In a performance befitting the two-time defending state champs, the Piedra Vista wrestling team dominated its competition on the way to claiming the title at the Panther Invite on Saturday.

PV defeated St. Michael's 55-18 in the final match of the gold bracket to win the event.

The Panthers will use the experience gained going forward as they try to build toward a third state championship.

"St. Mike's is a great opponent. Belen was a great opponent," said PV head coach Levi Stout. "They are missing a few guys here and there, but it was quality mat time today."

PV won 10 of the 14 matches in the final with seven wrestlers winning via pin.

The Panthers advanced easily through their pool, defeating Los Alamos and Del Norte.

Once in the bracket, PV then dispatched of Santa Fe in the first round 59-15 and Belen in the semifinals 74-5.

Piedra Vista now sets its sights on the next meet in Springerville, Ariz.

"We seeking some tougher areas," Stout said. "Arizona has great wrestling. Colorado has great wrestling. We're trying to get away from the four corners area for a little bit and maybe pick up some new moves or get some new looks, then come back and try to dominate."

Aztec finished in third place after defeating Santa Fe 43-33.

"We did a lot of growing and got to see some different people," said Tigers' head coach Monte Maxwell. "We had a lot of bright spots throughout the lineup. We also saw some things we needed to correct and that we can work on over the break.


Advertisement

"

The Tigers won four of their five matches, losing only to Dove Creek, Colo., 40-30.

Aztec defeated Shiprock and Espanola Valley in their pool and beat Belen 43-42 to advance to the third-place match.

Bloomfield was victorious in the silver bracket.

The Bobcats slipped up against St. Michael's in a pool match, but responded by defeating Los Lunas 36-33 and Los Alamos 45-30 to win the consolation title.

"We just need to work harder," said Bloomfield head coach Greg Shoemaker. "We didn't match St. Mike's strengthwise. We showed we could come back after a little adversity though. We just kept hanging tough. Even when we weren't wrestling our best we kept hanging in there."

Kirtland Central won two of its five matches at the event, defeating Dolores, Colo., in pool play and Gallup in the consolation bracket, while dropping matches against Los Alamos, Los Lunas and Santa Fe.

Shiprock also won twice defeating Gallup and Espanola Valley and falling to Los Lunas and Aztec.