Sunday, Feb. 8, 2009 | 3 a.m.
- Individual champions (by weight class)
- 103 - Mike Zellner - Bonanza
- 112 - Kenneth Davis - Cheyenne
- 119 - Britain Longmire - Cimarron-Memorial
- 125 - Brady Worden - Centennial
- 130 - Travis DeGroat - Cimarron-Memorial
- 135 - Colbey Garrison - Cimarron-Memorial
- 140 - Jake Evans - Legacy
- 145 - Steven Hernandez - Bishop Gorman
- 152 - Josh Cabrerra - Mojave
- 160 - Stuart Montenegro - Bonanza
- 171 - Johnny Field - Bishop Gorman
- 189 - Aaron Garcia - Cimarron-Memorial
- 215 - Daryl Eddings - Mojave
- 275 - Andrew Ramos - Sierra Vista
Cimarron-Memorial's wrestling team was expected to roll to a Sunset Region team championship Saturday, and it didn't disappoint.
The Spartans had the top spot of the tournament all but wrapped up entering the championship round and put an exclamation point on their performance by earning four individual region champions, twice as many as any other school.
Cimarron ended with 249.50 points, while host Bonanza was second with 173 and Sierra Vista was third with 133.50.
Even more importantly, Cimarron qualified nine wrestlers for the state tournament, to be held Feb. 13-14 at the Winnemucca Events Center in Northern Nevada. The top three finishers in each weight class at region qualify for state. No other school qualified more than four.
"This was a step in the right direction because next week is what it all comes to," Cimarron coach Tim Jeffries said. "Getting the qualifiers is important but now we'll have to have a great week of practice and come back and do well Friday and Saturday."
Two-time defending state champion Britain Longmire was the Spartans' first regional champ of the evening at 119 pounds, as he defeated Mojave's Alan Justo, 9-5. It was Longmire's third straight region title.
"It's good winning it, three times is impressive, but state is the thing you really want to win," Longmire said. "All of this is out the window now. This region championship gives us confidence but it's nothing more than a stepping stone for state."
The Spartans' Travis DeGroat and Colbey Garrison each won their 130- and 135-pound respective weight classes by pins as DeGroat's came against Clark's Jakob Payton and Garrison's against Centennial's Marcus Jackson.
"Winning here plays a big factor at state," said DeGroat, who finished second at state last year. "I want to win state so I can get into a good college. And it would mean a lot to me finishing my senior year being a champ."
Garrison said he liked the Spartans chances in Winnemucca.
"I think this is our year to win it," Garrison said.
Cimarron's final individual region champion came at 189 pounds as Aaron Garcia defeated Bonanza's DeAnti Perez, who couldn't finish the match due to a leg injury.
Garcia was up 7-0 at the time the match was stopped. It was his first region championship.
"It's a good feeling because it will affect my seed at state," Garcia said. "I want to do as good as I can at state to help us win a team title, and hopefully, an individual title."
At the conclusion of the tournament, Bishop Gorman's 145-pounder Steven Hernandez received the Sunset Region Wrestler of the Year. He defeated Cimarron's Brogan Ashjian by technical fall, 21-6, in the finals. A junior, Hernandez is looking for a third straight state title.
"I'm in the right direction now for my three-peat," Hernandez said. "At this tournament I didn't give up any points except the points I gave them. It felt good, but to me, region is just another match you have to win."
Bonanza's Joe Cap was also voted Sunset Region Coach of the Year. Cap's Bengals had two region champions crowned Saturday including 160-pounder Stuart Montenegro and 103-pounder Mike Zellner.
Zellner received a loud ovation from the fans in his home gym when he kicked off the championship round of the tournament with a 6-5 decision against Sierra Vista's Jevon Suggs. Zellner scored a go-ahead takedown with 40 seconds remaining in the match. The sophomore didn't place in the region tournament a year ago.
"This is the best feeling I've ever had," Zellner said. "I've been working since August with my coaches for this right here."
Bishop Gorman's Johnny Field won a second straight region championship in the longest match of the evening, as he beat Pahrump's Zach Weldon 10-5 in double overtime.
"You always wish you could go in there and tear your kid up, but knew coming in it would be a close match, and it's good to pull it off in the end," Field said.
Christopher Drexel can be reached at 990-8929 or email@example.com.