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Rio Rancho, Aztec, Cobre win prep wrestling championships

Rio Rancho’s James Emmer, top, overpowered Sandia’s Gestic Marquez in the 138-pound finals on Saturday at the Santa Ana Star Center. (Roberto E. Rosales/Journal)

RIO RANCHO – Cleveland made it close, but not close enough. The big-school state champion will come from the first public high school in Rio Rancho.

Rio Rancho High on Saturday night captured the Class 5A state wrestling championship at the Santa Ana Star Center, scoring 170 points in a tightly bunched field. Cleveland (163) and Carlsbad (150.5) also earned trophies.

Aztec (4A) and Cobre (3A) also claimed blue trophies.

Class 5A

Rio Rancho only finished with one individual champion, senior James Emmer at 138 pounds, but the Rams’ quality depth carried the weekend as they went back-to-back.

“I’m just excited for the kids,” Rio Rancho coach Mike Santos said after his fifth championship at the school. “They really put in the work this season.”

Cleveland finished with three champions in 113-pound junior Tristan Mascareñas (his second title), plus 30-2 senior Dion Hunter – physically dominant at 220 as he pinned Sandia’s Jacob Telles – and senior heavyweight Austin Roman. Roman (40-3) ended the tournament with a pin of Farmington’s Dante Norberto in 2:40.

“It means the world to me,” said the 38-1 Mascareñas, who authored the ninth title for his family, following brothers Mikey and Paul. “I train to not only be the best in the state, but in the country.”

Volcano Vista’s Manuel Robles, top, takes down Deming’s Jesse Daniel Perez in the 145 pound division. (Roberto E. Rosales/Journal)

Volcano Vista’s Moses Santiago at 106 pounds and Manuel Robles at 145 earned titles for the Hawks.

“I knew it would come with the training and work I put in,” said Santiago, a sophomore. “I treated it like just another event.”

Robles (35-1) had a fantastic two days with three pins, followed by a major decision over Deming’s Jesse Dani Perez in the final.

Carlsbad had three champs, in successive weights – Mason Box at 152 pounds, Justin Wood at 160 and Fabian Trujillo at 170. Wood is a two-time state champion; he has wrestled in four consecutive state finals. Saturday, he edged Rio Rancho’s tough Cody Glenn, 4-2, for his second state triumph in a row.

“I always stay calm in my finals, especially here,” Wood (39-1) said. A late takedown and escape gave him the necessary cushion over Glenn. “I never get out of sorts.”

One of the best matches was the 132-pound final, where Rio Grande’s Alejandro Gutierrez (39-1) scored a near-fall in the final minute of the match, the difference in a 3-0 victory over Rio Rancho’s Thomas Carrillo. Carrillo upset Gutierrez as a 1 seed at this weight in the final a year ago, but Carrillo was the No. 1 seed this year.

“I just wanted everyone to know that we’re the real Rio,” Gutierrez, the No. 2 seed, said. “It’s very satisfying.”

La Cueva’s Barrett Haemker (28-1) had a joyous victory at 195 pounds. His only setback occurred last month to the 4A state champ, Valencia’s Robbie Jaramillo. Senior Marco Rodriguez of Centennial, the No. 1 seed at 182 pounds, became his school’s first-ever state wrestling champion. Santa Fe’s Adam Peña (120) and Miguel Padilla (126) rounded out the list of champions.

Class 4A

Aztec repeated in the state’s second-largest class, stockpiling 225 points. Silver (183) and Los Lunas (171) were second and third, respectively.

The metro area had several state champions, including Valencia High senior Jaramillo, who capped a perfect 42-0 season with a pin of Los Lunas’ Santiago Salas in 2:36 at 195 pounds.

“I knew it (was coming),” Jaramillo said of his undefeated campaign. “It’s nice to be a two-time state champ and and being an undefeated state champ feels pretty good.”

St. Pius senior Steven Sanchez took the 113-pound crown, as the third seed upset No. 1 Vince Marin of Silver, 3-2 in overtime. Sanchez missed the district meet last weekend with an illness, but he weighed in for district, making him eligible for state as a wild card.

“I had a rough start to the week, and I had to work hard to get all that conditioning back,” Sanchez said. That included, he said, forking over pricey daily one-day passes to his local gym.

Fifth-seeded heavyweight Angelo Maestas of Valley had a gratifying victory to end the tournament. He won with a first-period pin.

“I get to fulfill my promise to my (late) grandpa (to win a state title),” he said. “It was a really emotional moment. There were times I wanted to quit, but I thought back to that moment, and that pushed me.”

Silver senior Zeke Marquez capped a brilliant career on Saturday. At 132 pounds, Marquez (34-3) posted a tight, 8-6 decision over Aztec’s Garrett Birzer.

It was Marquez’s fourth state championship.

“I got more excited this year than any other year,” Marquez said. “(But) I was a lot more nervous than I thought I was going to be.”

Marquez almost was a rare five-time champ, but he placed second his eighth-grade season. He wasn’t the only four-time champion to be crowned Saturday.

A little later, Pojoaque Valley’s Javier Tapia (34-1) put an exclamation point on his outstanding season with an 8-0 major decision against Silver’s Nathaniel Lucero. Tapia and his older brother Jose, who had five at Capital, combined for nine individual titles. Javier won his first at Capital, the last three with the Elks. He lost to Carlsbad’s Wood at the Joe Vivian Classic.

“Five would have been better,” Javier said, “but getting four is great.”

Estevan Valerio (28-0) of Taos finished unbeaten, winning at 182 pounds.

Class 3A

The Indians scored 240 points, close to double that of runner-up Robertson (142). Socorro (132) placed third.

Cobre had six individual champions, including, interestingly enough, freshman Marley Gutierrez (182 pounds), who won state despite finishing with an 11-16 record.

Junior Andrew Trujillo of Robertson (46-1) became a three-time state champion after conquering the field at 132 pounds. His only loss came at the Joe Vivian Classic last month.

“It sucks to lose,” Trujillo said, “so after I lost, it motivated me to work harder.”

Of note, Foothill from Albuquerque also had its first-ever state wrestling champion.



Rio Rancho 170, Cleveland 163, Carlsbad 150½, La Cueva 140, Volcano Vista 138, Farmington 110, Santa Fe 103, Sandia 90½, Piedra Vista 81, Atrisco Heritage 76, Cibola 67, Las Cruces 58, Manzano 55, Rio Grande 55, Centennial 54, Deming 45, Eldorado 43, Roswell 33, Hobbs 29, Gadsden 20, Oñate 16, Capital 15, Albuquerque High 10, Alamogordo 4, West Mesa 3.


106—Moses Santiago (2), Volcano Vista, dec. Joshua Robinson (4), Sandia, 5-2. 113—Tristan Mascarenas (1), Cleveland, maj. dec. Tim Lopez (3), Rio Rancho, 8-0. 120—Adam Peña (5), Santa Fe, dec. Avery Atma (3), Las Cruces, 11-7. 126—Miguel Padilla (2), Santa Fe, dec. Santiago Marquez (4), Cleveland, 5-4. 132—Alejandro Gutierrez (2), Rio Grande, dec. Thomas Carrillo (1), Rio Rancho, 3-0. 138—James Emmer (1), Rio Rancho, dec. Gestic Marquez (7), Sandia, 7-3. 145—Manuel Robles (1), Volcano Vista, dec. Jesse Dani Perez (2), Deming, 11-2. 152—Mason Box (1), Carlsbad, dec. Sammy Martinez (2), Santa Fe, 2-1, OT 160—Justin Wood (1), Carlsbad, dec. Cody Glenn (2), Rio Rancho, 4-2. 170—Fabian Padilla (1), Carlsbad, maj. dec. Bronson Deatherage (2), Volcano Vista, 12-4. 182—Marco Rodriguez (1), Centennial, dec. Ethan Sanchez-Maxwell (2), Volcano Vista, 6-2. 195—Barrett Haemker (1), La Cueva, dec. Gabe Garcia (2), Cleveland, 5-3. 220—Dion Hunter (1), Cleveland, p. Jacob Telles (2), Sandia, 2:42 HVWT—Austin Roman (1), Cleveland, p. Dante Norberto (2), Farmington, 2:40.




Aztec 225, Silver 183, Los Lunas 171, Taos 140, Belen 108½, Bloomfield 108½, Los Alamos 106½, Kirtland Central 88, Valencia 79, Valley 76, Moriarty 66, Grants 61, Miyamura 55, St. Pius 54, Albuquerque Academy 50½, Ruidoso 43, Gallup 41½, Pojoaque Valley 31, Santa Teresa 29, Española Valley 25, Bernalillo 24, Chaparral 22, Del Norte 20, Goddard 19½, Highland 19.


106—Brenden Olsen (1), Silver, p. Jaren McBride (2), Aztec, 3:22. 113—Steven Sanchez (3), St. Pius, dec. Vince Marin (1), Silver, 3-2, OT. 120—Drake Guerrero (4), Miyamura, dec. Matthew Sanchez (3), St. Pius, 8-4. 126—Christian Robison (1), Aztec, p. Damian Gonzales (2), Los Alamos, 5:17. 132—Zeke Marquez (1), Silver, dec. Barrett Birzer (3), Aztec, 8-6. 138—Cody Candelaria (4), Aztec, maj. dec. Jordan Gallegos (2), Los Lunas, 24-13. 145—Hunter Medina (1), Aztec, maj. dec. Martin Ammons (3), Belen, 15-2. 152—Luke Whitley (2), Bloomfield, dec. Bode Wooley (1), Aztec, 6-4. 160—Michael Aguirre (1), Silver, p. Colton Zeisloft (3), Moriarty, :40. 170—Javier Tapia (1), Pojoaque Valley, maj. dec. Nathaniel Lucero (3), Silver, 8-0. 182—Estevan Valerio (1), Taos, p. Cody Gardner (2), Valencia, 3:24. 195—Robbie Jaramillo (1), Valencia, p. Santiago Salas (2), Los Lunas, 2:36. 220—Jarryd Pollard (1), Kirtland Central, dec. Coleton Radford (3), Del Norte, 5-3, OT. HVWT—Angelo Maestas (5), p. Dominic Lopez (2), Taos, 1:15.



Cobre 240, Robertson 142, Socorro 132, West Las Vegas 119½, Tucumcari 85½, Pecos 61, St. Michael’s 50, Wingate 31, Foothill 30½, Newcomb 10, Tierra Encantada 4.


106—Kaleb Medina (1), Robertson, dec. Gavin Placencio (2), Cobre, 11-6. 113—Isaiah Marquez (1), Cobre, dec. Tristian Martinez (2), West Las Vegas, 7-2. 120—Esteban Molina (1), Cobre, p. Estevan Atilano (2), Pecos, 3:16. 126—Joel Partridge (1), Socorro, p. Ishya Delatorre (2), Cobre, 5:07. 132—Andrew Trujillo (1), Robertson, dec. Zeke Soliz (2), Cobre, 9-2. 138—Irven Delatorre (1), Cobre, maj. dec. Andres Grano (2), Robertson, 12-2. 145—Foothill (2), dec. Rod Dunlap (1), Tucumcari, 5-1. 152—Alex Holguin (1), Cobre, tech. fall. Joe Martinez (2), Tucumcari, 16-1. 160—Orion Rottman (2), Socorro, dec. Thomas Vigil (1), Pecos, 9-8. 170—Austin Abeyta (1), West Las Vegas, p. Jaden Mifsud (2), St. Michael’s, 1:53. 182—Marley Gutierrez (unseeded), Cobre, dec. Kierian James (2), Wingate, 3-1. 195—Leon Vigil (4), Cobre, dec. Eric Duran (2), West Las Vegas, 10-6. 220—Kaleb Hayes (2), Tucumcari, dec. Javier Mares (1), Robertson, 3-1. HVWT—Tayo Reginald (1), St. Michael’s, p. Nathaen Urioste (2), West Las Vegas, 5:57.


Exhibition Only


Atrisco Heritage 82, Miyamura 74, Highland 60, Hobbs 35, Aztec 31, West Mesa 31, Cleveland 24, Manzano 23½, Albuquerque Academy 22, Bernalillo 22, Chaparral 22, Gallup 22, Wingate 22, Los Alamos 20, Carlsbad 18, Moriarty 17, Albuquerque High 16, Grants 16, Tierra Encantada 16, Rio Rancho 15, Las Cruces 14, Socorro 14, Tucumcari 12, Belen 11, Centennial 11, Rio Grande 9, Ruidoso 9, Shiprock 9, Newcomb 3, Oñate 2, Sandia 2, Santa Teresa 1.


101—Jennesis Martinez, Manzano p. Santii Santiago, Atrisco Heritage, 3:05. 106—Yalixza Gonzalez, Atrisco Heritage, dec. Alexandra Ruvalcaba, Hobbs, 12-5. 113—Neveah Young, Gallup, dec. Ayanna Aranda, Rio Rancho, 10-8. 121—Melinda Modisette, Albuquerque Academy, p. Cady Box, Carlsbad, 5:47. 126—Yele Aycock, Miyamura, p. Mia Contreras, Highland, 3:41. 131—Amanda Smith, Cleveland, dec. Ida Contreras, Tierra Encantada, 7-6. 143—Aylin Mijares, Bernalillo, p. America Aguirre, Highland, 3:58. 160—Nancy Rodriguez, Miyamura, inj. default over Princess Altisi, Aztec. 185—Rayana Vigil, Atrisco Heritage, dec. Shandiin Largo, Miyamura, 10-4. 235—Alura Sandoval, Atrisco Heritage, p. Annalease Barraza, Albuquerque High, 4:41.

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