SANTA FE — Daniel Martinez stayed unbeaten over the weekend, earning the 152-pound championship in Capital’s 21st annual Jaguar Invitational.
Martinez, a Robertson junior and a three-time state champion, was honored as the tournament’s outstanding middleweight wrestler.
The Cardinals, who’d entered Saturday’s semifinal round as the No. 3 team in the 18-team draw, wound up dropping to sixth place with 111 team points by the end of the tourney.
Class 4A state hopeful Moriarty held on to capture the team title with 258 points, beating Roswell (135) and Amarillo Tascosa (125). Tascosa slipped from its second place spot entering the semis. West Mesa and Colleyville Heritage out of Texas rounded out the top five.
Martinez, who’d entered the tournament 7-0 after a successful run in the Rio Rancho Great Southwest Duals, defeated Jake Marchand of Moriarty in the 152-pound final.
Several other Cardinal grapplers reached the semifinal round.
Estevan Baca, Robertson’s 215-pounder, made it to his final before falling to Colleyville’s Donovan Kleckner.
RHS eighth-grader James Gonzales lost in one 119-pound semifinal to eventual champ Hiroshi Mathys of West Mesa but finished strong by beating Darius Gonzales of Pecos.
And Matthew Gurule, the Cardinals’ 189-pounder, lost to Bishop Whiteside of Roswell Goddard in the 189 third-place match.
Martinez, who has collected a number of outstanding wrestler accolades over the course of his prep career, was one of three grapplers honored at the Jaguar Invite. The others were Moriarty’s Manuel Griego, who topped Goddard’s Luis Terrazas to win at 171; and Tascosa 112-pounder Nick Herrman, who knocked off Roswell’s Jordan Padilla to take that weight class.
RHS head coach Richard Martinez said he enjoys the Capital High tourney because of its relative proximity to Las Vegas as well as its complement of tough teams like Moriarty.
The Cardinals wrestle in a tournament at Silver High on Dec. 29.
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Pecos’ Jonathan Torrez reached the 130-pound championship match, losing to Anthony Abeyta of Santa Fe High.
The Panthers placed 11th as a team.