This past weekend it was district championship time for Valencia County’s three high school wrestling teams, and it proved to be quite the successful weekend for the teams.

Overall, 10 Belen Eagles scored individual District Championships in their weight class.

On Friday, the Belen boys wrestling team also came away with the overall team championship in District 5-4A with a score of 228.5 points, defeating its closest competitor, Grants, by 122.5 points.

Marcus Rimorin pinned Joe Clawson, from Grants, to win the 106-pound category. Josiah Pemble pinned Valencia’s Richard Madrid to win the 113-pound category. In the 120-pound category, Julian Sisneros pinned Josh Williams, from Grants, for the win.

Diego Avila got a technical fall win over Ben Bustamante, of St. Pius, to win the 132-pound category. Damien Wood pinned Anthony Cano, from Valencia, to take the 145-pound category.

Gabriel Tharnish pinned Lawrence Havelka from St. Pius to take home the 152-pound category. In the 160-pound category, Ely Gutierrez got a win via pin over Santiago Aragon-Royal from St. Pius. Anthony Rodriguez pinned Quinn Burgess from Valencia to win the 170-pound category.

Bobby Orona pinned Jacob Silva, of St. Pius, to win the 182-pound category. Tregg Johnson got a 12-0 major decision to beat Valencia’s Omar Estrada to win the 220-pound category.

Photo courtesy of Melanie Tharnish
The Belen Eagles boys wrestling team scored the team district championship in District 5-4A with a 228.5 overall score.

The Valencia boys wrestling team finished fourth in the overall team results with 75 points. The Jaguars got second-place individual finishes from five of their wrestlers.

Richard Madrid was second in the 113-pound category. Anthony Cano was runner-up in the 145-pound category. In the 170-pound category, Quinn Burgess took home a second place. Elijah Duran finished second in the 195-pound category, as did Omar Estrada in the 220-pound category.

The Los Lunas boys and Belen boys wrestling teams grabbed the championships in their respective districts during the competitions, and many individuals qualified for the upcoming State Championships from Los Lunas, Belen and Valencia.

Adam Evarts | News-Bulletin photo
The Los Lunas boys wrestling team in action during the District Wrestling Championships. The Tigers took home 1st place overall.

In Los Lunas on Saturday, the Tigers boys team walked away with the District 5-5A Championship with an overall score of 221.5 points. They beat their closest competitor, Santa Fe, by 110.5 points.

Overall, seven LLHS boys wrestlers won individual District Championships in their weight class.

Aaron Zamora took down Albuquerque High’s Adrian Perez with a pin to win the 126-pound category. James Bachicha pinned Jaiek Chavez, of Rio Grande, to win the 132-pound category. Naithan Gurule beat Capital’s Brandon Solis via pin to take the 145-pound category.

Nicholas Torres got a 6-3 decision over Albuquerque’s Juan Villela to win the 160-pound category. Miguel Andrade got a 9-4 decision to beat Santa Fe’s Daniel Wright in the 170-pound category.

James Garcia pinned Santa Fe’s Patrick Gartner to take the 220-pound category.

The most exciting match during the day was in the 138-pound category. LLHS’s Isaiah Baca was squaring off against Joaquin Martinez from Santa Fe.

Down 4-3 in the third and final round, with less than 10 seconds to go in the round and the crowd and his teammates in a frenzy, Baca was able to get a 2-point take down to score the 5-4 decision to take the win, much to the delight of everyone cheering on the LLHS team.

Adam Evarts | News-Bulletin photo
Noah Gurule goes up against Manzano’s Brandon Reyes during the District Wrestling Championships on Saturday.

The Los Lunas and Belen boys teams have 14 wrestlers who qualified for the State Championships, while Valencia will have six wrestlers in the tournament this upcoming weekend.

The boys 4A State Championships, which Belen and Valencia will be competing in, will be held on Friday at the Rio Rancho Event Center. The 5A State Championships will be held on Saturday at the same venue.

The Belen, Valencia and Los Lunas girls teams were also in action for their District Championships last week. All three teams participated in the combined District 2 Championships in Socorro.

Valencia came home in 11th place in the overall team scores with 33 points, while Belen ended up 13th with 31 points and Los Lunas came in 15th with 30 points.

For Valencia, they picked up a runner-up finish and a fourth-place finish in the individual District Championships.

Nevaeh Bracamonte picked up the runner-up finish for the Lady Jaguars, as she did so in the 120-pound category. Katie Booth was able to come away with a fourth-place finish in the 126-pound category. Both Bracamonte and Booth qualified for the State Championships to be held this weekend.

For the Lady Eagles of Belen, they finished with a runner-up and a fifth place in the individual categories.

Photo courtesy of Lisa Dawn Huddleston Maria
Belen wrestler Kaitlyn Maria finished second in the district championships and will compete in the state championship.

Kaitlyn Maria took a second-place finish in the 235-pound category. The finish was good enough for Maria to qualify for the State Championships. Andie Siaz placed fifth in the 114-pound category for BHS.

For Los Lunas, their two girl wrestlers were able to each come up with third-place finishes. Kiyah Padilla finished in third-place in the 100-pound category, defeating Sol Perez, of Gadsden, to get the win.

Her teammate, Julianna Lucero defeated Valencia’s Katie Booth for third place in the 126-pound category. Both Padilla and Lucero have qualified for the State Championships and will be representing LLHS this weekend.

The girls State Wrestling Championships will be held on Saturday at the Rio Rancho Event Center.

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Adam Evarts is a graduate of the University of New Mexico where he studied journalism and history. He has lived in Valencia County most of his life. Adam covers sports for the Valencia County News-Bulletin, including prep competitions for the three local high schools, Senior Olympics, rodeo, Little League and more.