Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

By Ron Warnick
QCS Senior Writer 

Wrestlers take third at Rattler Invitational


December 22, 2021

Ron Warnick

Tucumcari's Reyes Garcia, right, attempts a takedown move against Matthias Duran of St. Michael's during the 182-pound championship bout Saturday of the Tucumcari Invitational.

The Tucumcari wrestling team finished in a surprise third place on Saturday at its 10-team Rattler Invitational tournament, the Rattlers' best finish it at least a decade.

Wrestling power Las Lunas dominated the meet with 219 points in the team standings. Amarillo Tascosa (Texas) finished second with 89 points, and Tucumcari came in third with 78 points.

After what he called a disappointing performance the previous weekend at St. Michael's in Santa Fe, Tucumcari coach Eddie Encinias said he was pleased by his team's best finish at the Rattler Invite in 10 years and probably longer.

"It was a big difference a week later," he said. "It's really nice to place at your own tournament, especially when you have competition like Las Lunas and Tascosa. If you finish only behind them, it's a privilege ... it really is.

"I still think we have a lot of room for improvement. And we're going to improve," he added.

Encinias credited assistant coach Dennis Garcia for his team's rebound Saturday, saying he worked on his wrestlers' technique in the days leading up to the tournament..

Other teams and their point totals: Robertson 77, Trinidad (Colorado) 75 ?, West Las Vegas 73, Valencia 62, Taos 41, Pecos 40 and St. Michael's 35.

Several other teams from Texas and Kansas were scheduled to compete but dropped out because of New Mexico's mask mandate or a COVID-19 scare.

Tucumcari had no individual champions during the event. Xzander Garcia and Reyes Garcia each finished runner-up in their respective weight classes as the Rattlers' top medalists.

Xzander Garcia lost by pin to Los Lunas' Miguel Andrade in the 170-pound title match.

Reyes Garcia fell during an 11-4 decision to St. Michael's' Matthias Duran in the 182-pound championship bout.

Also piling up points for the Rattlers:

• Nicholas Romero, third at 113 pounds;

• Josh Pacheco, third at 152 pounds;

• Antonio Gonzales, fourth at 160 pounds;

• Adrian Villegas, fourth at 195 pounds;

• Khobie Salvador, fourth in the heavyweight division.

Tucumcari's next meet will be Jan. 4 at Amarillo High School in Texas.

"The guys are picking it up," Encinias said. "I just hope we don't get complacent during the break. We start off again at Amarillo High. I hope we're ready to go."


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