DENVER – Take a bow Mr. O’Blia and Mr. Garza-Alarcon, you’ve earned it.

Both seniors knew they were going to have their moment in the spotlight on Saturday night at Ball Arena as two of the six potential four-time champions set to be crowned before the action began.

They didn’t disappoint.

Mullen’s Dale O’Blia became No. 31 and shortly thereafter, Fort Lupton’s D’mitri Garza-Alarcon was No. 32.

For each of them, it was a journey that was merely a dream four years ago when they won as freshman, but became a reality in front of the usual packed house for the Parade of Champions.

“As a little kid, this is what I’ve always dreamed of,” said O’Blia, who took down Severance’s Jonathan Morrison (the same opponent from last year) 6-0 for the 120 pound title. “I knew this was a goal that I could accomplish after my freshman year. And I knew if I just set my mind to it, that I could accomplish it.”

Said Garza-Alarcon after his 6-1 decision of Mullen’s Gilbert Antillon at 138 pounds: “Honestly, it hasn’t hit me yet. It’s still lingering (in the back of my mind) and until I step upstairs and everybody’s crowded around me, then it will. I have a lot of pressure off of me and I just feel good now.”

Both wrestlers had a defined target on their back that comes with the amount of success they have had. For Garza-Alarcon, the renewed focus to get No. 4 came back in January at Centaurus’ Top of the Rockies and a championship loss to Trinidad’s Eddie Bowman.

“I over-thought it too much and I didn’t really wrestle my match because I was worried about what he was going to do,” said Garza-Alarcon of Bowman, who went out and beat another three time champ — Caleb Camp in the Class 2A 132-pound final. “So I went back to my coaches and asked what I was doing wrong. They simply said I was thinking too much and I knew from there I was just going to go out and have fun.”

Proof to the old adage, you learn more from any one loss than any great victory.

“You certainly don’t learn from winning. I mean, (this match) is good, but I don’t learn from it,” he said.

The ever patient Garza-Alarcon, whose pre-match ritual included his usual nap, got all the points he would need in the opening 11 seconds of the match. A nifty double-leg takedown had him up early 2-1. Antillon managed his only point of the match with an escape to start the second period to cut the lead in half, but it was short lived. Garza-Alarcon got takedown No. 2 moments later and rode it out to the third.

“I realized the last couple of years that you just don’t want to overthink your opponent,” he said. “You want to stay humble and just go out there and wrestle a good match and have fun. If you have fun, you’re going to win any match you want.”

He didn’t leave the match without a couple of celebrations, including a back-flip and hip toss takedown of his assistant coach and former Holy Family state champion Joseph Prieto. He will continue his wrestling career at the junior college level and then hopefully transfer to a bigger school to chase even bigger dreams. But for now, his legacy is cemented in Fort Lupton.

“There’s a couple of three-timers, but I wanted to make history, and that’s what I did,” he said. “And to do it in the town I grew up in, that’s all I wanted to do.”

O’Blia, who is headed to Princeton to wrestle, was more than familiar with Morrison — an opponent he had seen no less than four times in the last few years. So he was more than prepared for what he was bringing to the mat

(Dan Mohrmann/


“I knew he was going to come out on fire, it’s the state finals,” said O’Blia, who had an epic pre-match cross-mat staredown with his opponent. “So I just wanted to try and match his intensity, and just wrestle to the best of my abilities.”

He did just that and with a first period takedown 90 seconds in, O’Blia would have all he needed. A second period reversal and a third period takedown just added to his lead and he let his defense do the rest, not allowing the persistent Morrison to finish any attacks.

“It’s such a great accomplishment. All those people before me, I looked up to them and (Pomona’s) Daniel Cardenas was like an older brother to me,” said O’Blia of the now Stanford wrestler. “He was one of my role models growing up and to do this right after him is such a great accomplishment and I’m proud to be in that prestigious group.”

O’Blia had more than just an individual title on his mind. His Mullen Mustangs were in command of the team race, and he knew that every point was going to be critical to hold off Brush and Eaton to help win the school’s first title in the sport. O’Blia, Isaak Chavez (157) and Champion Dyes (285) all won titles to help the Mustangs pull away with 140.5 points to Brush’s 122.5

“It was in the back of my mind,” said O’Blia, who was joined by six other Mustangs on the podium. “It’s something that we’ve been talking about all season. We knew we had a deep team to make a title run. So we just put our focus on winning and taking care of ourselves and that everything would fall into place if we did that.”

Other accomplishments of note included Severance freshman Drake VomBaur capping off a perfect 41-0 season with a 7-3 victory over Eaton’s Blake Hawkins at 106 pounds and so to do Brush’s Ritchie Bruno (25-0) at 175 pounds; Jefferson’s Samuel Rosales captured his second title with a 14-2 major decision of Resurrection Christian’s Grant Slinkard at 126; Gunnison’s Royce Uhrig captured No. 3, pinning Pueblo Central’s David Sanchez in the first period.

Other winners on Saturday night included: Jefferson’s Enrique Soto (113), Brush’s Nick Dardanes (132), Gunnison’s Miles Harris (144), Pueblo Central’s Genaro Pino (165), Centauri’s Josh Polkowski (190) and Englewood’s Jayce Prante (215).

(Dan Mohrmann/

Class 3A wrestling champions

  • 106: Drake VomBaur (Severance)
  • 113: Enrique Soto (Jefferson)
  • 120: Dale O Blia (Mullen)
  • 126: Samuel Rosales (Jefferson)
  • 132: Nick Dardanes (Brush)
  • 138: D`mitri Garza-Alarcon (Fort Lupton)
  • 144: Miles Harris (Gunnison)
  • 150: Royce Uhrig (Gunnison)
  • 157: Isaak Chavez (Mullen)
  • 165: Genaro Pino (Pueblo Central)
  • 175: Ritchie Bruno (Brush)
  • 190: Josh Polkowske (Centauri)
  • 215: Jayce Prante (Englewood)
  • 285: Champion Dyes (Mullen)