Seager Oliver dominates opponents on his way to a first-pace finish at state tournament

Assistant Coach Casey Lynn hugs Seager Oliver after Oliver won the state championship on Saturday, Feb 22. Enlargephoto

Sam Green/Cortez Journal

Assistant Coach Casey Lynn hugs Seager Oliver after Oliver won the state championship on Saturday, Feb 22.

Few wrestlers ever experience the joy that accompanies winning a high school state championship.

After a spectacular weekend of wrestling, Montezuma-Cortez High School junior Seager Oliver can count himself among the select few that have.

Dominating in a way rarely seen at the Colorado State Wrestling Tournament, Oliver won three consecutive matches to secure the Class 4A 170-pound title.

Oliver eases through first round

Opening the state tournament on Feb. 20 against Woodland Park High School’s Josh Smith, Oliver dominated start to finish.

After controlling Smith early, Oliver nearly pinned his stocky opponent near the end of a first period that ended with the M-CHS standout leading 5-0.

Continuing to apply pressure in the second period, Oliver continued to rack up points, pulling ahead 15-0 with two seconds left in the second period to secure the victory.

“I just have to be mean and not give them anything,” said Oliver after the match.

Oliver dominates in quarterfinals

Looking no less unbeatable during a semifinals matchup against Jonathan Hernandez on Feb. 21, Oliver secured his spot in the finals with a 16-0 technical fall victory.

After Hernandez’s back early in the first period, Oliver racked up 11 consecutive points to pull ahead 11-0 entering the match’s second frame.

Continuing to toss Hernandez around like a rag doll, Oliver quickly scored five points to end the match with 1:34 left in the second period.

Oliver cruises through semis

Intent on advancing to the finals, Oliver again made easy work of a difficult opponent, outmuscling Pueblo South’s Mark Espinoza.

Controlling Espinoza from start to finish, Oliver took a 5-2 lead early before pulling away for a 10-2 victory.

Oliver easily wins championship

Matching up against Erie High School’s Ladd Bunker in the finals on Feb. 22, Oliver left little doubt as to his superiority.

Dominating from the start, Oliver pulled ahead 4-0 after the first period in route to a 10-2 decision victory.

Watching the clock expire in the final period, Oliver let out a spirited “yes” before quickly moving to congratulate his devastated opponent.

“I never thought that being a state champion would feel this good, but it sure does,” said Oliver.

With the victory, Oliver concluded his season with a 40-2 record.

Gross, Ramos, record wins

Also competing for the Montezuma-Cortez High School Panthers, juniors Levi Gross and Justice Ramos performed impressively.

Matching up against talented opponents, Gross and Ramos finished with 1-2 records.

Both juniors will look to return to the state tournament next season.

Seager Oliver takes down Ladd Bunker in the state championship match. Enlargephoto

Sam Green/Cortez Journal

Seager Oliver takes down Ladd Bunker in the state championship match.

Seager Oliver puts his signature move, the cheap tilt, on Ladd Bunker for a three-point near fall on his way to a 13-6 win to become the 4A state champion at 170 pounds. Enlargephoto

Sam Green/Cortez Journal

Seager Oliver puts his signature move, the cheap tilt, on Ladd Bunker for a three-point near fall on his way to a 13-6 win to become the 4A state champion at 170 pounds.