Aztec's Princess Altisi ends two years of frustration, tops Nancy Rodriguez for title

Matt Hollinshead, mhollinshead@daily-times.com
Aztec's Princess Altisi celebrates defeating Miyamura's Nancy Rodriguez for the Girls 160-pound division title in Saturday's New Mexico State Wrestling Championships at the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho.

RIO RANCHO — Princess Altisi was ready to end two years of frustration and heartbreak dealing with her nemesis, Miyamura’s Nancy Rodriguez, at the state wrestling finals.

The Aztec Lady Tiger wrestler grew leaner, stronger and faster, well-equipped to finally take down Rodriguez in the girls 160-pound division and claim the throne. And Altisi did it, winning Saturday’s state title at the Santa Ana Star Center.

“It feels good, man,” Altisi said, smiling while still catching her breath.

Rodriguez had been a thorn in Altisi’s side in the previous two state finals.

In 2018, when Altisi wrestled at Shiprock, Rodriguez pinned Altisi at the 1:20 mark.

In 2019, Altisi’s first year at Aztec, she got injured and had to take a medical forfeit. Rodriguez won the title, again.

A new and improved Altisi started changing the narrative earlier this season, beating Rodriguez during the Moriarty Lady Pintos girls tournament and for the District 1-4A individual title.

By the third period Saturday, Altisi was in a far different place from the previous two years.

With the match still scoreless, Altisi took a quick forward step. Rodriguez quickly stepped back. Altisi repeated with a second step, and Rodriguez again stepped back.

Rodriguez then shot twice at Altisi, who was ready and snatched Rodriguez up both times.

Altisi took control, going on to win via a 5-2 decision.

“I’d say I’ve finally caught up with Nancy Rodriguez,” Altisi said.

Matt Hollinshead covers sports for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577 and on Twitter at @MattH_717.

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