DENVER – With championship medals around their necks and tears in their eyes, two Class 3A wrestlers plan on coming back to Ball Arena in 2024 to make history for their schools.

Mullen’s Dale O’Bila (113 pounds) and Fort Lupton’s D’mitri Garza-Alarcon (138) each won their third state wrestling titles at Ball Arena on Saturday. That means they’ll return as seniors with a chance to win championship No. 4. There will be a total of six grapplers going for that honor in 2024, four boys and two girls.

There will be plenty of time over the next 52 weeks to think about their fourth title, for now they just want to enjoy the accomplishment of making through another state tournament with four wins and no losses to their names.

“It feels great that I accomplished this,” O’Bila said. “My goal is just getting on to bigger and better things.”

O’Bila has already made school history by becoming Mullen’s first three-time wrestling champion. Last year he joined Brian Benight (1999-2000) as the school’s second two-time champion.

His win this year already makes him a wrestling legend for the Mustangs, but he’s not ready to settle on what he has already accomplished. He has plenty more in mind.

“It’s just another stepping stone to my ultimate goal,” he said.

Garza-Alarcon becomes the seventh three-time champion for the Bluedevils, following in the footsteps of Vince Holton, Sonny Bachicha, Jarrod Nelson, Saul Guerrero, Dale Schull and Jody Sandoval. Nelson was a four-time state finalist, but a fourth title eluded him, a fate that Garza-Alarcon is looking to avoid at this time next year.

Before he can even think about that, however, he was overcome with emotion by becoming a three-time champion.

“It makes me want to cry,” he said. “I just want to go wrestle another state match. It’s the best feeling in the world.

It was a familiar sight with Eaton raising the team championship trophy at the end of the night. This is the third title for Eaton in the last four years and the third overall team title for the program. That includes a shared title with Valley in 2020. Pagosa Springs won the title in 2021 and now Eaton has claimed the last two.

Eaton had two wrestlers going for individual titles as Blake Hawkins wrestled at 106 and Jackson Tribbett at 157. Neither one emerged victorious, but as a consolation, the team will get to celebrate another state title.

Despite not getting an individual champion, Eaton showed the depth needed to accumulate the team points it needed to add a third piece of hardware to the school’s trophy case.

“It shows a lot of heart from the guys on the backside [of the bracket],” Hawkins said. “Those guys who lost in the semis or the quarters, they had to battle their way through the backside to place and they had tough matches. They did what they had to for us to get that first place position.”

Eaton totaled 128 points as a team to hold off Severance and Brush. The team loses just three seniors in Jake Hergenreter (138 pounds), Aidan Juhl (150 pounds) and Ryder True (285). Considering Eaton came into the state tournament with a qualifier in every eight class, it’s not a stretch think it is the favorite to claim another.

(Dan Mohrmann/

Class 3A state wrestling champions

  • 106: Thomas Lee (Elizabeth)
  • 113: Dale O’Blia (Mullen)
  • 120 Samuel Rosales (Jefferson)
  • 126: Kaden Hixson (Moffat County)
  • 132: Royce Uhrig (Gunnison)
  • 138: D`mitri Garza-Alarcon (Fort Lupton)
  • 144: Zach Marrero (Strasburg)
  • 150: Isaac Ibarra (Skyview)
  • 157: Jonathan Malovich (Platte Valley)
  • 165: Paxton Daggett (University)
  • 175: Kaleb Valdez-Lemos (Mullen)
  • 190: Colby Runner (Severance)
  • 215: Drew Johnson (Salida)
  • 285: Aidan Trujillo (Valley)