LL wrestlers place third at Carlsbad; go to Valencia

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The Los Lunas High wrestling team placed third in the Don Owen Invitational held in Carlsbad this past Saturday, placing seven wrestlers in the finals and taking home three first-place trophies.

The Tiger thinclads finished third with 150 team points and were the top Class 4A team, losing only to Class 5A wrestling kingpins Mayfield (203) and Carlsbad (184).

Los Lunas is set to wrestle District 6-4A foe Valencia on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. and then travels to Albuquerque High for the prestigious Joe Vivian Classic on Friday and Saturday.

The Vivian is one of the largest in the state with more than 30 teams in all classes participating.

Coach Steve Chavez noted that while the schedule picks up some this week, it is the end of the season that he is most concentrating on.

"We are kind of nicked up a little bit," said Chavez. "We have some battle wounds. We come and go and state comes. We will see who shows up."

Saturday, Isaac Parra continued to be one of the most dominant wrestlers for the Tigers, winning the 170-pound class with a stunning 5-2 decision over Mayfield's Jameson Chambers. Chavez described the last-second win.

"He was tied at 2-all with 15 seconds left, and he needed to turn the guy over," said Chavez. "He turned the guy over. He didn't panic."

Ricardo Alvarado pinned teammate Austin Saucedo in the 120 championship.

Chavez said, "When you have two kids from your school fighting for the championship, it doesn't get any better than that. (Ricardo) beat a very fine wrestler from Oñate (Jacob Salas) to get to the finals."

Los Lunas also took home the title at 182 pounds. Mark Hussey dominated his final with Robert Gomez of Mayfield, winning a major decision, 11-2.

Ricky Cervantes made the finals at 103 pounds. Mikey Martinez placed second at 138 and Michael De La Torre was the runner-up at 152.

Los Lunas had two-fourth place wrestlers in Ty TenBrink at 132 and Miguel Alvarado at 113.

The Los Lunas JV finished 11th with 18 points by virtue of Saucedo's performance in the 120-pound bracket.

With the trip to Valencia and the annual dual at Belen (set for Wednesday, Jan. 18), Chavez said. "You can emphasize winning these duals, but it is actually when you want to have your team gel (at the state tournament) that counts."


-- Email the author at mstearns@news-bulletin.com.