Aztec won four individual titles at the Rocky Mountain Invite to finish second in Pagosa Springs, Colo.
FARMINGTON — The Farmington wrestling team put together one of its best all-around performance of the season, placing third at the Al Salazar Memorial Tournament today in Santa Fe.
The tournament was originally scheduled for Friday and today, but schools in Santa Fe canceled classes Friday, forcing the tournament to be crammed into one day today.
“Overall, the team did really well. Out of the 12 kids we brought down, nine ended up placing, so that was a really good showing for Farmington wrestling,” Farmington coach Jesus Mendoza said.
The Scorps finished the tourney with 146 points.
Traedan Allison (138) and Aaron Newlon (152) reached the finals of their brackets, and both placed second.
Allison met Capital’s Jose Tapia, a four-time state champion, in the final and went all three periods, losing 8-0.
“He wrestled Tapia very tough. It doesn’t seem very good, but against Jose Tapia and his history, Traeden held own and did really well against him,” Mendoza said.
Mendoza said Newlon wrestled well all day, but made a couple of minor mistakes in the final that allowed Cobre’s Isiah Sifuentes to get the win by fall.
The standout performance on day came from eighth-grader Zach Small (126), who was wrestling in his first high school matches and placed third in his bracket.
“His tenacity and intensity and the no-quit mentality he had all day long was great,” Mendoza said. “I used him as an example for the entire team of how we should be wrestling.”
Shiprock joined the Scorps in Santa Fe and placed 16th with 20 points.
Zelldan Clark (160) led the Chieftains with a fourth-place finish.
Aztec finishes second at Rocky Mountain Invite
After beating Bayfield, Colo., in a dual Friday, the Tigers turned around and earned a second-place finish at the Rocky Mountain Invitational today in Pagosa Springs, Colo.
The Tigers finished the day with 168.5 points. Colorado’s Centauri High won the tourney with 181.5 points.
“They came out and wrestled tough. This was our best backside push we’ve had all season,” Aztec coach Monte Maxwell said. “They all wrestled well, and the guys on the back really put out for the team and performed well.”
Of the 12 wrestlers Aztec took to the tournament, 11 placed, with C.D. Simkins (106), Josiah Griego (113) Cody Candelaria (126) and Austin Littlefield (152) winning their brackets.
Bloomfield placed fifth with 143.5 points, and Kirtland Central finished sixth with 124 points.
The Bobcats got titles from Levi Whitley (132), Avery Scott (160) and Michael DeHerrera (220).
DeHerrera pinned all three of his three opponents in the first period.
“I was really pleased with the way the kids wrestled today,” Bloomfield coach Greg Shoemaker said. “We had a pretty young team up there, and we saw a lot of improvement from the kids.”
Kirtland Central coach JJ Sandoval said the Broncos had an up-and-down day, wrestling well for a couple of matches, only to have a couple of letdowns.
“We saw a lot of good things today, and we’re definitely improving, but were a little inconsistent,” Sandoval said. “There were times we’d come out and wrestle super, super good, but then other times we’d come out and didn’t look good at all. We have to be able to be consistent every match instead of every other round.”
Cody Manuelito (182) was the Broncos' only champion, but KC got third-place finishes from Myles Harvey (106), Isaac Thomas (170), Ian Thomas (195) and JyDen Dodge (285).
Karl Schneider is the sports editor for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4648.