Panthers fall back one spot for an eighth-place finish in California
FARMINGTON – The Piedra Vista wrestling team had its sights set on a top-five finish at the Tournament of Champions in Norwalk, Calif., this week, but the Panthers finished eighth.
PV slipped back one spot on Wednesday after ending Tuesday night in seventh place. The team amassed a total of 128 points in the two-day tourney and was 1.5 points out of seventh.
Poway, Calif. — the 20th-ranked prep team in the country — won the meet easily with 318 points, which was 153 more than the second-place school.
Alberto Marquez (195), Sergio Quintana (160), Hosman Caraveo (152) and Diego Sanchez (106) wrestled hard, but each lost key matches on Wednesday that could have pushed PV into the top five had the outcomes been reversed.
"They win those close matches, and they're in the medal rounds," Panthers coach Michael Bejar said. "If they would have won those and placed, that would have given us more points."
Wes Rayburn (138) and Nick Rino (145) took second in their weight class for PV, while Dylan Greenhaus (120) claimed fourth.
Bejar said he and the assistant coaches were hopeful of making it into the top five overall, but still learned a lot from the competitive meet.
"All in all, it was much needed for us," he said. "We lost some close matches, and we had some bad losses in the finals, but I think we definitely found out where our weaknesses are. And that's good. We needed to know that."
The Panthers came out of the Tournament of Champions as healthy as they went in, which is another positive takeaway for Bejar and the coaches.
PV will be off for two weeks before making a trip to Winslow, Ariz., for the Doc Wright Tournament on Jan. 15. Bejar said his team will take what it learned in Norwalk and apply it to practices over these next two weeks.
"Our schedule's not gonna get any easier, and that's a good thing," he said. "They're always tough in Arizona. It's great to see different styles before we get to districts, and that's what we'll be preparing for next."
Jake Newby covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.