La Cueva’s boys and Volcano Vista’s girls were crowned champions on Saturday at the Albuquerque Metro Wrestling Championships at Volcano Vista.
The Bears won six of the 13 weight divisions and scored 209 points in the two-day meet. Atrisco Heritage (192) was second, with Rio Rancho (128) a distant third.
Volcano Vista’s girls, with three winners, beat West Mesa 163-112, with Atrisco Heritage (106) third.
This is the last major competition for all the metro-area schools until the state meet in three weeks in Rio Rancho.
BOYS: Yes and no, Bears coach Javier Posa said. Yes, the weekend was a success. No, he wasn’t particularly satisfied.
“This team has a lot more growth to do in the next three weeks,” he said. Growth? “Wrestling a full six minutes,” he answered. “And going out there and just dominating. That’s what I want from this team, domination from beginning to end.”
Most of La Cueva’s individual champions were no surprise, such as unbeaten Mario Tafoya (29-0) at 152 pounds, Mason Posa at 189, Jack Byers at 160 and Joseph Garcia at 139. They were all No. 1 seeds, as was Ryan Pauly, the 215-pound winner who returned from a recent injury.
“We’re a pretty strong team,” Pauly said. “We’ve got a stud at every spot.”
Coach Posa said the most surprising performance came from sophomore Austin Prieskorn, the 114-pound champ and a 3 seed in his bracket.
“He’s been losing some matches where we were scratching our head, but he pulled it together today, and this weekend he was able to close the door,” Posa said.
Atrisco Hertiage had three champions — Jonathan Pacheco, who won his four matches by pin at 133 pounds; Tatum Garcia at 145; and Jonathan Casaus, who was involved in the most dramatic final at 172 pounds.
In a match in which not much was happening, Casaus scored a takedown of La Cueva’s Nicholas Mertz with only four seconds left. That broke a 1-1 tie, and Casaus won by a 3-1 decision.
“It was time to push,” Casaus said. “I pushed as hard as I could. … When he put his arm up, I saw him opening his leg, and I just took it, took him down.”
Cleveland’s Roman Luttrell was one of the strongest wrestlers of the weekend, going 4-0 (all by pin) at 107 pounds. Volcano Vista’s Noah Jones improved to 23-0 with his victory at 127 pounds. Rio Rancho’s Marcus Williams rolled in the 121-pound bracket.
West Mesa heavyweight Tyler Finley continues to be almost unbeatable. The 32-1 senior recorded three pins at metros.
“I’ve been working so hard over the past year to get where I’m at,” Finley said. “It would be wrong for me to say that I don’t see myself being a state champion in three weeks.”
GIRLS: Of Volcano Vista’s three champions, none was more unlikely, big picture, than senior Trinity Perez. She just started wrestling several months ago.
“My dad was always a wrestler, and I thought, ‘Hey, what the hell? I’m gonna go for it.'” Perez said.
In the 126-pound final, Lopez pinned West Mesa’s Aliyah Shipley in 2:57. All three of Perez’s victories this weekend were by pin.
Two other Hawks won titles, although it wasn’t in a traditional bracket. Elena Moya (185) and Jordyn Yazzie (235) were named champions in a round-robin format; in many of the upper weights there were not enough entrants to conduct a traditional bracket event.
“I think this is the best tournament for the girls to compete and showcase, the metro,” Volcano Vista coach Ahren Griego said, who added that he prefers APS hold the metro tournament in December.
Sandia also had three first-place finishers with Neviah Varela-Marquez, who dominated at 138 pounds; 145-pounder Bianca Arundale-Maestas. who had three pins’ and Jaden Meadows at 152 pounds. Manzano had a pair of champs in Emma Gutierrez at 100 pounds, and Bre Samora at 165.
Four other schools claimed one title: Eldorado (Audrey Swiderek at 107 pounds), Atrisco Heritage (Leslie Nayarez with three pins at 114), Cibola (Loani Alfaro at 120) and West Mesa (Kayla Jose at 132, all wins by pin).
Albuquerque. Metro Championships
Saturday — at Volcano Vista HS
Team: La Cueva 209, Atrisco Heritage 192, Rio Rancho 128, Volcano Vista 124, Cleveland 118.5, Valley 84, West Mesa 81, Cibola 54, Del Norte 44, St. Pius 42.5, Manzano 37, Rio Grande 37, Eldorado 36, Albuquerque High 34.5, Highland 32, Sandia 21.
Individual: 107—Roman Luttrell, Cleveland, p. Isaiah Flores, Eldorado, 4:51. 114—Austin Prieskorn, La Cueva, dec. Alex Rodriguez, Volcano Vista, 4-2. 121—Marcus Williams, Rio Rancho, p. Valentine Popadiuc, St. Pius, 3:33. 127—Noah Jones, Volcano Vista, dec. Anastacio Martinez, Atrisco Heritage, 12-6. 133—Jonathan Pacheco, Atrisco Heritage, p. Xzavier Salazar, Volcano Vista, 2:00. 139—Joseph Garcia, La Cuva, dec. Jayden Garcia, Atrisco Heritage, 5-3. 145—Tatum Garcia, Atrisco Heritage, dec. Carson Harvey, La Cueva, 9-4. 152—Mario Tafoya, La Cueva, dec. Joe Coon, Cleveland, 7-0. 160—Jack Byers, La Cueva, p. Brandon Nieto, Manzano, 5:12. 172—Jonathan Casaus, Atrisco Heritage, dec. Nicholas Mertz, La Cueva, 3-1. 189—Mason Posa, La Cueva, maj. dec. Caeden Jojola, Valley, 16-4. 215—Ryan Pauly, La Cueva, p. Isaiah Sanchez, Volcano Vista, 1:29. HVWT—Tyler Finley, West Mesa, p. Tobias Troncoso, Valley, 3:14.
Team: Volcano Vista 163, West Mesa 112, Atrisco Heritage 106, Cibola 82, Sandia 70, Eldorado 48, St. Pius 48, Manzano 46, Albuquerque High 30, Highland 28, Rio Grande 23, Del Norte 18, Rio Rancho 18, Valley 14.
Individual: 100—Emma Guitierrez, Manzano, Julianna Candelaria, Volcano Vista, 6-2. 107—Audrey Swiderek, Eldorado, p. Arianna Rios, West Mesa, 5:59. 114—Leslie Nayarez, Atrisco Heritage, p. Danirae Lopez, Volcano Vista, 1:34. 120—Loani Alfaro, Cibola, dec. Tanessa Torres, Volcano Vista, 9-5. 126—Trinity Perez, Volcano Vista, p. Aliyah Shipley, West Mesa, 2:57. 132—Kayla Jose, West Mesa, p. Cassidy Sanchez, Cibola, 4:54. 138—Neviah Varela-Marquez, Sandia, maj. dec. Brook Ritter, Cibola, 15-1. 145—Bianca Arundale-Maestas, Sandia, p. Zia Budagher, St. Pius, 3:21. 152—Jaden Meadows, Sandia, won in round robin. 165—Bre Samora, Manzano, won in round robin. 185—Elena Moya, Volcano Vista, won in round robin. HVWT—Jordyn Yazzie, Volcano Visa, won in round robin.