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AZTEC — Hunter Medina hopes his state wrestling tournament resume from the last two seasons leads to New Mexico Highlands University entrusting him as a cornerstone piece to build around.

The Aztec wrestler is fresh off a state championship in the 145-pound division and being a part of the Tigers' back-to-back state titles. And now he looks bring those experiences to the Cowboys after signing with NMHU today via athletic scholarship.

"I just go out there with no fear, I don't care who I'm wrestling. I think I can bring that (to Highlands)," Medina said. "I think I can push them and make the whole team better."

NMHU, an NCAA Division II program located in Las Vegas, New Mexico, is the only in-state four-year school that has a wrestling program.

Medina also said Highlands wrestling coach Doug Moses' coaching style and demeanor reminded him of Aztec coach Monte Maxwell and assistant coach Herb Stinson, which made the program more appealing.

"(Moses) wants the best of the best. He wants New Mexico state champs, he wants champs from everywhere," said Medina, who complied a 43-8 record this past season. "(The program) really had a good aura around it."

Going forward, Medina said he wants to be even more explosive attacking on his feet to help him get take-downs even faster.

Medina also said he wants to be more efficient in finishing off opponents while in neutral stances, admitting he missed some key opportunities to put foes away.

More importantly, Medina said he hopes to add All-American accolades during his time at Highlands.

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

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