Taos hosted the District 2-4A dual wrestling meet on Saturday (Feb. 8), and finished third by the end of it.
With competitors such as Los Alamos, Moriarty, Pojoaque Valley and Española Valley also participating, the Tigers finished in the middle of the pack.
The Tigers competed in only eight of the 14 weight classes.
Los Alamos and Moriarty, who finished in first and second place, respectively, had full teams and had clearly shown why they were the top of the pack.
Pojoaque Valley, however, had a team of three wrestlers and, because of that, wasn't in any position to finish atop the standings. Since the dual meets are based on teams' head-to-head scoring, the lack of athletes meant that, for different weight-class matches, the Elks inevitably had to forfeit points.
The Tigers performed well with what they had. Being a younger squad in terms of age and experience in the sport, Taos was able to finagle wins over the Elks and Española Valley. However, against Moriarty and Los Alamos, Taos was severely outclassed.
But that didn't mean individually Taos had bad performances against the two top teams in the district. In fact, Armando Valerio handled his Hilltopper opponent and pinned him in a half nelson just over a minute into the match.
Another example of Taos' strong individual performances came from Mante Chacon, who finished his Española Valley counterpart by pin in the second round before a cheering crowd.
"I think we did great considering we only had 8 out of 14 classes," Valencia said. "I am really pleased with how each individual wrestler performs. We are ready for state."
Now, the Tigers have the District 2-4A individual meet which will be held at Española Valley on Saturday (Feb. 15). There, the Tigers will face their final test to see which athletes make it to the state tournament that will be held at the Santa Ana Star Center on Feb. 21-22.