Moriarty High’s Pinto Duals wrestling meet showcased something new this year: the school’s first-ever girls-only competition. High school wrestlers from across the state competed in the two-day event Jan. 3-4, and during the first day’s girls-only competition, multiple members of Moriarty’s first-ever girls wrestling team turned in strong performances.
Moriarty’s girls’ team finished third overall out of 11 schools, with three Moriarty girls earning second-place medals, and four girls taking home third-place medals.
“It turned out good. From what I’ve seen, I’m pretty happy,” Bryan Stiverson said of the Moriarty girls’ performance. Stiverson is Moriarty’s head coach for both the boys’ and girls’ squads.
The New Mexico Activities Association officially sanctioned high school girls wrestling last year and many high schools now have girls-only teams.
“We’ve already seen improvement,” Stiverson said. “We’ve been teaching our girls to wrestle and that’s what they’re doing, they’re using the moves, they’re using what they know—and as long as we keep improving, we’ll be all right.”
Moriarty senior Araceli Kamplain, junior Chelsea Stiverson, and freshman Jolie Chavez all garnered second-place medals.
“It’s honestly pretty exciting to know in a tournament like this I was able to make this accomplishment,” Chelsea Stiverson said, adding that in her final match she “went out there and was really aggressive and didn’t quit.”
“It was inspiring to see a lot of different people and get a lot of different results from my matches—each one was different,” Kamplain said, adding, “But it’s not about the medal, it’s about the experience.”
Domniarre “Mimi” Notah, who said she got her “butt kicked” in her first-round match, bounced back to win three of her five matches for a third-place medal.
“It was an amazing experience,” Notah said. “It was very exciting, very challenging too.”
At one point during the first day’s matchups, two Moriarty girls— Caia Kamplain and Avelina Archuleta—wrestled each other. Before the match Caia Kamplain said, “Either way, Moriarty wins.”
After the battle between the two teammates, Caia Kamplain came out victorious.
“I felt like I knew everything she was gonna do, and she knew everything I was gonna do,” Caia Kamplain said.
The second day of the duals showcased the male grapplers. Moriarty’s boys’ team didn’t capture any medals, largely due to injuries and illnesses.
“Nick [Sanders] and Asaiah [Kamplain] went 4-1. That was the best of the boys. We ended up only wrestling 6 of them,” coach Stiverson said.
Coach Stiverson noted that between injuries and illnesses he was missing wrestlers in seven weight classes, so he was primarily using the boys’ side of the duals for evaluating individual effort.
“As long as the individual effort is there, we’re good. We use the season to get ready for February,” coach Stiverson said. “We have some individuals doing great right now and we hope that carries through.”
Ger has been writing and shooting photos of high school sports for The Independent for 15 years. His dedication to youth athletics goes beyond sports reporting. He is past president of East Mountain Little League and works as a baseball umpire. He lives in Edgewood with his family.