The District 5-4A wrestling tournament was held on Saturday at Valencia High School and featured a dominant performance from all three county squads.
Los Lunas won the district title with 213 points, while Belen and Valencia came in second and third place with 205 and 128 points, respectively.
“We did what we expected we would do,” said Los Lunas head coach Steve Chavez. “Everyone wrestled well.”
Chavez, who was also voted District Coach of the Year, led six wrestlers to a district title.
Those wrestlers were Gavyn Fredrickson (113), Jordan Gallegos (138), Matthew Gurule (145), Steven Lowe (170), Zachary Doyle (220) and Walter Baca (285).
“We work hard to get these kids to the next level,” said Chavez. “I told them to go out there and lay it all on the mat.”
Belen tied Los Lunas for first-place finishers with six district champions of their own.
Belen’s district champions were Dominic Romero (106), Santi Tafoya (126), Dylan Gonzales (132), Jason Bernauer (152), Tino Rodriguez (160) and Alfredo Castillo (182).
“We wrestled good today,” said Belen head coach Lee Chaves. “We made a few mental mistakes. We’re not losing matches because of conditioning or lack of heart.”
Valencia wrestlers Devon Martinez (120) and Robbie Jaramillo (195) won the remaining weight classes. Their wins gave Valencia County schools a sweep at the tournament.
Jaramillo was selected as District 5-4A Wrestler of the Year after finishing the tournament with a 39-0 record.
“I didn’t even know there was a wrestler of the year,” said Jaramillo. “But because of my record, I don’t know who else would have won it.”
Valencia head coach Nick Sanchez attributed Jaramillo’s success to work ethic.
“(Jaramillo) has a lot of confidence,” said Sanchez. “But he also works hard.”
With the state tournament just around the corner, all three teams are taking advantage of the upcoming week to prepare. Chavez said Los Lunas needs to prepare physically and mentally, while Sanchez hopes Valencia’s qualifiers will keep a level head.
“We’re just going in there humble and ready to wrestle,” said Sanchez. “We’re not going to take anything for granted.”
The 2019 NMAA State Championship Meet will begin at the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho on Friday.