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O'Blia is a champion

By Neil H. Devlin, Mullen Sports Information Director
Freshman goes undefeated in winning at 3A 106; program's first champ in 5 seasons; Linares and Valdez-Lemos take 3rd as 5-of-6 qualifiers place. 
He entered in late January as someone to watch after his middle-school days.

Into mid-March, he’s an undefeated Colorado champion.

Freshman Dale O’Blia won the Class 3A 106-pound title on Friday night in Pueblo at the Southwest Motors Events Center. He is the Mustangs’ first champion since Sam DeSeriere won Heavyweight as a junior in 2017 as O’Blia highlighted the program’s best season in years.

O’Blia was terrific throughout a new Season B because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, a shortened season in which he was 17-0 and competed at a state tournament that was held in one day as opposed to the usual three.  From his first match as a schoolboy, which resulted in a forfeit victory, to his 6-4 decision of Colorado Springs Christian’s Anthony Isek (22-2) in the class final, O’Blia was stellar.

He also earned a 10-0 major decision in the opening round of the state tournament over a senior and a pin in 5 minutes, 47 seconds in the second round.

Elsewhere on Friday, Noah Linares (126) and Kaleb Valdez-Lemos (160) earned third-place victories.

Linares, a junior, ended 10-2. He opened with a 13-1 major decision  before dropping a tight, 3-2 bout in the semifinals to eventual champion and undefeated D’mitri Garza-Alarcon. Linares responded with a 9-4 decision in his first consolation bout and a 3-2 victory in the conso final.

Valdez-Lemos, a sophomore, earned his placing the hard way and through familiarity. He lost his first-rounder to Resurrection Christian’s Eddie Lemos, a 5-3 decision; responded in consos with a major decision and a three-point decision; and won the conso finale with a 5-2 victory over Lemos. Valdez-Lemos was 15-4 on the season.

Another Mustang, junior Mark Troni, was unable to compete at 145 because of injury.

Overall, head coach John Howes had five of his seven qualifiers place.

On Thursday in the first sanctioned girls season, Alina Antillon, a junior, was second at 136 and freshman Makenzie Krenz, was fourth at 127.

Teamwise, Mullen was seventh (48 points) among 38 schools in 3A boys, The team champion was Pagosa Springs (110.5).

Complete results are at www.trackwrestling.com.