Freshman still climbing

Bishop Gorman’s Napolean Anciente is lean, fast, 103 pounds and now a state semifinalist after his win at Friday’s Class 4A state wrestling tournament at Cimarron-Memorial High School.

Still, after his match — a pin of Damonte Ranch’s Garrett Manoukian in 1 minute, 24 seconds — Anciente looked as if a feather could’ve knocked him over.

The freshman has his eyes on bigger things in the future, mainly steaks and desserts, as he hopes to advance in weight class next season.

That’s what the 103-pound class has become — a springboard to bigger, better things. With five freshmen and two sophomores having qualified for the state tournament, which concludes with today’s finals at 5 p.m. at Cimarron-Memorial, the Nevada wrestling community is sure to see much more of them.

“I know over summer I’m going to get a lot stronger and bigger,” Anciente said. “I want colleges to start looking at me, and they look at the weights closest to (the minimum) 125 pounds.

“But the biggest thing I need to improve is knowing how to wrestle longer kids. They’re more trouble; they can reach places that I can’t.”

Anciente still is focused on this year, though, with Elko’s Colton Smith on tap in the semifinals and a possible battle with either Las Vegas’ De’Armon Hall or Cheyenne’s Kenny Davis looming.

Cimarron-Memorial’s Britain Longmire can relate — the returning 103-pound state champion is now a junior at 112 pounds having made the leap, with another jump next season to 119 on the horizon.

The main difference in weight class?

The speed, spread across the entire match. At 103 pounds, a wrestler can charge hard for two minutes and score an easy pin. At 112 or 119, nothing’s that simple.

“You’ve gotta keep banging with those guys at 112 pounds,” said Longmire, who scored a 16-3 major decision over Galena’s Jake Gunzel. “Some of those guys have a little bit of strength, but you have to go those full six minutes and never let up.”

Added Las Vegas coach Aric Thomas: “A lot of those kids who come in as freshmen get away with being strong kids. When you get to that 112-pound, 119-pound weight class, now you’re dealing with kids who are juniors and seniors, who have wrestled for three or four years.”

In the team standings, Mojave has the clear lead and should easily win the title. The Rattlers have 39 points to second-place Damonte Ranch’s 26 and have nine of their 11 qualifiers in the semifinals.

Churchill County is third with 15 points and four semifinalists, followed by Galena and Cimarron-Memorial, tied with 12 points.

Contact reporter Jon Gold at jgold@ or (702) 380-4587.

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