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Vigil opts to stick with wrestling, earns second state tourney berth

Dek: Alvarado, Peterson, Porta, Villalobos heading to state, too

By Steve Smith


                Ane’e Vigil has seen a considerable amount of wrestling success during his two years at Prairie View High School.

                He won a state title a year ago. He’s been at or near the top of the On the Mat Magazine’s rankings for 113-pounders this season.

                But as the saying goes, things are seldom what they seem.

                “At one point, I didn’t want to wrestle,” Vigil said. “I let the pressure get to me. I got talked to, mostly my coaches and my dad. They were telling me if I quit, I was going to regret it for the rest of my life. I stuck with it. Now, I feel better than ever. I’m back to my normal self.”

                Vigil (32-3 this season) pinned Monarch’s Noah Pearson in 2:21 of the semifinals.

                “He was being aggressive, coming really high,” Vigil said after clinching a spot in the state 5A tournament. “I used my fakes to get him to step. Then I’d snap and go behind him. On top, he was not really heavy on his hands. So I was able to get heavy on his hands and work a bar. I saw he was flat, so I opened up a cradle and got him on his back.”

                Vigil, who wound up second in his weight class, said it’s not hard to keep all those things in mind as he competes.

                “It’s muscle memory,” he said. “I remember from practice, all the practices. Those are my strengths.”

                Josiah Alvarado qualified for his third state tournament after earning a 9-3 decision over Fountain-Fort Carson’s Nathanial Higgins at 120 pounds.

                “I just stayed in position,” he said. “I was keeping my head in a good position, letting him make mistakes. I’ve been doing this since I was 3, so it’s muscle memory by now. It’s always tough. I always use those. It keeps me in the match.”

                Alvarado, who took second at his weight, is a senior.

                “It gives me an advantage. I have more strength and knowledge,” he said. “I would tell the younger teammates to focus and remember what you’re there for.”

                Alvarado sports a record of 30-5.

                “I was able to keep him down. He wasn’t able to score on me, other than the points I gave him,” Alvarado said. “I was doing what I do best, riding him out.”

                Prairie View’s state-qualifying contingent includes Nolan Peterson, who finished third at 106 pounds; Bryson Porta won the 170-pound regional title in overtime over Columbine’s Darrel Miller 2-1 at 170 pounds. Lukas Villalobos finished second at 220 pounds.

                Donovan Archuleta was sixth at 126 pounds. Vincent Klabon was sixth at 132 pounds. Jonathan Rea wound up sixth at 138 pounds, and Vahn Williams was sixth at 152 pounds. Benjamin Nichols recorded another sixth-place finish for the ThunderHawks, this time at 160 pounds. Tyler Schow finished fifth at 195 pounds. Christopher Parks finished fifth at 285 pounds.

                The ThunderHawks were third in the team standings.