Contenders were separated from the pretenders one step further Saturday afternoon at the District 3-5A wrestling meet at Amarillo High.
That meant there weren’t a whole lot of surprises to found among the 13 schools participating in the boys and girls brackets. Perennial boys power Randall won the team competition with 253 points, edging Tascosa by 15 points, and Dumas won the girls team competition with 209 points, 49 ahead of runner-up Caprock.
For Randall, it was a matter of consistency. Randall had seven wrestlers reach the finals, with two gold medalists and five silver medalists.
It was a good tune-up for next week’s region meet at West Texas A&M’s First United Bank Center.
“I thought we had the kids to come in here and win this title but I knew it wasn’t going to be easy by any means,” Randall coach David Quirino said. “This district has the most medals in the last four years of any district and some regions for that matter. You’ve got to bring you’re A game. It’s a tough deal. This district is second to none.”
As was Randall in the points standings at the end of the day. And nobody was more convincing over two days that Riley Davis in the 175-pound class.
Davis won his first three matches in pins, none of which lasted any longer than 90 seconds, to reach the final. There, he couldn’t pin Palo Duro’s Darien Lewis, but still dominated from start to finish to win a 10-0 major decision, claiming the district title and improving to 22-2 on the season.
He had previously beaten Lewis, who has a 35-5 record, in a district dual match.
“Not 100 percent, I wish I would have done better in the finals but it is what it is,” said Davis in assessing his four matches. “Each week I’ve got to get better. It was a tougher match than I had in district but I still could have done a little bit better. I’ve still got some work to do and I’ll fix that up before state comes for sure.”
Randall’s other winner was Michael Ruiz at 106, as he pinned Tascosa’s Aden Zamora at 5:31 to improve to 43-5 on the season.
Davis and Ruiz weren’t the only big scorers for Randall. All told, Randall have eight wrestlers win gold, silver or bronze.
“Overall I felt we had a good performance but there were some points we left out there and we’re going back to the drawing board to get those points,” Quirino said. “We’ve got a game plan ready to go.”
Tascosa actually had the most individual winners of any team with four, as Ethan Sims (113), Thomas Pacheco (132), Landin Lamberth (157) and Andres Suarez (165) all took home gold.
The most impressive performance by a Tascosa wrestler, though, might have come from the girls side. It wasn’t the biggest performance, but Zurri Zamora stood bigger than anybody when the day was done.
Zamora was last girl listed in the field alphabetically, but at the end of the day she was the only wrestler in either the boys or girls draws to remain undefeated on the season. She was the first girl to win a gold medal on the day, as she won the 100-pound class by beating Caprock’s Tammy Salazar 9-2 and improve to 37-0.
“I could have done a little bit better but I’m always my toughest critic,” Zamora said. “I think (Salazar) is a really good opponent and I think did really well to beat her the way I did. I wanted to end it a little bit sooner and I figured I’d get more back points but time was running out.”
Dumas was plenty busy on the medal podium, getting six girls into championship matches. Emily Loya (126), Elaina Morgan (138) and Jolee Jones (235) all won gold medals and three other girls won silver.
Add to that a bronze medal, and it’s easy to see why Dumas took home the team title.
“We always have the expectation to perform so I would say we were looking forward to this,” Dumas coach Chris Holzworth said. “We have a good group of girls and that was our expectation. Emily Loya wrestled extremely well in her finals match and so did Elaina Morgan. Jolee Jones has been looking to get that win under her belt all season.”
Tascosa also won three finals matches, sweeping the three lightest. Joining Zamora as a gold medalist were Talyn Burkhalter at 107 and Miliyah Pacheco at 113.