Bloomfield High School wrestling team tops regional tournament

Steven Bortstein
Farmington Daily Times

KIRTLAND − The Bloomfield High School boys wrestling team took a big step towards winning the Class 4A state title, earning top honors on Saturday in the Region 1-4A championships at Kirtland Central High School's Bronco Arena.

Led by individual regional champions Hunter Samora, Elias Johnson and Adan Benavidez, as well as Samuel Eveland and Robert Williams, the Bobcats earned the team title by outscoring Aztec by a combined score of 247.5 to 230. The Bobcats finished on top of the regional standings ahead of nearly 20 other teams from around the state, including Miyamura, Robertson and West Las Vegas which rounded out the top five.

Benavidez, who recently signed a national letter of intent to attend Kent State University next fall, was one of five regional championships who will represent the team in the state championships, which will be held this weekend at the Rio Rancho Events Center.

Bloomfield's J Gutierrez brings down Alan Padilla of Pojoaque Valley in the opening minute of a 160-lb. consolation round match at the Region 1-4A wrestling championships, Saturday, Feb. 11, 2023 at Kirtland Central High School.

Bloomfield is looking to dethrone Aztec as state champions in Class 4A. The Tigers are five-time defending champions, the last four of which came in Class 4A. The Bobcats and Tigers will each send nearly a dozen wrestlers to the state championships.

Aztec was represented atop the regional finals with individual wins by Bryson Valdez, Logan Barboa, Jacob Greyeyes and Jaylen Ignacio.

For a complete listing of results in the Region 1-4A championships, check out the link at trackwrestling.com.

In the Region 1-5A championships held over the weekend at Cleveland High School, Farmington wound up finishing fourth in the overall team standings, scoring a combined total of 169 points, behind regional champion Cleveland, with La Cueva and Volcano Vista rounding out the top three teams.

Ivan Smith of Farmington continued his strong season, winning individual honors in the 172-lb. weight class and assuring himself a chance to defend his state championship. Smith heads to the state tournament with a record of 39 wins and only one defeat.

Farmington is hoping to repeat as Class 5A state champions and will send nearly a dozen wrestlers to the state tournament.

Piedra Vista's Keenan Bejar also took home a regional championship, beating Joseph Garcia from La Cueva to earn the first place medal at the 139-lb. weight class. Piedra Vista finished sixth overall in the tournament which featured teams from more than a dozen schools across the state.

For a complete listing of team and individual results from the Region 1-5A tournament, check out the link at trackwrestling.com.