The Joe Vivian Classic is the most prestigious high school wrestling tournament in the state of New Mexico. Held at Volcano Vista High School this year, the La Cueva wrestling team was looking to show that they are among the top teams in the state.
And that’s exactly what they did.
In the 126 pound division, senior Matthew Pederson finished 1st after beating Rio Grande’s Alejandro Gutierrez on points. “It felt really great to win Joe Vivian. I had put in a lot of work and it payed off,” said Pederson. “…I’m very fortunate to have things line up in my life so that I am able to compete at this level.”
In the 195 pound division, senior Josh Woisin finished 1st after beating Carlsbad’s Mateo Messer on points. “It was surreal. It took a second to hit me (that he won the match),”said Woisin. “Towards the end I was ahead and focused on the clock to make sure I didn’t put myself in a bad position to potentially lose the match.”
Some other notable Bear wrestlers that finished in the top 6 in their respective divisions are Dylan Metz, who finished 4th in the 152 pound division, Noah Woisin who finished 4th in the 160 pound division, DJ McDowell who finished 4th in the 220 pound division, and CJ Rodriguez who finished 2nd in the 285 pound division.
Along with all of these individual results, the whole La Cueva team finished 2nd in team result, only 1.5 points behind the host team, Volcano Vista. “Taking 2nd place at the Vivian was a coming of age moment for this program,” said assistant coach Eric Green. “It proves to us that we are on the right track and validates our work.”
Green also mentioned how proud he was of Pederson and Woisin for their first place finishes. “For Matt and Josh to win it is special.” he said. “I’m really happy for them.”