RIO RANCHO – The Roswell High Coyote wrestling team has three grapplers – Travis Alarcon, Gabe Najar, and Christian Sanchez – still alive for a coveted state championship.
The three wrestlers won their first two bouts inside the Santa Ana Star Center on the first day of the state championship. The Coyotes also have three others still wrestling on the consolation side as well – Eddie Macias, JoeAngel Samora, and Kayden Graham.
The Rockets qualified two for the second day as seniors Jeremiah Garcia and Jeremiah Esparza both won two bouts to keep their hopes alive of placing in the top six.
Najar, the top seed, easily dispatched of his first two opponents and looks poised to wrestle in the finals. Sanchez, one of the few undefeated wrestlers remaining in the state,
pinned his first two opponents to make it to the semi-finals. Alarcon, at 145, got a pin and a major decision to move into the semifinals as well.
Macias, at heavyweight, shook off a heart-wrenching 2-1 three overtime loss to the top-seeded wrestler from Farmington to pin his Belen opponent to move on to day two.
Graham surprised many with his two big wins. The second win saw him overcome a 9-2 third period deficit to defeat Sean Ulibarri of Capital 10-9. Samora recorded two falls on the day and has a chance to advance on day two.
The Rockets still have two grapplers alive as Jeremiah Esparza squeaked out a 3-2 win in his opening bout and then downed Sean Maez of Academy 6-2 to advance to the third round of the consolations.
Jeremiah Garcia shocked two opponents with stellar records to move on. He opened with a 7-5 overtime win over Edgar Sanchez of Espanola who had a 25-12 record.
Garcia recorded a takedown with :01 second remaining. He downed Brandon Silago of Kirtland Central 6-2 to advance. Silago had a record of 25-15.
Freshman Fernando Rubio got a big overtime win before being eliminated and senior Damian Valdez recorded a pin before being eliminated.
Both teams begin wrestling at 9 a.m. with the finals set for 4 p.m.