Tigers continue to ascend; Jags have improving wrestlers

........................................................................................................................................................................................

Wednesday night’s wrestling dual between county rivals Los Lunas and Valencia was telling about the strength of the two programs.

Mike Stearns-News-Bulletin photo: Valencia’s Jesus Tapia, bottom, tries to break free from Tristen Rasp of Los Lunas in Wednesday’s dual. Tapia won this match, but the Tigers won the dual, 48-22. All three county teams are competing in the Joe Vivian Invite this weekend, and the Jaguars host Belen at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Los Lunas defended the home mats with five pins and two forfeits to take a 48-22 win.

Los Lunas and Valencia will both wrestle in the Joe Vivian Invitational, which was set to begin Friday.

The tourney is set to resume at 9 a.m. on Saturday at Albuquerque High.

On Wednesday, Valencia showed some progress in a couple of areas, drawing some nice comments from coach Tom Torres.

“I am happy,” said the coach. “With all of my kids I am happy. Los Lunas is a very good team right now.”

The Tigers built a lead early against Valencia with pins in the three lower weight classes.

Roman Cervantes pinned Jacob Grisham 2:52 into the match at 106 pounds, Andrew Salazar got a 3-count on LoriAnn Archuleta at 3:31, and Ricardo Alvarado pinned Jacob Piño at the 3:10 mark of the match to give Los Lunas an 18-0 edge.

Eddie Canizo had a solid win over Nate Nash at 152 pounds. The Los Lunas senior pinned Nash with 1:32 left in the third period, after it looked as if he might be in trouble with a big lead built.

Up 10-2 in the scoring, Canizo needed a reversal to score the fall.

“He is a really strong kid,” said Canizo. “I tried to stick with what I know and what I do well.”

A.J. Saucedo scored the other Tiger pin over Randall Gomez at 132 pounds. Isaac Parra (195 pounds) and Charles Truesdell (220) both won by forfeit.

Mikey Martinez, at 160, won an 11-6 decision over Jacob Baca. Miguel Alvarado won a decision at 126 over Joseph Barela, 4-1.

“I got a little tired,” said Martinez, surviving a near fall in the third period. “I underestimated him, some.”

Valencia got wins at 285 pounds with Nathan Jolley pinning George Truesdell; at 138, where Albert Sanchez won a major decision (11-0) over Gabe Alvarado; at 145, as Luis Soto won a close 2-0 decision; and Jesus Tapia’s 4-2 win over Tristen Rasp at 170. Ramon Tapia won by forfeit at 182 pounds.

“They are all working hard,” said Torres, refusing to comment on individual performances. “We are trying to get a team and trying to get points.”

Jolley got the only pin for the Jaguars, and looked impressive taking Truesdell to the mat in the second period and ending it quickly.

“It is all chain wrestling,” said Jolley. “We just have to keep moving. Sadly, he was not fast enough and I was able to come around on him.”

Jolley transferred from Goddard, where he split time last year between JV and varsity.

“Wrestling is a lot harder over here,” he said, noting the improved competition. “It is a big change. I have grown more mentally and physically this year.”


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