The Piedra Vista wrestling team continued to roll through its competition as it picked up a tournament win at the Rocky Mountain Invitational in Pagosa Springs, Colo., on Saturday.

The Panthers nearly doubled the point total of its nearest competitors, finishing atop the standings with 277.5 points. Aztec and Air Academy, Colo., tied for second behind PV with team scores of 157.

Sophomore Sam Sandoval was named outstanding wrestler of the meet after emerging victorious in the 106-pound weight class.

Sandoval was joined by Philip Archuleta, Jacob Palmgren, Zach Ahlgrim and Christian Acosta as champions of their respective weight classes.

The Panthers also had four wrestlers place second with Aaron Rino, Dillon Strunk, Ryan Rino, John Ellsaesser finish as the runner-up in their divisions.

"It was a good performance by us," said PV head coach Levi Stout. "We ran into a lot of tough kids. I thought this was a good appetizer for Alamosa next week, which should be a step up in competition."

Anthony Juckes and Kason Wilkinson rebounded from losses to finish in third place for PV.

Aztec had a strong showing with Robert Escojeda winning the 132-pound weight class, and Adam Lucero topping the 170-pound division.

"I'm very happy with our kids' performance," said Tigers' head coach Monte Maxwell. "I'm looking forward to our growth over the next few weeks and rolling into district and state."

Monty Gomez and Vince Molina took second for Aztec, while Brad Hardin recorded a third place finish.


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Bloomfield also participated in the event, finishing in ninth as a team with 74 points.

The Piedra Vista junior varsity also came out with a major victory, winning the Kirtland Central Invite on Saturday.

The Panthers' JV squad defeated Shiprock for the 42-24 in the final.

"That was the highlight of the weekend," Stout said. "They're the reason our varsity is so tough. We have some tough JV kids who can fill in at any time like Aaron Rino had to do this week. The JV pushes our varsity. They might be able to finish top 12 in state. They're our future, and we won't have any rebuilding years. We'll just reload with those guys."

Kirtland Central finished in third place ahead of Dolores, Colo., who placed fourth.

Farmington had a disappointing meet as the Scorps only won their opening dual against Wingate before dropping their final four.

"We hoped that Thursday's match was a motivator, but we're still scrambling to find the recipe," said FHS assistant coach Jay Boushee. "We're in mid-January, and not wrestling well. We're going to increase the intensity in our head-to-head practices. We also have four kids out right now, and we're hopeful that their return will help us in the long run."

Boushee highlighted the performances of Tierney Staley, Champ Mendoza, Vlad Zahkarov and Aaron Newlon as the bright spots for the Scorps.

"They wrestled hard for us in every match," Boushee said. "Even if they lost they were tough out there."

The season will continue this week for most of the San Juan County squads.

PV will compete in the Alamosa Invite on Saturday. Aztec will prepare for a dual meet in Durango, Colo., before being joined by Kirtland Central at the Page, Ariz. Invite. FHS and Bloomfield travel to the Joe Vivian Classic on Friday and Saturday in Albuquerque.

Rocky Mountain Invite Placers

106- Sam Sandoval, Piedra Vista, 1st, Levi Whittey, Bloomfield, 4th

113- Philip Archuleta, Piedra Vista, 1st, Vince Molina, Aztec, 2nd

120- Jacob Palmgren, Piedra Vista, 1st

126- Jacob Langsford, Bloomfield, 4th

132- Robert Escojeda, Aztec, 1st, Anthony Juckes, Piedra Vista, 3rd

138- Aaron Rino, Piedra Vista, 2nd, Jesse Mitchell, Aztec 4th

145- Dillon Strunk, Piedra Vista, 2nd, Isaiah Valdez, Aztec, 4th

152- Ryan Rino, Piedra Vista, 2nd, Justis Francisco, Aztec, 5th, JD Robinson, Bloomfield, 6th

160- Sheldon Begaii, Bloomfield, 3rd, Joseph Kerr, Piedra Vista, 4th

170- Adam Lucero, Aztec, 1st, Wyatt Hardy, Piedra Vista, 5th, Jerome Abeyta, Bloomfield, 6th

182- John Ellsaesser, Piedra Vista, 2nd, Orien Israel, Aztec, 6th

195- Zach Ahlgrim, Piedra Vista 1st, Paul Jaramillo, Bloomfield, 4th, Austin Wagner, Aztec, 5th

220- Christian Acosta, Piedra Vista, 1st, Brad Hardin, Aztec, 3rd

285- Monty Gomez, Aztec, 2nd, Kason Wilkinson, Piedra Vista, 3rd