by David Tesitor
Walsenburg — Eighteen teams participated in the Pete and Ina Gomez Invitational Tournament and four Panthers placed, solidifying their individual state rankings. The tournament had plenty of action, controversy and disappointment.
Senior Jacob Tenorio entered the event with a 2-2 record and was ranked the number-eight 113 pound wrestler in the state. He had little trouble in his first bout, pinning Kaven Martinez of Pueblo Central in 1:53. He then faced another Central opponent, Jeremiah Gonzales, in the second round. Tenorio took control of the match early with a quick takedown, but Gonzales fought back to gain a 3-2 advantage.
Tenorio escaped a hold at the end of one for the point, to tie the score at three points apiece. It was all Tenorio in the second as he scored two takedowns and had an escape to give him a 9-4 advantage.
As the second period was nearing an end, Gonzales was called on an illegal hold (forearm to the throat) as he had Tenorio in a near pin fall. Once the hold was broken, and after the Central coaches argued it was a pin, Tenorio dropped Gonzales to the mat like a rag-doll for the pin at 3:49. Gonzales then demonstrated poor sportsmanship by pushing a celebrating Tenorio and throwing down his headgear, drawing a near disqualification from the tournament.
Gonzales would have been ejected from further competition had it been a closed hand. As it was, Central had two team points deducted from their total score. Tenorio lost his third match, dropping him to the third-place bracket where he won without wrestling because of his opponent’s five-match rule. His scheduled opponent was Jason Barela of Swink who lost in his first round and had four matches in the consolation bracket, forcing the rule enforcement.
John Paul Vigil (120) fell victim to the same five- match rule and he finished in fourth place. Vigil, a junior, was ranked sixth in the state going into the day’s matches. Vigil won easily in the first round on a 15-0 technical pin, but lost by pin fall in the second round to Michael Hoops of Del Norte in 2:57. Vigil then wrestled back in the consolation rounds with decisive victories over Frank Atencio on a major decision, 10-0, and over Chris Archuleta of Pagosa a technical fall. Vigil’s opponent would have been Hoops in a rematch to determine third place.
The highest advancing Panther was John Burch at 138 pounds. Burch is ranked seventh and will likely move up this week. Burch controlled his first opponent, Trent Bugwell of St. Mary’s, building a 10-3 point lead before he slammed Bugwell to the mat and the pin at the 3:37 mark. He then went on to defeat Havens of St. Mary’s 12-3. Havens was the number-8-ranked wrestler in 3A. Burch’s first loss came in the championship finals to Daniel Kapel of Limon.
Jacob Pino finished the day in third position when he defeated Cassidy DeYapp of Pagosa Springs by pin fall six seconds into the final period. Pino had a quick takedown and rolled on top of DeYapp for the pin. To get there, Pino won a major decision over Michael Schaffer of Trinidad, pinned Aaron Yazzie of Pagosa, but was defeated by Shawn Beringer of Del Norte, the fourth-ranked wrestler in the state.
The final Panther to place was Lorenzo Trujillo who finished third in the tournament in the heavyweight category. Trujillo pinned his first opponent in three minutes and nine seconds after a grueling scoreless first period. Lorenzo came alive with a takedown when he turned Shawn Serin on his back for the pin.
He then faced Mark Schroeder of Swink in the quarterfinals. Schroeder was the ultimate champion. He was ranked third in the state and pinned Trujillo at the 4:58 mark. It was a tough match where both wrestlers tried to earn the advantage, but Trujillo could not escape once he landed on his back.
Trujillo then wrestled Ray Riggins of Trinidad, pinning his opponent in 2:28. In the third-place round, Lorenzo continued to dominate, taking down Dillon Stenson of Rye early in the match and gaining a pin in forty-four seconds, the second fastest pin in the heavyweight division.
Gary M. Vezzani was elected Walsenburg’s mayor in Tuesday’s special mayoral election/recall vote. Preliminary results announced Tuesday night show that both Nick Vigil in Ward