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Local prep wrestling squads compete in tournaments last weekend

AZTEC − The Aztec High School boys wrestling team capped off an impressive weekend at Pagosa Springs, bringing home five individual champions from the Rocky Mountain Invitational.

Meantime, the Farmington High wrestling team finished ninth in the Conflict at Cleveland Invitational last weekend in Rio Rancho, competing against 30 of the top programs in the southwest.

Here's a recap of prep wrestling action from last weekend.

Aztec, Bloomfield come up big at Rocky Mountain Invitational

Aztec High School and Bloomfield High School's boys wrestling teams took home first and second place respectively in the 50th annual Rocky Mountain Invitational at Pagosa Springs High School.

The defending Class 4A state champion Tigers brought home five individual championships, including Taner Olguin, who won his 113-lb. weight class as well as Bryson Valdez, who took home a first place trophy in the 120-lb. weight class.

Aztec outscored Bloomfield 219 to 192 overall, with more than a dozen schools competing in the event, including teams from Durango, Bayfield, Montezuma-Cortez, Taos as well as the host Pirates squad.

Aztec's Tony Thompson, who just recently returned to the roster after battling injuries, claimed a championship this weekend, going undefeated in four matches at the 138-lb. weight class.

Jacob Greyeyes went 3-0 against his competition at the 190-lb. division to earn a first place spot, and Jaylen Ignacio swept his three rivals on his way to a championship at the 215-lb. weight class.

The Tigers had been stymied before and after the new year's holiday, with tournament schedules having to be altered due to flight cancelations and late entries at events in Silver City.

"What a difference a week can make," said Aztec head coach Herb Stinson. "From rags to riches in almost every sense of the word."

Bloomfield's Adan Benavidez of Bloomfield kept up his remarkable season for the Bobcats, bringing home a championship at the 132-lb. weight class, defeating Luke Tressler of Pagosa Springs in a decision. Benavidez is unbeaten this season after 24 matches.

J Gutierrez also brought home a championship, winning the 157-lb. division with a pinfall victory over Center (Colo.) High School's Andre Meraz.

Bloomfield's Robert Williams also brought home a championship, defeating Durango's Brett Franklin via pinfall to win the 285-lb. category. Williams is 17-1 on the season.

Both Bloomfield and Aztec are set to compete this weekend in Winslow, Arizona in the Doc Wright Invitational.

Farmington finishes ninth in Conflict at Cleveland

Farmington High School's Ivan Smith continued his outstanding season on the mat, improving to 21-1 and taking home a championship in the Conflict at Cleveland Invitational Tournament in Rio Rancho.

Smith, who will be looking to guide the Scorpions to a successful defense of their Class 5A state title in wrestling later this season, is also hoping to win back-to-back individual state championships next month. Smith was one of a handful of Farmington High wrestlers who had big performances last weekend.

Smith defeated Azariah Martinez from Hereford (Texas) High School via pinfall to win the championship at the 172-lb. weight class. Smith won all five of his matches at the classification over the weekend, defeating challengers from Rio Rancho, Hobbs, Los Alamos and Cleveland High Schools.

The Scorpions finished ninth in the event, behind Volcano Vista and Cleveland, who finished atop the final team scoreboard with Sahuarita (Arizona), Los Lunas and Atrisco Heritage Academy rounding out the top five schools.

Farmington's Cody Billie took home second place at the 285-lb. weight class, losing via decision against Jacob Acedo from Mountain View (Arizona).

The Scorpions will be on the road this weekend to compete in the Joe Vivian Invitational at Albuquerque High. Competition gets underway Friday at noon.