Back-to-Back Wins for Belen

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The Belen wrestling team triumphed twice this past week at home, setting the stage for a run at the top of the standings in Class 4A in February.

Kenn Rodriguez-News-Bulletin photo: VALENCIA WRESTLER Isaac Lewis grapples with Belen’s Estevan Chavez during the Jaguars-Eagles head-to-head dual match at Belen High School, Wednesday, Jan. 22.

The Eagles defeated cross-county rivals Valencia 51-12, Wednesday night, at Belen High School then turned around and took first at their own Leonard Kirby Invitational dual meet on Saturday, triumphing over Deming and Silver High in the championship round Saturday evening.

“That was huge,” said BHS coach Lee Chaves. “We beat two really quality teams. We beat some of their best wrestlers, our kids helped themselves a lot. I think we surprised them (Deming and Silver) a little bit.”

Belen defeated Deming decisively 60-18 in the final dual of the tournament, getting wins in eight of 14 weight divisions, including heavyweight Danny Gordon and 106-pound eighth-grader Rowdy Robinson.

“I think this was a good confidence boost for us (as a team),” Robinson said. “We beat one of the top 3A schools and one of the top 4A schools.”

The Eagles advanced to the championship pool by winning Pool A, defeating Bernalillo and Grants. In the first dual of the championship round, Belen defeated Silver 42-20.

Tigers take fifth at Kirby

Los Lunas finished sixth in the tournament, finishing second behind Silver High in Pool C, with Espanola Valley coming in third and the Belen junior varsity fourth.

In the Consolation Pool A, Los Lunas claimed fifth place. The Tigers defeated Moriarty but fell to Bernalillo, which also beat Moriarty in the pool to claim fourth place.

“A.J. and (Michael Freman) went undefeated and we ended up doing well,” said LLHS coach Steve Chavez. “We were 4-2 in duals, which was nice, and got a lot of match time, which is definitely what we wanted out of this. Once we get a full line-up we’ll do a lot better.”

Belen better in VHS dual

On Wednesday, Jan. 22, Belen hosted their final home dual match of the season, overwhelming visiting Valencia.

Chris Romero (120), Matthew Lucero (138), Nathaniel Martinez (160), Dustin Duenas (170) and Matthew Burgueno (180) all won by pin fall for the Eagles, who benefited from a pair of forfeits in the 195-pound and heavyweight divisions.

Valencia’s Randall Gomez (132), Albert Sanchez (145), and Nate Nash (152) all won by decision, as did Issac Lewis (220).

“It was a disappointing loss for us,” said VHS coach Lorenzo Carrillo. “We have a lot of things to work on. We had a few good matches, but we have a young team and don’t have a lot of experience, and that’s hurting us.”

The Jaguars wrestled at the APS Mini Invitational at Volcano Vista Saturday, placing eighth.

VHS wrestlers place at APS

Unofficially eighth at Saturday’s APS Mini Invitational at Volcano Vista High School, the Valencia wrestling team still found plenty of success, placing seven varsity wrestlers in the final results.

Jacob Pino (113) and Albert Sanchez (145) both made the championships of their weight divisions, both placing second while Joseph Barela (126) and Joey Sanchez (106) both battled to third place finishes. Randall Gomez (132), Urbano Gonzalez (170) and Isaac Lewis (220) all managed fourth place finishes in the eight-team tournament, won by Albuquerque Rio Grande.

“It was some tough competition but we wrestle a lot better than at Belen,” said coach Lorenzo Carrillo. “We were still giving up two weight classes but we did well. The Belen dual was not indicative of this team.

“We wrestled too defensively (that night). I think we learned from that, We were much more aggressive Saturday,” he said.

Junior varsity grappler Jon Diego Archuleta (106) won his division in the junior varsity tournament on Saturday while Lane Moss (138) took fourth place.

BHS, LLHS at Card Classic

Belen took on Albuquerque in a dual match at Albuquerque High, Wednesday, before heading to Las Vegas, N.M., Saturday, along with Los Lunas to wrestle at Robertson High School’s Cardinal Classic.

“It’s one of the bigger tournament in the state, because it’s man-to-man and you see a lot of the better teams in 4A,” said Gordon.”

Valencia’s dual match at Eldorado Wednesday was cancelled. The Jaguars are idle this weekend.