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Prep wrestling squads head into crucial final weeks of season


AZTEC − Facing some of the top high school wrestling programs in the western United States last weekend, teams from across the county boys now prep for district competition in the final weeks of the regular season.

The Bloomfield High and Aztec High boys wrestling teams earned high marks last weekend at the Doc Wright Invitational in Winslow, Arizona, led by Bloomfield's fifth place finish, while Aztec finished 11th. More than 50 teams participated in the two-day event, won by Cleveland High School, followed by Orting (Wash.) High School, Yuma Catholic and Safford (Arizona).

The Bobcats were led by Hunter Samora, who finished third in the 113-lb. weight class, beating Aidan Hernandez from Durango. Bloomfield also got big performances from Elias Johnson (fifth place at 126 lbs.), as well as Sam Eveland (fourth place at 144 lbs.).

Aztec's Bryson Valdez won the 113-lb. weight class, beating Khel Lipumano from Yuma Catholic and improving his unbeaten record on the season to 25-0. Jaylen Ignacio finished third overall at the 225-lb. division, beating Casteel's (Ariz.) Austin Young.

"We always promise to take our teams to the toughest tournaments possible," said Aztec head coach Herb Stinson. "We took them to a true meat grinder in Arizona."

In the Doc Wright Girls Invitational event, Bloomfield finished 13th while Aztec finished 21st out of 41 teams which gathered for the event.

Aztec's Makayla Munoz, continuing her perfect record in her senior season, took home a first place medal at the 145-lb. weight class, defeating Round Valley's Sonora Harper by pinfall.

Bloomfield's Amia Goins finished second overall in the 186-lb. weight class, losing the championship bout to Brooke Newton from Coolidge, Ariz. by pinfall.

In the Garrison Spencer Memorial Duals held last weekend at Shiprock High School, Farmington finished third overall, ahead of Shiprock, Aztec, Kirtland Central and Bloomfield squads.

Shiprock's Cudia Tihe went 5-0 at the 225-lb. weight class, leading the Chieftains in the event, taking home a first-place medal with a decision victory over Marcus Denny from White Horse, Utah.

Chase Gibbs from Kirtland Central also had an unbeaten record at the duals meet, winning all four of his matches, including a pinfall victory over Aztec's Aiden Trujillo.

Local District 1-4A teams will take part this weekend in a district meet at Miyamura High School.