The state wrestling title – won by a City of Vision high school every year save one since 2003 – remains solidly within the city limits for another year. It wasn’t even close.
The Cleveland Storm clobbered the competition, repeating as 6A state champions by a healthy 40 points. They had the team title pretty much wrapped up before the finals even began, but several Cleveland wrestlers added to the Storm’s success by taking down individual titles. Mikey Mascareñas at 120 pounds and Noah Mirabel at 126 each captured their third individual state titles, and heavyweight Daimon Altamirano’s, 40-second pin of Las Cruces’ Benny Hernandez in the last match of the night put the exclamation point, in spades, on a terrific tournament for the defending champions.
It was a joyous win for Altamirano, who nearly dropped head coach Evan Copeland over his shoulder in the midst of a big bear-hug.
If the Storm had faltered, the Rio Rancho Rams were right there, ready to keep the wrestling title in their home town. The Rams had to settle for second, finishing ahead of third-place Piedra Vista by 24 points. Two Rams wrestlers captured individual honors: at 160, Orion Gutierrez pinned Volcano Vista’s Jacob Grobecker at the 3:40 point in his match, and Ryan Rochford’s victory over Santa Fe’s Isaiah Martinez may have been the best match of the entire state wrestling tournament.
Rochford, wrestling at 152, had to come from behind to tie the match before taking down Martinez to claim a sudden-victory decision in overtime. It was Rochford’s second state title.
The Storm and Rams each qualified four wrestlers for the finals: Tristan Mascareñas, Mikey Mascareñas, Mirabel, and Altamirano for the Storm, and Daniel Vargas, James Emmer, Rochford, and Gutierrez for the Rams.
The Storm’s previous wrestling titles came in 2012, 2013, and 2016 (the school opened in 2009-10). The Rams dominated big-school state wrestling in the years before CHS opened, winning titles in 2003-05 and 2007-11, as well as 2014 and 2015.