Farmington grabs second straight title, Munoz and Altsisi repeat as champs

Steven Bortstein
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — For the second consecutive year, the Farmington High School wrestling team took home a state championship in the Class 5A state tournament finals, held Saturday at the Rio Rancho Events Center.

Meantime, the duo of Princess Altsisi and Makayla Munoz repeated as state champions from Aztec High School in girls wrestling competition.

Here's a recap of Saturday's state championship finals.

Boys wrestling

Farmington successfully defends 5A title

The Farmington High School boys wrestling team took home their second consecutive state title, narrowly prevailing over La Cueva, Los Lunas and Cleveland during the 5A state finals held Saturday at the Rio Rancho Event Center.

Thanks to individual championship performances by junior Ivan Smith and senior Kioni Benally, Farmington earned a combined team score of 163 points, nine points ahead of La Cueva, successfully defending their Class 5A title. 

Farmington joins Aztec High School in capturing state wrestling championships this season. On Friday, the Tigers boys wrestling team won their fifth straight state title, edging Bloomfield, Silver and Belen.

Smith, wrestling at the 170-lb. division, won the individual state title after defeating Miguel Andrade of Los Lunas in a 1-0 decision. Smith finishes the season with a record of 31 wins and only one loss.

Benally also wrapped up a nearly perfect season at the 285-lb. weight class, earning a first place medal at the state championships after defeating Ryan Vega of Los Lunas by pinfall. Wrestling at the highest weight class, Benally went 31-1 on the season.

The Farmington High School boys wrestling team poses for photos after winning the Class 5A state championship, Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022 at the Rio Rancho Event Center

Farmington's High sophomore Isaac Foutz took home a third-place medal at the 182-lb. weight class, defeating Rene Pages from Hobbs. 

Senior Ezequiel Borunda also took home a third-place medal at the 195-lb. weight class, pinning Las Cruces High School senior Matt Franco.

"This team battles. We've been in close battles all year," said Scorpions wrestling coach John Mason. "Everyone contributed to this win."

Piedra Vista junior Zander Bahri took home a third place medal at the 126-lb. weight class, defeating Aaron Zamora of Los Lunas. The Panthers team finished 17th of the 28 teams which participated in the state championships.

For a complete listing of results and scores from the Class 5A finals, check out trackwrestling.com.

Girls wrestling

Munoz, Altsisi repeat as state champs

Aztec High School girls wrestlers Princess Altsisi and Makayla Munoz finished off their seasons once again capturing state titles at the state championship tournament Saturday at the Rio Rancho Event Center.

Altsisi, completing a perfect season with a record of 36-0, won her third straight state title, winning the 138-lb. weight class in the first place match over Priscilla Gonzalez of  Atrisco Heritage Academy by pinfall.

Munoz, also earning her third straight state title, took home top prize at the 126-lb. division, defeating Cleveland High School's Heaven Handy by pinfall. 

Munoz finished the year with a record of 35-1 and helped the Aztec girls wrestling team earn a second place trophy behind Miyamura.

Aztec's girls wrestling team poses for photos after claiming second place in New Mexico's state championships, Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022 at the Rio Rancho Event Center.

Altsisi will be looking to further her wrestling career at the college level next year, while Munoz will be returning to Aztec for her senior year. The two have made headlines throughout their prep wrestling campaigns.

"They've both been so special all year long," coach Herb Stinson said of both Altsisi and Munoz. "The process of getting girls into wrestling is always tough. College wrestling programs are begging for more talent. It's an unmasking and a process of discovering the opportunities to move forward."

In all, four of the top 10 New Mexico programs in girls wrestling hail from the northwest portion of the state, which Stinson believes is a reflection of the quality of competition in the region.

"I was so happy to see Farmington's boys team win the title, and their success with the girls team," Stinson said. "It means a lot for this area and for the future success of teams in the county."

The Miyamura girls team took home the blue trophy with a combined score of 80 points, led by 107-lb. weight class champion Lorianna Piestewa as well as runner-ups Taniel Espinosa, Neveah Young and Hannah Mariano.

More wrestling:Aztec, Farmington girls win district titles ahead of state tournament

Farmington High School's girls team took home a fifth-place title in the state tournament, headlined by sophomore Ebony Smith, who won the 132-lb. title defeating Young by pinfall.

Kirtland Central finished in a tie for 15th in the state scores, earning an individual state title when Jojera Dodge, winning her third individual state title, pinned Samantha Gomez of Volcano Vista to win the 235-lb. division.

Bloomfield finished 10th in the state finals, with Amia Goins finishing second at the 165-lb. weight class, losing in the first place match to Alexa Valdez of Cibola.

For a complete listing of results from the girls state wrestling championships, visit trackwrestling.com.

Steve Bortstein can be reached via email at SBortstein@Gannett.com, via Twitter @DTSBortstein or on the phone at (505) 635-2680.