Sanchez Finishes Fourth At State

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Española senior Edgar Sanchez took fourth place in the 145-pound weight class at the Class 4A state wrestling tournament Feb. 23 at the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho. Sanchez faced Belen High School's​ Martin Ammons in the semifinals (above) and lost a 12-4 major decision (photo by John McHale).

Sanchez Finishes Career Fourth At State

By George Morse

Española Valley senior Edgar Sanchez finished his career ar Española  Valley High School receiving a fourth-place medal in the 145-pound weight class at the Class 4A state wrestling tournament Feb.23 at the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho. A wrestler since is freshman year, Sanchez steadily progressed and ended his career receiving his first medal at state.

The second seed in the 145-pound weight class, Sanchez began the competition with a victory by pinning Taos High School’s  Jason Montoya Feb. 22 in the opening round. He advanced to the quarterfinals and won his next match by pinning Kayden Malcom of Gallup High.

Advancing to the semifinals Feb. 23, Sanchez took on Martin Ammons of Belen High School. Ammons proved to be a tough opponent. The wrestler from Belen defeated Sanchez in a major decision 13-4 and Ammons advanced to the championship match.

Sanchez moved into the consolation bracket, sometimes referred to as the “backside.” In his first match on the backside, Sanchez pinned Jesus Rodriguez of Chaparral High School to advance to the third-place match.

Sanchez faced Matthew Gurule of Los Lunas High School in the third-place match. Gurule also proved to be a tough opponent and ended up winning a 10-2 major decision over Sanchez. Sanchez ended up taking fourth place.

“That was a very tough weight class,” Española  Coach Aaron Salinas said. “Looking at the whole picture, considering where he started and where it ended, Edgar made a tremendous run. He started as a freshman with no experience at all. He laid it all on the line at state. I never thought he would get that far until this year.”

Sanchez’s wrestling career may be over. His future looks bright. In January he received a full, all-expenses four-year Davis New Mexico scholarship to the University of Denver.

Other wrestlers competing at state for the Sundevils were Tsosie Toure at 106 pounds, Gabriel Manzanares  at 113 pounds, Nicko Pacheco at 132 pounds and Martin Martinez at 152 pounds.

Toure, Manzanares and Martinez lost their opening-round matches and their first matches in the consolation round.They all finished 0-2 at state.

Pacheco fell one victory short of placing in the top six and receiving a medal. Pacheco pinned Diego Snell-Martinez of Bloomfield High School in the opening round. In the quarterfinals, he was defeated by Aztec High School’s Garrett Birzer in a 13-4 major decision.

In the consolation bracket, Pacheco pinned Ibrahim Zakhel of Del Norte High School. In his next match, Pacheco was defeated by Dylan Frederickson of Los Lunas High School in a close 6-5 decision. Pacheco was a point away from placing at state.