Moriarty High School’s Asaiah Kamplain won a state title while several others on the school’s boys and girls wrestling teams delivered impressive performances at the State Wrestling Championships, May 27 and 29 at the Rio Rancho Events Center.
Kamplain, a junior who also plays football, baseball, and track, captured the state title in the Class 4A 220-pound weight class.
After getting past his first opponent, a lower-seeded wrestler from Bloomfield, Kamplain wasted no time pinning his second opponent, Valencia High School’s Omar Estrada, in 14 seconds during the quarterfinal round.
“I’m feeling pretty good,” Kamplain said after the quarterfinal victory, adding, “I just gotta keep doing that—keep pinning and keep winning.”
Kamplain then beat Silver High’s Rene Bostick in the semifinal, and bested Gallup’s Shawn Gomez for the championship crown.
“I was happy and I was kinda shocked at the same time,” Kamplain said about winning the state title. “It didn’t feel real until I put the medal on.”
“He went right through the bracket and pinned every opponent. He stepped-up his intensity to a whole other level,” Moriarty boys wrestling head coach Tim Means said of Kamplain.
Means noted that the Covid-delayed season went by really fast, and that Kamplain “really took to the program and our coaching style,” adding, “The kid’s super-coachable and one heck of a worker, you don’t have to motivate him, he just shows up and gets it done.”
Nick Sanders (285) and Jonathan Valdez (132) also had strong performances, with Sanders winning his first two rounds before falling in the semis; he picked up a win in the consolation round to finish fifth overall.
“He was a little hurt but he sucked it up, got after it, and left it all on the mat,” Means said of Sanders. “He’s a three-time state placer, I can’t be more proud of the young man.”
Means had high praise for all nine of Moriarty’s wrestlers who qualified for the state tournament, and said he feels good about the younger grapplers and the future of the program: “Our new kids wrestled very well, being seeded low they had to deal with higher seeds, but guts and glory, man, they have a ton of grit, and to qualify for state, I’m super-proud and I’m super-excited about the experience they’re gonna get from this.”
Moriarty had five wrestlers on the girls team who qualified for the May 29 state competition, but head coach Brenda Gonzales-Means said two of them had to drop out before the competition started.
“We lost Molly [Apodaca] to [Covid] quarantine, and Joan [Kirkbride] popped her ankle so we were down to three,” Gonzales-Means said.
That left Jolie Chavez (100), Caia Kamplain (126), and Cora Zeisloft (145) for the girls competition. Chavez won her first round before falling in the semis; Zeisloft dropped her first round but rebounded to win two matches in the consolation rounds to finish fourth.
“Overall, I was very proud of them, and not surprised at how far they went,” Gonzales-Means said. “Just making it to state was a big deal—I’m excited for the future of the program.”