ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Rio Rancho’s wrestling team had six placers, including three champions, as the Rams last Saturday captured the prestigous Joe Vivian Classic at Cibola.
Orion Gutierrez (106) pounds won his division, as did Orlando Gutierrez at 138 and Santiago Salazar at 126.
The Rams also had a pair of runners-up in Miguel Barreras (160 in his first major tournament of the season) and Javier Salazar at 113.
Rio Rancho scored 177 points. Rio Grande (167.5) was second.
Volcano Vista (135.5) was fourth and finished with five placers, led by 220-pounder Mike Budick. He rampaged through his bracket and was selected as the Vivian’s most outstanding wrestler in the upper weights.
Willie Chavez of the Hawks suffered a very tough loss at 120 to Eldorado’s Logan Gonzales.
The only other Rio West-area wrestler to reach the finals was Elijah Schold of Valley; he was pinned in 35 seconds by Manzano’s Christopher Collins at 195.
Cibola was 16th, Valley 20th, West Mesa 26th and St. Pius 32nd.
CLEVELAND: The Storm opted not to attend the Vivian Classic this year. Instead Cleveland was at the Flowing Wells Invitational in Tucson.
Cleveland finished 12th at the meet, which is considered Arizona’s answer to the Vivian.
The Storm had just two placers: Noah Mirabal who was fourth at 106 pounds, and Jesse Nieto, the champion at 145.
“Jesse is really coming into his own and we like what we see,” Cleveland coach Corey Anderson said.
Rio Rancho, coming off its Vivian victory, is at the Top of the Rockies in Denver.
Cleveland is in Aztec for the Hi-Country Chevy Tiger Duals. But that event is more notable for the fact that the Storm will run head-to-head against what is perpahs the state’s best team, Class 4A defending state champion Piedra Vista.
West Mesa and Volcano Vista both host tournaments today.
The Mustangs will be joined by Valley and Cibola, and also Class 3A defending state champion St. Michael’s.
Rio Grande, Atrisco Heritage and Manzano are among the teams at the Hawks’ event.
NOTE: Most of the Rio West programs will be together – including Cleveland – at the Albuquerque Metro Championships next weekend at Eldorado.