Scorpions wrestling teams earn big wins in Arizona
Bloomfield, Aztec also crown individual winners at Window Rock meet
FARMINGTON — The Farmington High School boys and girls wrestling teams took home a majority of the championship hardware last weekend in Window Rock, Arizona.
Defeating teams from local schools like Aztec, Bloomfield and Kirtland Central, as well as squads from as far away as Winslow, Page and Monument Valley, Arizona, the Scorpions won both the boys and girls team titles in the Veterans Memorial Invitational, giving them a big boost heading into the winter break.
"Everyone wrestled well, and most importantly, we learned a lot about what we need to work on," Scorpions coach John Mason said. "Now, we’ve got to keep this momentum moving us in the right direction and get ready for the next one."
Farmington's Wycolt Henry defeated Kirtland Central's Zakk Thomas by pin fall to win the individual title at the 165-pound weight class, while Ivan Smith also captured an individual championship for the Scorpions, defeating Chinle's Timothy Clark at the 175-pound weight class.
The defending Class 5A state champion Scorpions were led by another outstanding effort from Kioni Benally, who won his 285-pound weight class and took home an award for outstanding wrestler in the heavyweight class after defeating Bloomfield's Robert Williams.
Farmington's boys team outscored Bloomfield by a score of 595-503.5, with Winslow High School, Miyamura and Aztec rounding out the top five.
Bloomfield was led by championship performances by Adan Benavidez, who took home the trophy when he defeated Joseph Rodriguez from Monument Valley in the 126-pound division, while also getting a win from Elias Johnson at the 132-pound weight class when he defeated Hector Frausto of Del Valle High School.
Sam Eveland also took home a championship for Bloomfield at the 144-pound weight class after defeating Bryan Larsen of Winslow.
"We really finished the year on a high note," Bloomfield coach JJ Sandoval said. "Hoping now that the kids will use this as some momentum going forward."
Bloomfield also got a championship effort from Diego Snell-Martinez, who won the 157-pound division with a win over Farmington's Nathan Sanders.
Aztec's Tony Thompson picked up an outstanding wrestler award and a clean sweep of the 150-pound weight class, going 4-0 in the competition, topped off by a win over Farmington's Logan Cambridge.
Aztec, the defending state champion in Class 4A, also has its focus turned to the start of the new year and a run at another state title.
"The month is moving along as expected as we develop and hone kids into the wrestlers who will defend our state title," Tigers head coach Herb Stinson said. "December is purely a learning opportunity, and we came away with a strong showing."
Also earning recognition for the Tigers were Logan Barboa (157 pounds) and Garrett Kirby (165 pounds), who picked up third-place finishes for the boys team.
For a complete list of team and individual winners in the boys tournament, check out the official website.
In the girls competition, the Scorpions topped Miyamura by a margin of 306-289. The top five girls teams were rounded out by Winslow, Round Valley and Casteel.
Farmington's Katrina Henry and Jadyn Begay finished second and third, respectively in the 107-pound weight class, while Ebony Smith captured the second place trophy at the 132-pound division and Lilly Delegarito represented the Scorpions well, finishing second in the 165-pound weight class.
Earning an individual title for Aztec was Princess Altisi, who was named the outstanding wrestler at the 145-pound weight class and went 4-0 against her competition. The Tigers' Makayla Munoz (132 pounds) finished third in her weight class.
For a complete listing of winners in the girls wrestling tournament, check out the official website.
Steve Bortstein can be reached via email at SBortstein@Gannett.com, via Twitter @DTSBortstein or on the phone at (505) 635-2680.