Los Lunas, Belen show strength in Deming Duals

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The unusual format of the Deming Duals wrestling meet kept the Los Lunas and Belen wrestling teams from bringing home any hardware collectively, but both teams performed well at the meet, held at Deming High School on Saturday, Dec. 20.

Tigers coach Steve Chavez said his team would have placed first if a traditional format had been used and said he was happy with his team's performance overall.

"They tore it up," Chavez said. "The guys continue to improve. We have some stuff to work out, but overall I'm happy with where the guys are."

Roman Cervantes (106) again did well in his division, going undefeated in the day as did Miguel Alvarado, who finished 4-0 on the day.

Robert Lowe and Andrew Salazar both picked up second-place finishes, losing tough matches in the finals. Tristan Rasp, A.J. Saucedo, and Antonio Alvarado all placed third in their divisions while heavyweight George Truesdale took a fourth-place finish.

"We were exposed to a lot of new blood and were able to beat some quality wrestlers," Chavez said.

Belen finished fourth unofficially at the Deming Duals, but coach Lee Chaves said he felt his team did better but it wasn't reflected in the unusual scoring format as some divisions relied on pool-play to determine who would make finals matches rather than head-to-head competition.

"We really wrestled well as a team," Chaves said, pointing out that the team had three wrestlers lose by default due to injuries and were missing wrestlers in two weight classes.

"If not for that, we probably would have won the tournament," Chaves said. "But we felt really good about how the kids did."

Three Eagle wrestlers ended up wrestling for first place with David Martinez (195) placing first and Anthony Trujillo (126) coming in second in his division as did heavyweight Daniel Gordon, losing in the final match to Eric Lopez of Gadsden — the man he beat a week earlier at the Las Cruces Invitational.

Josh Garcia (152) and Dustin Duenas (180) both lost just one match but due to the format in the divisions did not make it out of pool play.

"We got some great matches in," said Chaves. "At this point of the season, we're not so concerned with bringing home trophies as we are about getting mat time and getting better. I can see this team really coming together."

Belen and Los Lunas have the weekend off but will face each other in a dual meet on Wednesday at Belen High School.

"That's always an exciting match," Chaves said.

Some teams go through figurative trials by fire. The Valencia wrestling team had its trials at the APS Mini Invitational limited by fire.

A bus fire on the morning of Saturday, Dec. 20, kept the Jaguars from boarding the ill-fated bus, causing them to miss weigh-in at La Cueva High School. That effectively ended the team's chances of moving up the standings at the meet.

Because they were stuck without transportation, the Jags earned just 21 points, tying Albuquerque Valley for 14th in the tournament.

"We wrestled a little down, a little sloppy. But we had some highlights," said VHS coach Lorenzo Carrillo. "We weren't in a position where we were going to score too well (Saturday). We were hoping for a better outcome on the second day, but we didn't get the opportunity to do it."

Carrillo singled out wrestlers George Sanchez, Jacob Pino, Randall Gomez, Marco Gonzalez and Urbano Gonzalez from Friday's action.

The Jaguars next travel to Gallup Saturday for the Miyamura Invitational.