Jag wrestlers take home top spot at Los Alamos

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According to Valencia coach Tom Torres, all of the preparation throughout the winter comes down to two weekends.

“District and state, that is all that it is,” said Torres. “We worked through all of this stuff in the past and all of these tournaments to get to this right here.”

Mike Stearns-News-Bulletin photo: Carlos MontaÑo of Valencia, top, works an arm bar against a Cibola wrestler at a tournament earlier this year. Montaño is a state title contender and is set to wrestle at the District 6-4A championships at Belen at 9 a.m., Saturday.

The district has taken notice of Torres’ Jaguars of late, as the young team continues to show improvement week-to-week. Valencia is coming off a tremendous team win at Los Alamos’ Bryan Sanchez Invitational.

The District 6-4A wrestling championships will take place at Belen High School on Saturday. The tourney, used to qualify wrestlers, for the Feb. 22-23 Class 4A State Championships, is set to begin at 9 a.m.

With a field that included not only the host Hilltoppers, but Robertson, Tucumcari, Española Valley and Capital, the Jags won by a large margin.

They posted a team score of 203, with the Los Alamos “Green,” or varsity, team finishing second at 183.

The Jags were led by Carlos Montaño, who pinned Class 1A/3A state runner-up Dominic Yara to win the 138-pound class. He won every match by pin, according to Torres.

“He pinned him, so that was pretty good,” said Torres of Montaño’s effort.

Another improving wrestler for the Jags is Nathan Jolley. The heavyweight won his division with ease.

“He has improved every week and you can see it right now,” said Torres, noting that the district tournament will be tough, as Jolley might meet Daniel Gordon of Grants.

“He has the kid from Grants and we have not seen Grants at all, so we will see,” said Torres.

Luis Soto (145 pounds), Joseph Barela (132), Jacob Pino (113) and Ramon Fuentes (170) all took home gold medals from the Los Alamos event.

Nate Nash was second at 152 pounds and Jacob Baca took third at 160.

Torres thinks his team is peaking at just the right time coming into the district tourney.

He still believes there are a couple of other favorites.

But the Tigers and Eagles should not count out the Jags. Valencia just could surprise in some weight classes at district and possibly state.

“It is kind of between Los Lunas and Belen,” said Torres. “They both have a lot of depth, so I hope that we can just get in there somewhere.”


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