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Topper Wrestling Has Good Showing At State

on February 26, 2019 - 6:59am
Damian Gonzales in weight class126 wins his semi-final match Saturday against a wrestler from Valencia with a score of 4-3 and progresses to the championship round. He was to face a wrestler from Aztec who had a record of  41-2. The match was tough going for Damian and he was eventually pinned. He finished with a second place medal. As a team the Toppers finished the tournament in seventh place. Photo by John McHale/

Israel Gellis wrestling against a wrestler from Belen in weight class 138 was awarded a sixth place medal. Photo by John McHale/     

Sports and Outdoors
Los Alamos Daily Post

The Los Alamos High School wrestling team just missed placing among the top five teams at the Class 4A state wrestling tournament Feb. 23 at the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho.

The Hilltoppers scored 106.5 points as a team. They were just two points behind Belen High School and Bloomfield High School, who tied for fifth place, each with 108.5 points. Taos High School was fourth with 140 points. Los Lunas High School took third place with 171 points. In second place was Silver High School with 183 points.

The Class 4A state champion was Aztec with 225 points.

The Hilltoppers sent 14 wrestlers to the state tournament, representing every weight class. Los Alamos made a good showing with a team that has a nice blend of youth and experience. Eleven of the wrestlers from Los Alamos won at least one match at state, while five received medals as state placers. Medals are awarded to the top six wrestlers in each of the 14 weight classes.

After wrestlers suffer their first loss, they move to the opposite side of the bracket and compete for third and fifth place. It is referred to as the “backside”.

The best finish by a Hilltopper was turned in by sophomore Damian Gonzales. Gonzales took second place in the 126-pound weight class. He defeated Preston Hammack of Valencia in the opening round with a technical fall, scoring 20 points to Hammack’s five points. In the quarterfinals, he took a 5-4 decision over Mason Alley of Albuquerque Academy. Gonzales then defeated Christophe Valencia of Taos High School 4-3 to advance to the championship match    

In the championship match, Christian Robison of Aztec pinned Gonzales to win the state championship.

Los Alamos senior Milo Light, who missed much of the season, was able to end his career winning his last match and earning a third-place medal. After winning his first two matches by pinning his opponent, Light lost in the semifinals. Wrestling on the backside, Light pinned Walter Baca of Los Lunas to take third place.

Senior Dylan Irish got off to a good start, pinning his first opponent and then earning a major decision in his next match to advance to the semifinals. He was defeated in the semifinals by Taos Michael Valerio. On the backside, Irish pinned Silver High School’s Bristan Lockett to advance to the third-place match. Santa Teresa High School’s Andrew Sevilla took a close 4-3 decision over Irish to finish third. Irish took fourth place.

Los Alamos freshman Roman Ulibarri had a great start, pinning his first two opponents to advance to the semifinals. Brenden Olsen of Silver pinned Ulibarri in the semifinals. On the backside, Ulibarri took a 9-3 decision over Ryan Maes of Bernalillo High School to advance to the third-place match.  In the third-place match, Ulibarri was pinned by Bloomfield’s Adan Benavidez and finished fourth.

Los Alamos senior Israel Gellis pinned Ruidoso’s Bracxton Hall and Pojoaque Valley’s Javin Lujan in his first two matches. He lost in the semifinals to Los Lunas’ Jordan Gallegos. Wrestling on the backside, Gellis lost to Silver’s Oscar Lopez. In the fifth-place match, Gellis was pinned by Belen’s Colton Gonzales and finished sixth.

The following wrestlers and their respective weight classes won two matches and lost two matches competing at the state wrestling tournament: Sophomore Isaiah Maestas (113 pounds), Sophomore Mateo Martinez (195 pounds).

Wrestlers who won one match and lost two for Los Alamos were: Freshman Joshua Archuleta (120 pounds), Eighth-grader Teke Nieto (145 pounds), Freshman Liam Harper (152 pounds), Junior Ty Nieto (170 pounds).

Also competing at state for the Hilltoppers were: Sophomore Devan Mayfield (132 pounds), Freshman Damian Martinez (160 pounds), Junior Dimitri Bullock (220 pounds).

Roman Ulibarri wrestles in weight class 106. He lost his first match in the semi-final round and lost in the finals to a wrestler from Silver. He was awarded a fourth place medal. Photo by John McHale/

Gloria Ramos wrestling in the girls 160 class was awarded a third place medal. Photo by John McHale/

Dylan Irish lost his match in the finals to a wrestler from Santa Teresa 3-4. He was awarded a fourth place medal. Photo by John McHale/

Milo Light won his match with a pin in the finals over a wrestler from Los Lomas with a record of 25-2 and was the number one seed in weight class 285. Milo finished in third place for the tournament. Photo by John McHale/