Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

Three wrestlers finish in top four individually


January 29, 2020

Three Tucumcari High School wrestlers finished in the top four individually during the prestigious, 20-team Cardinal Classic tournament at Las Vegas.

A’leaya Lucero at 145 pounds finished second in the first-ever girls bracket at the two-day event, despite her going against heavier wrestlers at times. Julian Vargas at 138 pounds and Caleb White at 152 each finished fourth in their weight classes.

Colt Garcia (182 pounds) finished fifth, Zach Bradfield (113) finished sixth and Charles Prieto (120) was seventh for Tucumcari.

Tucumcari finished 12th in the team standings with 218 points. Piedra Vista of Farmington dominated the tournament with 641 points. Cobre finished second with 390.

Tucumcari coach Eddie Encinias said he was happy how well Lucero performed despite her dealing with disadvantages in some matches.

“They kind of threw weights in there to get a full bracket,” Tucumcari coach Eddie Encinias said. “She was wrestling against girls heavier than her. It was a 10, 15-pound difference. She did outstanding. I think she’s going to do good at district, and I think she’s going to do good at state.”

Encinias said his upperclassmen — White, Garcia and Vargas — did well at the tournament as expected.

“Those guys just freakin’ performed tremendously,” he said, “especially when you go to a round-robin the first day and a bracket the second day.

“We also had some really good wrestling from the Cardiac Kids, Zach Bradfield and Xzander Garcia. They really stepped it up this weekend. Xzander had a really tough time the first day, and the second day he won four matches. The next day, he really turned it around. It was like he flipped a switch.”

Encinias said he also likes what he saw with the improvement of Isaiah Garcia and Isaiah Lopez.

“They were getting pinned early (in the season),” he said. “Now they’re battling for the whole match.”

Joe Martinez, a contender for the state title at 170 pounds, didn’t make the trip over the weekend because he was recovering from an illness. Dyson Clark at 195 also didn’t go because a family member was undergoing surgery.

“With Joe, I didn’t want him to compete halfway,” Encinias said. “That’s not Joe. We want to get him ready for this weekend.”

Tucumcari hosts key district matches Saturday against Robertson and West Las Vegas. Wrestling begins at 10:30 a.m. at the Snake Pit.


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