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Hawk club grapplers compete in and enjoy King of the Mountain


December 7, 2017

Courtesy photo

THE MILE HIGH CLUB - Blue Hawk Wrestling Club coach Mike Thilmony and club grapplers Shane Reishus, Spur Ryan, Trae Thilmony, Elijah Ratliff and Max Hannum visited Mile High Stadium in Denver when in Colorado for the King of the Mountain Tournament in Castle Rock last week.

It's good to be at the King of the Mountain; it's even better when you do well there.

A contingent of five Blue Hawk Wrestling Club grapplers competed in the King of the Mountain youth wrestling tournament in Castle Rock, Colo. (a suburb of Denver) last weekend. One of the largest youth tournament during any given year in the U.S., the King of the Mountain signals the end of the fall season for the local club grapplers.

As he has for the past several years, club coach Mike Thilmony accompanied the young wrestlers on the trip, taking five Falls grapplers into the fray this time.

Thilmony's son Trae had the best result, winning a sixth place medal in the Middle School – 102 pound division, building a record of 3-3 over the two days. Spur Ryan went 1-2 in the Middle School-97 class, Elijah Ratliff was 1-2 at MS-102, Max Hannum 0-2 at MS-114 and Shane Reishus 0-2 at MS-119.

Coach Thilmony said a tough first round, where all five Falls grapplers lost, was difficult to overcome.

"We always seem to come out a little flat in this tournament, and it happened again," he said. "Maybe it is because of the atmosphere of the event; or the mile-high elevation in Denver; or the fact that there are a lot of Olympic-quality athletes in the stands watching; but it always seems to take a few matches for everyone to get up to speed for some reason."

Taking nothing away from his kids, Thilmony said they all battled back gamely, and learned a lot from the experience.

"They all wrestled much better after that first round," he said. "Tournaments like this where every kid you see is very good, makes us better wrestlers and helps build confidence in the long run. We are really proud of the way they competed in this meet."

And the trip was not all about only wrestling. Arriving early in Denver Friday, Thilmony said the local entourage got the chance to visit storied Mile High Stadium, where the Denver Broncos play their National Football League games, that day. "We try to do something different away from wrestling each time we go there," Thilmony offered. "The Olympic Training Center is also nearby, there is just a lot to go out and see in the area. It's just a really fun trip for everyone."

Thilmony said the trip would not be possible without some generous donors.

"We owe a special thank you to the Knights of Columbus and to Liz Ostwald at Ameriprise Financial," he said. "We would not be able to do this without their help."

Thilmony also thanked the organizers and participants from the annual benefit golf tournament held at River's Bend during the summer. Proceeds from that event help fund club activities such as sending wrestlers to tournaments like the Bigfoot Battle in Spokane and the King of the Mountain in Colorado.


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