Megan Farmer — The Daily TimesPiedra Vista junior wrestler Zach Ahlgrim stands below the Piedra Vista High School wrestling logo on Monday at the
Megan Farmer — The Daily TimesPiedra Vista junior wrestler Zach Ahlgrim stands below the Piedra Vista High School wrestling logo on Monday at the high school. Ahlgrim was named outstanding heavyweight wrestler for the Panther Invite tournament on Saturday.

FARMINGTON — After a third-place finish at 195 pounds in the 4A state meet last season, Piedra Vista's Zach Ahlgrim has stepped up a weight class and set his sights on a championship.

Ahlgrim is off to a good start in accomplishing that goal this year after earning the heavyweights outstanding wrestler honor at the Panther Invite on Saturday.

The junior swept through his matches in the 220-pound weight division during the tournament, highlighted by a pin of Miyamura's Brandon Gray, the third-place finisher at state in 2013 for the weight class.

PV head coach Levi Stout said he's been impressed by Ahlgrim's ability to finish off matches.

"He just puts people away," Stout said. "He wrestled a returning state-placer from Miyamura at 220 and just stuck him. He barred him up and put him away."

To get to that state championship level, Ahlgrim said his focus has been on getting in the best shape possible.

"I'm working on my set ups and conditioning," he said. "My conditioning is the most important, because last year, I gassed out a lot."

Ahlgrim is a three-sport star who also plays football and baseball for the Panthers and said wrestling works well with his other sports.

"Wrestling keeps me in great shape," he said. "You have to be dedicated and wrestling helps with my focus and keeps me doing what I need to."

Stout said he believes Ahlgrim has all the skills necessary to come out with a state championship in February.

"He works hard and has the strength and speed," Stout said. "He's so fast for a big man. I don't think people can keep up with him. He's just got to put the work in here and keep grinding."

On top of adding an individual championship, Ahlgrim said he's ready to be a big part in bringing the Panthers their fourth-straight 4A team state title.

"I feel like we're even better than we were last season," he said.

Joshua Perry covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577 or jperry@daily-times.com. Follow him on Twitter @jperrysuu.

10 questions with Zach Ahlgrim

Favorite athlete: Derek Jeter.

Favorite food: Steak.

Dream car: A big, four-wheel drive truck.

Dream vacation spot: Bahamas.

Favorite movie: 21 Jump Street.

What is your favorite and least favorite class: My least favorite is math and my favorite is history.

Which is your favorite sport to play, Football, Baseball or Wrestling: Baseball.

What's at the top of your Christmas wish list: Just spending some time with my family.

Favorite team: New York Yankees.

What are you plans after high school: Go play college baseball.