Castle View had its sights set on a top-five finish at the Class 5A state wrestling tournament.
Thanks to state championships won by Malik Heinselman and Tate Samuelson, the Sabercats did finish fifth.
Heinselman won his second consecutive 106-pound state title and ended the season unbeaten with a 44-0 record.
Samuelson, a runner-up last season at 160 pounds after an overtime loss in the finale, wrapped up a 44-0 campaign by winning the 170-pound championship in the three-day tournament, which concluded Feb. 18 at the Pepsi Center.
Heinselman and Samuelson, both juniors, combined to get 52 of the Sabercats' 79 points.
Adrian Marquez was third at 113 pounds to collect 19 points. David Nuriyav was 1-1 in the championship and 1-1 in the consolation bracket to pick up six points and 195-pounder Travis Gallaher gathered two points in the consolation round.
The only other wrestler from Castle Rock other than Heinselman, Samuelson and Marquez to place on the podium was Douglas County senior Micah Smith, who was sixth in the 220-pound division.
Heinselman for the most part was dominant in earning a 23-9 major decision over Grand Junction's Dawson Collins in the 106-pound title match, but his neck bridge kept him from getting pinned during the second period.
“I was really surprised,” Heinselman said. “I was like, dang, he is a strong kid. He attacked me there for a little but I kept my focus."
Castle View coach Ike Anderson knew Heinselman wouldn't let one mistake put him on his back and ruin his perfect high school season.
“That's why we practice bridges,” he said. “Things happen. He relaxed for a second and got a little overconfident. I wasn't worried.”
Samuelson earned points for a takedown in the first and second periods and went on to record a 4-1 victory over Nolan Krone of Pomona in the championship match.
“It feels pretty good to be undefeated and win a state title,” Samuelson said. “Not many guys are undefeated this season so it's pretty cool to be one of those. It feels so much better than last year to be a champion and not second place. I'm not done yet. Next year I want to get another state title, I'm going to the nationals in March and hope to get a top-three finish there too.”
Anderson noted the improvements Samuelson made during the season.
“He had a heck of a state tournament,” Anderson said. “We talked about him moving his feet, being patient and scoring takedowns. He got two takedowns which turned the match in our favor.''