Luca Shafer #Nayeli Membreno #Paola Cruz Andrade #Roselyne Bernal #Ryan Bradley #sports #wrestling
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