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Cardinal wrestlers shine in Silver

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By Dave Kavanaugh

Of the nine guys Rico  Montoya pinned en route to a 9-0 mark and an Outstanding Wrestler award at this past weekend’s Silver Duals, eight didn’t make it out of the first period.

Montoya was one of the top individual performers for Robertson in the two-day event, and the Cardinals managed to win five duals as a team.

Joe Crespin (220 lbs.), who like Montoya is a defending state champion, also went 9-0.

“We did well in the duals considering the lineup is still incomplete due to injuries,” said RHS head coach Richard Martinez. “It was nice to have Dominic Lucero and Kenny Yara back on the mat.”

Lucero (138 lbs.) and Yara (170) both went 8-1, as did Ty Archuleta (106) and Diego Trujillo (160).

Bradlee Jordan (113) was 6-3, and Malachi Segura (180) went 3-2.

The Cardinals beat Santa Fe 33-27, El Paso Burgess 51-6, Roswell 51-18, Santa Teresa 48-15, and Hobbs 45-24.

Robertson’s team losses came against Carlsbad 42-27, Silver 54-27, Las Cruces 45-29, and Cobre 40-34.

“We are a fairly young team this year,” Martinez said, “and I was impressed with the growth of the wrestlers from the beginning of the tournament to the end.”

Montoya has been on a roll. The RHS sophomore placed third in the prestigious Old Chicago tourney Dec. 21-22 in Greeley, Colo., going 6-1 with the only loss coming against a two-time Colorado state champ.

Crespin, who led a contingent wrestling in Tucumcari that weekend, won the Rattler Invite with a 4-0 record.

Robertson is ranked No. 2 in the latest statewide poll for Class 1A-3A schools. St. Michael’s is first with 48 points and eight first-place nods. Cobre and Silver are tied for third, followed by Bloomfield. That poll is conducted by the Valencia County News-Bulletin.

James Gonzales, one of several key grapplers on the sidelines, said he hopes to be back soon.