Aztec, Farmington wrestling teams striding towards district titles
FARMINGTON — Local high school wrestling teams took big steps this past weekend towards defending their respective state championships.
Aztec High School stood out this past weekend, sweeping their rivals in district duals competition on their way to a sixth straight title, while Farmington finished second in district duals this past weekend ahead of this weekend's district championship meet.
The Tigers, three-time defending Class 4A champions and in search of their fifth consecutive state title, swept past Kirtland, Gallup, Shiprock, Miyamura and Bloomfield to win their District 1-4A duals meet by a combined score of 305-66.
Individual standout performances were turned in by Taner Olguin, Bryson Valdez and Tony Thompson, as well as Logan Barboa and Jacob Greyeyes, who all went unbeaten during the duals, helping Aztec achieve a mark of 55 wins and 10 losses during the meet.
For the season, Aztec has finished 17-2 in duals competition.
The Tigers boys wrestling team will be back in action for the district championship, which gets underway Saturday morning at Miyamura High School.
The girls wrestling district championships will be held on Thursday also at Miyamura High School, with Aztec's Makayla Munoz, Princess Altisis, Brynn Kirby and Mia Melendez all expected to qualify for the state finals.
Despite being a team low on numbers throughout much of the season, Aztec wrestling coach Herb Stinson has optimism for the unit during these important few weeks and going forward.
"With small team numbers, they have been able to bring back hardware and beat teams with more girls on them," Stinson said. "With a good recruiting year next season, it could bring us the number that our girls program deserves."
The girls wrestling team performed well last week, finishing with a mark of 10-3 in duals against Farmington, Piedra Vista and Bloomfield.
The Farmington wrestling team stumbled a bit this past weekend at the Scorpion Arena in District 2-5A duals against La Cueva and Eldorado High Schools.
The Scorpions beat Eldorado by a score of 54-30, but lost to La Cueva 49-25. The duals served as a preview of this weekend's district championship meet, which takes place Saturday at Piedra Vista High School. Farmington remains on pace to defend their Class 5A state championship.
"It was a rough night," said Farmington wrestling coach John Mason. "We've got two weeks to tighten things up and make our run for the blue trophy."
Following this weekend's district finals, qualifying teams will head to the Rio Rancho Events Center for the state championships, which will be held Feb. 18 and 19.
Steve Bortstein can be reached via email at SBortstein@Gannett.com, via Twitter @DTSBortstein or on the phone at (505) 635-2680.