By STEPHEN JIRON
Courier Sports Editor
CENTER — It’s that time of the year again. The majority of valley wrestlers flocked up north for the Valley Classic in Center. Centauri finished in second place as a team with a combined score of 199. First place went to Piedra Vista who took it with 221 points.
The Falcons had a great weekend with plenty of wrestlers earning podiums. Eyan Chavez and Remi Lucero both earned first-place finishes for the red and black. Chavez beat out Dylan Zimmerman of Hayden with an 8-3 Decision to top the podium at 132 pounds. Lucero earned another Centauri first place finish with a Fall over Chance Weining in the 285-pound weight class.
Behind them fellow Falcons Mario Vigil and Jownes Archuleta also advanced to championship matches. Vigil and Archuleta would settle for second-place finishes. Also placing for the Falcons were Zach Buhr and Byron Shawcroft with third-place finishes as well as Joseph Moreno with a fourth, Jordan Martin taking fifth and Adam Chacon earning a sixth-place finish.
As a team, Monte Vista would take 15th place with 54 team points. Monte Vista had some good competition with three wrestlers making the podium. Damian Lopez finished in fourth place in the 113-pound class. Lopez would fall out of the semifinals with loss by fall but earned his way into the third-place match with a 7-6 decision over Crowley County’s Dillon Buford. Also placing for Monte Vista were Ethan Hotz and Jason Duran. Both Hotz and Duran would finish with fifth-place finishes in their respective weight classes.
Sierra Grande-Centennial also got a podium and would take 17th place with 32 team points. Richard Atencio was the lone Panther wrestler to place and would settle for fourth place after relenting a Tech Fall to Drew Johnson of Salida. SG-Centennial were without two of their wrestlers at the Valley Classic. Isabella Durgan and Bobbie Maes took part in girls wrestling regionals in Castle Rock. Both girls would advance to the state finals slated for Feb. 9th, Durgan with a second place and Maes with a 5th place finish.
Also placing one wrestler was Sargent. The Farmers finished in 19th place with 23 team points. For Sargent, it was Parker Ford picking up a fifth-place finish by way of Forfeit.
For Mountain Valley Wyatt Gardner placed sixth earning all 15 of his team’s 15 points placing Mountain Valley 22nd. Also in attendance were Del Norte and Center who posted 20.5 and 2 points respectively as teams.
Most squads will clean up with some late season duals and tournaments as they prepare for regionals. According to Track Wrestling, Sierra Grande will host their Regional 2A tournament this year with valley teams Centauri, Center, Del Norte, Monte Vista and Sargent in attendance along with others. In 3A Alamosa will head north to Montrose where they’ll compete in regional tournament play at the Montrose Event Center. Both tournaments will take place on Feb. 15th.