Smith earns All-American status after national wrestling event

Steven Bortstein
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON − Farmington High School's Ivan Smith earned All-American status this past weekend after finishing eighth in his weight class at the National High School Coaches Association's Nationals which took place in Virginia Beach.

Smith, who successfully defended his Class 5A state title last month at the New Mexico Activities Association's state wrestling championships, won five of his eight matches at the 160-pound weight class, beating some of the top wrestlers in the nation in the two-day event.

On his way to his eighth-place finish in the nationals, Smith was victorious over wrestlers from South Carolina, as well as Colorado, North Dakota before losing in the seventh-place match to Stas Gavronsky from Woonsocket (Massachusetts) High School.

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Finishing eighth overall in the competition assures Smith of All-American status. In addition to his new title, Smith was also recently recognized by New Mexico Wrestling as the top prep wrestler in the state.

Smith's record over four seasons at Farmington High is an impressive 148-14 with two state titles and four appearances in the state tournament.

Smith, who recently signed a letter of intent to attend New Mexico Highlands University later this year, becomes the first Farmington High School wrestler to achieve All-American status since Zackary Small received that honor in 2020.

Farmington High School's Ivan Smith flexes after his 170 lbs. championship match win against Los Luna's Miguel Andrade on Saturday, Feb. 19, at Rio Rancho Events Center.

Athletes are considered All-Americans when they finish eighth or better in a nationally sanctioned championship event.

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Three other local wrestlers competed in the nationals last weekend, with Aztec's Jaylen Ignacio (220-pound division) and Bryson Valdez (113-pound) winning a combined seven of 11 matches. Piedra Vista's Reed McCarty (138-pound) also won a pair of matches in the event.

Valdez, Ignacio and McCarty are all juniors and all are expected to be back next season to compete for their respective high school teams.

For more information about the nationals event, including full results and more, check out flowrestling.com.

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