5 Panthers climb podium at Ariz. meet

Oliver’s title leads M-CHS to 8th place in 25-team event

Panthers junior Levi Gross overwhelms his opponent during a victory at the Page Tournament. Enlargephoto

Courtesy of Shad Bellmire

Panthers junior Levi Gross overwhelms his opponent during a victory at the Page Tournament.

Outnumbered, but not outclassed, the Montezuma-Cortez High School wrestling team enjoyed solid results at the Page (Arizona) Tournament on Jan. 24-25.

As a team, the Panthers finished eighth in the 25-team tournament, placing all five of their wrestlers on the podium.

Leading the way for the Panthers was junior Seager Oliver, who, looking every bit the top-ranked 170-pound wrester in Colorado’s 4A classification, finished 4-0 to win the tournament.

“Seager is wrestling really well right now,” said Panthers head coach Shad Bellmire.

Complementing Oliver’s performance and looking like a wrestler primed for a state-tournament run, Levi Gross, finished third in the 132-pound division with a 4-1 record.

“Levi is really rounding into form,” said Bellmire. “He’s in a great spot as we move toward regionals.”

Also finishing third at the tournament with 4-1 records were junior Justice Ramos (145 pounds) and freshman Josh Ramos (126 pounds).

Sophomore Victor Perez rounded out the Panthers’ podium finishers, placing sixth in the heavyweight division by virtue of his 2-3 record.

“We are on the right track,” said Bellmire. “We’re just point away from having two or three more kids in the finals.”

With the postseason fast approaching, the Panthers will next compete in Cortez at the Southwest League Duals on Feb. 8 before heading to Montrose for regionals Feb. 14-15.