FARMINGTON – A bomb threat at Gallup High School today delayed wrestling action for the Four Corners Duals, but when teams were able to get on the mat, there was no slowing down Kirtland Central.
After about a two-hour delay because of the bomb threat, the Broncos finished the day 5-0, beating host Gallup, Miyamura, Grants, Shiprock and Newcomb to win the title.
“We beat everybody that we wrestled,” KC head coach JJ Sandoval said. “Our closest one was with Miyamura. We beat them 37-31. It came down to the last match, and we ended up pinning their kid for the win and to win the dual.”
Sophomore Meras Madrid recorded the pin to give the Broncos the victory.
Five Broncos — Aidan Cockrell, Berry Tom, Jalen Platero, Cody Manuelito and Caydne Hartsfield — finished the day undefeated.
“Jalen Platero was good. He’s been coming along and has been wrestling a lot better. He beat a kid today from Miyamura who had already beaten him previously in the year. The other kid had already pinned Jalen, and Jalen came out and took it to him to get a major decision,” Sandoval said. “And, of course, Aidan and Berry. They’re still doing what they do.”
KC will travel to Las Vegas, N.M., for the Cardinal Classic, hosted by Robertson, on Friday and Saturday. Sandoval said he wants to see the Broncos clean up some of the sloppy mistakes they’re making, and he believes it will be a good measuring stick for the program as next month’s state tournament nears.
“It will definitely be a good gauge to see where we fall within the state, because all the top 4A teams will be there,” Sandoval said. “After this weekend, we’ll know a lot more, and I’m hoping that we’ll wrestle well enough that our kids will see that they can compete with the top teams.”
Shiprock finished the day in fourth place, beating Gallup and Newcomb, but falling to KC, Miyamura and Grants.
Zelldan Clark finished the day 5-0 for the Chieftians.
Shiprock assistant coach Sean Hayes said the Chieftains also saw good performances from Chassity Todacheenie and Verl Barney.
“Today was a good day because it gave us a chance to look at Kirtland (Central) for the first time all season, and they got a good look at us, as well. It was kind of a feeling-out process today, and we both got to see what both teams are capable of doing with the district tournament coming up,” Hayes said. “For us, the district is still wide open. Different schools have weight classes where they are strong, and also where they need to make improvements, and we feel that’s the same for us.”
The Chieftains will travel to Heber, Ariz., for the Mogollon Invite on Friday and Saturday.
Karl Schneider is the sports editor for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4648.