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FARMINGTON – Devin Montano couldn't pass up gaining exposure on the international wrestling scene, so he jumped on the chance to compete at the 49th annual Easter Wrestling Tournament in Utrecht, Netherlands.

The Fruitland native, who trains in Colorado Springs under former Olympic wrestler Joe Betterman, will compete overseas for the time in his young career at the two-day event, which starts at 2 a.m. New Mexico time (10 a.m. in the Netherlands).

“I’m ready to see people that are stronger, faster and better in every aspect pretty much,” Montano said. “Every part of the sport, I’ll get better. I think I’ll be fairly prepared. I think I’ll perform great."

Carlos Montano, Devin's father, said he hopes his son will build connections as he continues to develop his wrestling portfolio.

"He wants to wrestle on the world stage... That's the kind of exposure we're looking for right now," Carlos Montano said. “It’s pretty amazing. Never thought he’d end up near Amsterdam to go wrestle.”

Devin Montano departed for the Netherlands on Wednesday afternoon. After the 16-hour flight, he spent today checking out the scenery.

And now he will brace for Friday's pre-tournament weigh-ins, all while celebrating his 15th birthday.

Devin Montano, who's been wrestling since he was about 10, spends time studying his opponent and seizing that key moment to strike.

“I like to use a lot conditioning and wear the person out,” said Montano, who wrestles in the 112-pound division. “I like to watch other opponents’ matches, work off of that. Picking up on little things is probably the best thing to do.”

Montano said he hopes to learn how to wrestle even smarter upon competing in the tournament.

Matt Hollinshead covers sports for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.

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