Prep Newsmaker: Greenhaus was flawless at state
Piedra Vista senior wrestler pinned all four of his state opponents in less than one minute
FARMINGTON — A high school wrestler would be hard pressed to have a more dominant run at a state wrestling tournament than Piedra Vista's Dylan Greenhaus had last weekend in Rio Rancho.
Greenhaus, a senior, pinned all four of his opponents in less than a minute on his way to his first state championship. His longest match of the weekend was his state title bout against Clay Crosby from Albuquerque Academy. The match lasted 58 seconds.
"I felt like I was a man on a mission," Greenhaus said. "It was my last state, my last run at it. I just had that predator mentality."
In both his sophomore and junior seasons, Greenhaus was eliminated from the state tournament in the semifinals. So from the start of the off-season in his senior year, he turned his already tenacious work ethic up a few notches, PV coach Michael Bejar said.
"He would have brain farts or little setbacks here and there the past couple years — he just wasn't always mentally there," Bejar said. "In the off-season, man, he had a drive and a purpose. He knew what he wanted, and he went out and got it this year."
Greenhaus said his third-place finish at state last season motivated him to reach the top of the podium this year.
"From the second state ended last year, I've just had tunnel vision," he said. "I've put way too much into this sport to go without a state title. I just got so much stronger and so much better than I was in any previous season."
With his long arms, the 120-pound Greenhaus excels at cradling. Bejar said he was a little nervous that Greenhaus relied too much on that technique, so the coach had him work on diversifying his style early in the season.
PV assistant coach Ronnie Clark helped Greenhaus develop a reliable arm bar and bear claw, which helped when the Panthers encountered different wrestling styles at tournaments in California and Arizona this season. But when it came time for state, Greenhaus reverted back to his bread and butter.
"It was cradles all day. It's something I've been good at for a very long time," he said. "It was cool to walk through the state tournament doing what I do best."
His technique and physical ability were never in question, according to Bejar. And while Greenhaus wasn't always mentally locked in prior to his senior year, he was a different animal at state this year.
Fellow PV state champion Nick Rino got into a prolonged stare down with Aztec's Austin Littlefield prior to their state title match, and Bejar said Greenhaus tried to do the same thing with Crosby before they locked up.
"Dylan was just staring a hole through (Crosby), just trying to get him to engage, and the kid wasn't looking up," Bejar said. "I kind of got a feeling that the match had already been won at that point."
Though the Panthers fell short of capturing a sixth consecutive state championship as a team, four individual wrestlers returned to Farmington with state titles: Greenhaus, Rino, Wes Rayburn and Alberto Marquez.
Bejar said he thought PV wasn't as deep as Belen, this year's state champion. But his four state title winners, along with state runner-up Taylor Atencio, made up a solid top five that matched what any 5A team had to offer this season.
Over the years, those five have pushed each other and fed off each other's successes. Greenhaus and Atencio have been teammates and on-and-off practice partners since eighth grade, and Greenhaus took a liking to Rayburn two years ago when the athletes met at a wrestling camp in 2013.
"I was like, 'Aw, this dude's a stud,'" Greenhaus said, of first watching Rayburn wrestle. "I just wanted to wrestle like him. I tried to mimic his style and his aggressiveness and his stance, just everything he did. He helped me a lot."
Greenhaus finished his senior season with a 45-5 record, state matches included. He took first at four tournaments this year and third on two other occasions.
While some of Greenhaus' teammates will travel to Virginia for nationals in early April, the senior state champ said he's content to close the book on his wrestling career.
"I've had some scholarship offers from a couple Kansas schools and stuff, but I don't wanna wrestle past high school," he said. "I put everything I had into this, and I accomplished my goal. I'm good with that."
Jake Newby covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.
A closer look: Dylan Greenhaus
1. Favorite team?
"Green Bay Packers."
2. Favorite athlete?
"Is Bruce Lee an athlete? Cause I'll go with him."
3. Favorite food?
4. Favorite movie?
5. Favorite subject in school?
6. Least favorite subject?
7. Biggest fear?
8. Do you play any other sports?
"No, I just wrestle."
9. What is the first thing you would do with $1 million?
"Buy my family an island."
10. Do you have any pregame rituals?
"Before a match I usually listen to some Wu-Tang and get a good stretch."