Smith wins championship after return from knee injury

Colten Smith- Witt Duals Champion.jpg

Colten Smith stands atop the podium in his win.

By Andrew Luberda

San Manuel Miner

Senior Colten Smith topped off an undefeated week (13 – 0) of wrestling by winning the individual Championship at the Witt Duals Invitational at Show Low. Smith was able to overcome a serious knee injury and seven months of intense physical therapy in reaching the top of the Championship podium.

“Colten has worked his way back to top form,” said Smith’s Coach Daniel Najera. “More impressively, he dominated three state placers on his way to claiming the championship.”

The team as whole also had a good showing at the tournament. Wrestling against highly ranked teams in higher divisions, the Miners finished with a record of 4 – 3 and a very respectable 7th place finish.

“This tournament gives (us) insight of where (we’re) at and where (we) need to be (as a team),” Najera said. “Our boys have improved every week and that’s what we’re looking for. Being battle tested is very important for the sectional and state tournaments.”

The Miners wrestled against four of the top eight teams in their division and came away victorious in most of them.

Najera said he is pleased to see his team develop and support each other as the season moves along.

“Our team rapport is very strong and we’re happy to see that,” he said.

The Miners had a total of five wrestlers perform well in individual tournaments. In addition to Smith were Franky Renteria (2nd), Anthony Lopez (3rd), Roberto Guerrero (5th), and Frankie Tamayo (6th).

Smith earned Co-Wrestler of the Week for his accomplishments.

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