Panthers place third in Las Cruces
Rayburn receives outstanding wrestler award
FARMINGTON – The Piedra Vista wrestling team claimed a third-place finish out of 15 schools in the two-day Las Cruces Invitational that concluded Saturday at Las Cruces High School.
“It was a tough tourney where we took a step in the right direction and got our 1 percent improvement and, in some cases, 2 percent,” PV coach Michael Bejar said.
Cleveland, the top-ranked team in the state, was way out ahead of the pack in first with 242.5 points. Ironwood Ridge, Ariz., which is ranked second in its state, placed second with 213.5 points, just ahead of PV's 207.
Wes Rayburn (138) and Hosman Caraveo (152) brought home individual titles, and Rayburn received the Outstanding Wrestler award.
“He puts in the time in the off-season and dedicates himself to each practice,” Bejar said of Rayburn, a sophomore. “He has that mentality that he’s going to break everyone he runs into, and it starts in the practice room.”
Dylan Greenhaus (120), Taylor Atencio (132), Segio Quintana (170) and Alberto Marquez (195) each placed third for the Panthers. Nick Rino (145) took fourth, and Adrian Tarwater (220) snagged fifth.
PV finished second in its first meet of the year, the Moab tournament, and only missed first place by 4 points. Bejar said his team continued to trend upward in Las Cruces.
“We’re starting to find our identity again and wrestle like we know we’re capable of, and that’s with that predator mentality,” he said.
Bejar said he hopes to see more of the gradual improvement he's seen from his team this month in Saturday's Panther Classic, which will be held at PV High.
“We still have a lot to work on and aren’t going to rest on this placing,” he said. “We’re not satisfied yet.”
Last year, PV capped a dominant Panther Classic by beating its junior varsity squad 66-9 to claim the title.
Jake Newby covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.