Rico Montoya pinned three opponents and gave up a mere two points all tournament in compiling a 5-0 record over the weekend at the Joe Vivian Classic, the premier high school wrestling event in New Mexico.
Montoya and Joe Crespin — who reached the finals before falling in ultimate overtime — led Robertson to a ninth-place team finish.
“We continue to make progress every week,” said RHS head coach Richard Martinez. “I am satisfied with the ninth-place finish.”
Montoya (120 lbs.) earned his second consecutive title in the Joe Vivian Classic, which draws the top programs around the state from all classifications and is thus considered the “true state tournament” by the grappling community.
“Rico dominated in all his matches,” Martinez said, noting that Montoya is also pinning things down in the classroom with a 4.0 grade point average.
Arguably the most exciting match of the two-day tournament was Crespin’s championship bout against Rio Rancho Cleveland’s Clayton Panky in the 220 division.
Neither wrestler scored until Panky made a 1-point escape in the second period. Crespin tied it with an escape in the third, forcing the match into overtime.
The extra session mirrored regulation. After a scoreless stalemate in the first overtime, Panky escaped from bottom position for a 2-1 edge. Then Crespin, down to 30 seconds, broke free from Panky for the equalizer. Neither side scored again, necessitating ultimate overtime.
Panky again chose bottom and — with just eight seconds left — escaped to take the victory.
Crespin finished 3-1 in taking second place. Both he and Montoya are defending state champs.
Among the other top performers for Robertson were Dominic Lucero (4-2, 12 team points amassed), Ty Archuleta and Kenneth Yara (3-2, seven points apiece, Diego Trujillo (2-2, seven points), Malachi Segura (1-2, four points), and Jayme Gonzales (1-2, two points).
The Cardinals posted the second-highest team finish among Class 1A-3A schools in the tourney, garnering 89 points for ninth place.
Cleveland, which won three individual titles, was first overall with 190 points, followed by Rio Rancho, Rio Grande, Atrisco Heritage, Volcano Vista, St. Michael’s, Belen, Mayfield, Robertson, Valley, La Cueva, Manzano, Los Lunas, Eldorado, Carlsbad, Valencia, Las Cruces, Albuquerque, West Mesa, St. Pius X, Farmington, Oñate, Del Norte, Cibola, Moriarty, Highlands, Sandia, Gallup and Hobbs.