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Wrestling and swim teams make big strides to state titles in recent meets


FARMINGTON — Local and area high school swimming and wrestling teams took another big step towards next month's state championships with winning efforts last weekend at regional meets and duals.

Here's a look at how some of the local and area prep teams fared over the weekend.

Wrestling

Tigers and Bobcats have strong efforts at Doc Wright Invitational

The Aztec High School wrestling teams took part in the Doc Wright Invitational in Winslow, Arizona.

The Tigers boys team finished fifth overall in a tournament comprised of nearly three dozen teams from across the region, including Piedra Vista and Bloomfield.

Aztec was represented in the win column by Bryson Valdez, who went 5-0 during the meet and was named outstanding wrestler, winning the 113-lb. weight class beating Breck Williams from Morenci High School in Arizona.

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Farmington wrestling coach John Mason
After their victory tonight at home over Aztec, we caught up with Farmington High School wrestling coach John Mason.
Steven Bortstein, Farmington Daily Times

Talan Olguin also took home an individual championship, going 5-0 and winning the 120-lb. division, beating Tony Hernandez out of Coconino.

Tony Thompson also took home a third-place trophy, going 5-1 in the event at the 150 lb. weight class.

Bloomfield was represented in the win column by Adan Benavidez, who went unbeaten over the weekend and took home a championship at the 126-lb. weight class, beating Ty Trickle from Brophy Prep based out of Phoenix in the finals.

Matthias DeHerrera finished second at the 138-lb. division, losing in the championship match to Joseph Misitano from Campo Verde High School in Gilbert, Arizona.

Casteel High School, out of Queen Creek, Arizona, won the overall team boys titles, with Bloomfield finishing eighth overall and Piedra Vista checking in 30th.

In the girls wrestling competition, the Aztec team finished fourth overall out of 24 teams competing in the event.

Makayla Munoz and Princess Altisis each took home championship trophies during the event. Munoz defeated Anneliese Kisting from Casteel High School to win the 126-lb. weight class while Altisis won by decision over Camry Carter from Casteel to win the 138-lb. division.

For the Tigers wrestling program, this past weekend was hopefully a sign of things to come in the final weeks before the state tournament in Rio Rancho.

Aztec was undermanned in their duals meet earlier in the week at Farmington due to COVID restrictions limiting participation.

"It was an extremely telling week," said Aztec wrestling head coach Herb Stinson. "Our meet in Farmington did not work out so well."

The Lady Tigers earned individual strong performances from Nadya Duran and Brinn Kerby, who each finished second in their respective weight classes.

Meantime, Bloomfield's Amia Goins finished second in the 165-lb. division, losing in the championship match against Campo Verde's Nina Sandoval.

Farmington wrestling earns fourth place in Joe Vivian Classic

Scorpion wrestling took part in Joe Vivian Classic in Albuquerque, finishing fourth overall of 23 teams. 

The Scorpions were led by Kioni Benally, who won the 285-lb. weight class by defeating Gavin Brumley from Hobbs, as well as second place efforts from Victor Borunda at the 225-lb. division as well as Ezekiel Borunda at the 195-lb. weight class. 

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Aztec High School wrestling coach Herb Stinson
After their meet against Farmington High School, we caught up with Aztec High School wrestling coach Herb Stinson.
Steven Bortstein, Farmington Daily Times

"It was a tough weekend for the boys, but lessons were learned, and sometimes that’s the better outcome," said Farmington coach John Mason. "They faced some tough competition and managed to bring home 4th place, despite missing a few key players."

Los Lunas won the event, with Volcano Vista and La Cueva rounding out the top three schools.

Swimming/Diving

Keeping pace with the second half of the season, the Farmington High School swim and dive team added five more qualifiers to next month's state championship meet.

The Scorpions added 5 more events to the State swim & diving championships in February also achieved personal best time in a number of categories during the Nephi Invitational last weekend.

More: Scorpions wrestlers earn high marks; Bloomfield girls basketball falls short in Durango

Aili Talcott earned a spot in the starting blocks for the state championships in the 200-yard freestyle, beating Piedra Vista's Torince Tanner by more than 36 seconds in the race, completing the race in just a shade under 2:01.

Morgan Deale also stamped herself a contender for a state championship in the 500-yard freestyle event, beating Piedra Vista's Hannah Freeman by more than 1 minute and 18 seconds.

Farmington improved on state qualifying times in four different relay events as well and have set themselves up well as one of the teams to beat in the state finals.

Next up for the Scorpions is the Griffen Invite in Santa Fe on Saturday.

Steve Bortstein can be reached via email at SBortstein@Gannett.com, via Twitter @DTSBortstein or on the phone at (505) 635-2680.