The Belen Eagles hosted the A-4A District 1/5 championships last Friday in the final tuneup for the state championships, which begins on Thursday, June 10, 12:30 p.m. at Albuquerque Academy.

Belen and Valencia won three of the four titles which were up for grabs during the event, which was condensed into one day after originally being slated to be split across Friday and Saturday.

Belen won the first title of the day in girls doubles as Riley Cordova and Isabella Jaramillo continued their dominant run.

Coming into the tournament as the number one seed, the duo received a first round bye before tearing through the field.

The first matchup for Belen’s top duo was Karsyn Cash and Alexia Munson of Grants, who they defeated 6-2,  6-1 to advance to the semifinal.

The match would ultimately prove to be the toughest match the pairing played all day, as it was the only time they lost more than two games or any games in both sets.

In the semifinals, Kinlie Cash and Chalee Marayo of Grants put up little resistance for the Eagles top pairing as they advanced to the finals thanks to a 6-1, 6-0 win.

The finals were a matchup with the No. 3 seed out of St. Pius, Nora Hennessy and Gabby Gomez.

Jaramillo and Cordova pushed the pair of Sartans aside quickly as well, winning 6-0, 6-2 to claim the district title and lock in their trip to the state tournament.

For their efforts, the duo earned the No. 2 seed in the state tournament.

They will face Santa Teresa’s pairing of Ana Duval and Reanna Rapanut in the first round.

Duval and Rapanut went 7-3 during the regular season and won their district title.

The first two rounds of the tournament will take place on Thursday, but the championship will be held on Saturday, June 12, at 12 p.m.

Belen will also be represented in the boys doubles tournament, as the pair of Taylor Wright and Santiago Silva defeated the duo of Anthony Yazzie and Jameson Ferguson from Miyamura to claim the title and secure a spot at state.

Taylor Wright and Santiago Silva pose with their first place medals after winning the boys doubles tournament at Belen on Friday, June 4.

The two won matches 6-0, 6-0 and 6-0, 6-4 in order to advance to the finals where they took down the Patriots top pairing and the No. 2 seed in the bracket.

Wright and Silva will face off in the first round of the state playoffs against Si Teel and David Corrales of Lovington. Teel and Corrales are the No. 3 pairing in the bracket.

The winner of the matchup will face off against the winner of the match between Kevin Barragan and Luis Dorado of Santa Teresa and the No. 2 seeded St. Michael’s duo of Wade McDermott and Evan Bloodworth.

The boys doubles matches will be played simultaneously with the girls, beginning at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, also at Academy.

Belen also had Ysaline Deprelle reach the singles girls final, but Deprelle fell to Shaelyce Hann of Highland and failed to earn a wild card berth to the state tournament.

Rounding out the indiviual titles was Valencia’s Xavier Castillo, who beat his brother Isaiah in the final to secure the district title.

Both Castillos will play at the state tournament as Isaiah received a wild card berth into the field.

Xavier will face off with Cristian Mendoza of Lovington, the No. 4 seed in the field, in the first round..
Isaiah will face off with the No. 2 seed Joseph Braun of Academy in the first round.

Xavier Castillo took first place in boys singles, beating his brother Isaiah. Both will compete at the state championships on Thursday at Albuquerque Academy.

Singles matches are scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. on Thursday and will open the play for the day.

Second round matches for the boys singles will be played at 2 p.m. with the final taking place at the same time on Saturday.

Xavier Castillo was the No. 1 seed coming into the district tournament.

His road to the final was a quick one, losing only one game heading into the final as he beat David Carrera of Highland in straight sets, 6-0, 6-0. In the semi finals, he defeated Matthew Randall of St. Pius 6-0, 6-1 to meet his brother in the final. Isaiah came into the tournament as the No. 2 seed and ensured a chalk matchup in the final with his 6-2, 6-1 victory over Kolten Bratzel of Grants and then 6-4, 6-1 over Monte Taylor of St. Pius.

Belen is the only county team which qualified for the  the team portion of the state tournament, which will take place between June 14-19.

The Belen girls earned a three seed in the team portion and will host No. 6 Artesia at a time to be determined.

The Belen boys will travel to Los Alamos as the No. 5 seed in the first round.

The semifinals and finals will take place on Saturday, June 19 at Albuquerque Academy. Semifinal matches will begin at 11 a.m., with the boys beginning with singles and the girls with doubles.

The finals will begin at 4  p.m.

Cameron Goeldner grew up in Boulder, Colo., and attended the University of New Mexico. He covers everything sports for all Valencia County schools.