Ashley Smith

She had just defeated the No. 1 seed, Carlsbad’s Rosalia Rubio, 3-2, thanks to part to a point awarded her because of a Rubio stall, followed by a takedown in the final seconds of the third period.

Smith (32-9), went into the state meet as the 2 seed, and left the Events Center as the Storm’s first female state champion.

Smith had the best finish of the nine city girls on the mats there in the Feb. 17-18 meet.

“She’s a tremendously hard-worker,” CHS coach Evan Copeland said. “She loves wrestling. She lives the right way, the right style – we have to tell her to not do so much at times, take some breaks.”

Also making it to the podium, where the top six in each class were awarded medals:

  • Rio Rancho junior Elena Cordova (25-7), who went into the 100-pound bracket as the 3 seed and pinned the 2 seed en route to the championship match, where she lost an 11-3 major decision to the No. 1 seed.
  • Cleveland freshman Heaven Guevara (34-5), the No. 1 seed in the 126-pound division, rolling early with pins in her first two matches before being pinned herself, and settling for a third-place finish.
  • Rio Rancho freshman Tatum Dain (27-14), finished fourth.

Also competing at state, but not among the top six, were Cleveland High sophomores 100-Mikayla Randall-Varela (22-12), 107-Alexis Saavedra (16-19) and 132-Jianna Coon (26-17); and Rio Rancho eighth-grader (13-12) at 185 and sophomore 152-Kaysia Bush (5-12).

In the team standings, Volcano Vista (147) was first among the 48 teams with competitors; Miyamura (115.5) and Goddard (110.5) were second and third; Cleveland (52) was 12th and Rio Rancho 43) was 14th.