Wrestlers impressive in Ariz. tournament

Bears' junior Guy Wallace poses with his outstanding wrestler award after winning the Sand Devil Classic wrestling tournament.

With regionals and state fast approaching, the Dolores Bears wrestling team appears to be peaking at the right time.

Putting together their finest performance of the season at the Sand Devil Tournament in Page, Ariz., on Jan. 24-25, the Bears finished ninth out of 24 teams, placing all five of their wrestlers on the podium.

Leading the way for the Bears was junior Guy Wallace, who, wrestling as well as he has throughout his career, placed first in the 138-pound division.

By virtue of his performance, which included a semifinals victory over top-ranked Colter McMenimen of Bayfield, Wallace was named the tournament's outstanding wrestler.

"(Wallace) wrestled better than I've ever seen him wrestle," said Bears coach Leo Garand. "He's hitting a whole new level."

Also performing impressively for the Bears was senior Ethen Upton, who, after losing his first- round match, recovered to win-out and place third at 182 pounds.

As a result of his performance, Upton was named comeback wrestler of the tournament.

Rounding out the Bears' placers, freshman Richard Martinez placed third at 113 pounds division, senior Deano Valdez placed fourth at 145, and freshman Brandon Ward placed fourth at 106.

"It was a very competitive tournament, and the team wrestled well," said Garand.

Next up for Bears grapplers will be the Ignacio Invitational Tournament on Feb. 1.