Cimarron stages rally, captures fifth 4A title in seven years


WINNEMUCCA — After having an off day by its standards, Cimarron-Memorial bounced back Saturday to win the school’s fifth Class 4A state wrestling championship in seven years.

The Spartans finished with 132 points, beating out runner-up Las Vegas’ 100. The Wildcats had a six-point lead after Friday’s matches but could not maintain the advantage.

Bishop Manogue was third with 54 points, followed by Bishop Gorman (47) and Galena (45).

“It was just a beautiful day,” Cimarron coach Mike Garcia said. “Man, what a performance. The kids stepped huge. We had an off first day and had an amazing step forward Saturday. We are proud of them.”

The Spartans had two individual champions: Britain Longmire at 119 pounds and Travis DeGroat at 130.

Longmire won his third consecutive state title, defeating Green Valley’s Mason Saldana 8-4 in the semifinals and Las Vegas’ Brett Sampson 11-4 in the finals. Longmire won at 103 in 2007 and 112 last year.

DeGroat gave up only three points all day, defeating Wooster’s Steven Elicegui 9-0 in the semis and Clark’s Jakob Payton 9-3 in the final.

Cimarron’s Colbey Garrison placed second at 135, losing 3-2 to Doug DelPorto of Galena. The Spartans padded their point total with three third-place finishes and two fourths.

“I never would have dreamed the outcome would turn out like this,” Garcia said. “We prepare the kids for the best, but they showed incredible character. Las Vegas had a nice little lead after day one, which makes it even more amazing. Our stomachs were turning all weekend long, but we just got on a roll tonight.”

Las Vegas, seeking its first state championship since 2002, had four finalists but only one champion, as heavyweight Madison Hales pinned nonscoring teammate Austin Woo in 1 minute, 24 seconds. Hales pinned Spring Valley’s Steve Haunga in the semifinals.

The Wildcats’ other finalists were Sampson and 215-pounder Trey McElhaney.

All of McElhaney’s matches were determined by two points or less, including a 3-1 overtime loss to Liberty’s Carlos Tautoto in the final. McElhaney beat Legacy’s Anthony White 16-15 in the first round and Palo Verde’s David Castro 5-4 in the semifinals.

Bishop Gorman had two champions in Steven Hernandez (145) and Johnny Field (171). Hernandez beat Bishop Manogue’s Ricky McDonald in the final, and Field beat Zach Weldon of Pahrump Valley.

Centennial’s Brady Worden (125) and Legacy’s Jake Evans (140) also won their classes.