Nine wrestlers qualify for state competition

The Tucumcari Rattlers Wrestling team qualified nine for state competition, four of which are district champions.

QCS photos: Thomas Garcia

These nine Rattlers wrestlers will be competing at the 3A state wrestling tournament Friday and Saturday at Albuquerque.

"I am expecting a strong performance from the Rattlers during state competition Friday and Saturday at Albuquerque," said Eddie Encinias, Rattlers head coach.

Last week during district competition at Taos, the Rattlers had four district champions:

  • Augstin Sandoval (152 pounds)
  • Steven McClure (170 pounds)
  • Rudy Vallejo (220 pounds)
  • Breysen Billings (285 pounds).

Billings said he is excited about his district championship, though he is concentrating on being ready for a chance to face Saint Michael's 285-pound state champion Andres Blea.

Billings said this year he has already had a loss to Blea and would like nothing more than to earn a state championship by beating him.

"I know I have to work harder than before to be ready for that opportunity," Billings said.

Encinias said at district the Rattlers also had two second place winners with Dillon Wood (132 pounds) and Timmy Skinner (138 pounds), two finishing third place Joseph Otero (145 pounds) and Zach Martinez (120 pounds) and a fourth place Paul Lucero (126 pounds).

"We had an awesome district showing, though I am expecting even better at state," Encinias said. Encinias said Wood had a few mistakes in his match which kept him from earning a district championship, though he knows the seniors are going to step it up during state competition.

"I have high expectations from these guys, just as I have had all year," Encinias said. "They have higher expectation themselves. They are hungry and willing to give it their all to be champions."

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