Wrestler Suspended

January 30, 2019

Isaac Beltran, a junior wrestler for Santa Fe (N.M.) High School, has been suspended for punching Jackson Taylor, his opponent from Albuquerque Academy. Taylor became unconscious afterwards.

According to the Albuquerque Journal, the incident occurred at the 132-pound quarterfinals for the Joe Vivian Classic. Beltran was caught on video punching Taylor in the head three times during their match. One video shows that Beltran began punching Taylor after Taylor elbowed him in the head.

Mark Hussey, Santa Fe's wrestling coach, watched the match later on video. He said that while he did not condone Beltran's actions, he believed Taylor should also be held responsible for provoking Beltran.

"I think both kids should be serving the same punishment,” Hussey said, though the NMAA said Taylor is not facing discipline.

The New Mexico Activities Association suspended Beltran for the rest of the season, including the state tournament next month. Larry Chavez, Athletic Director for Santa Fe Public Schools, said the district has accepted its punishment, and will not appeal.

“No matter if something was going on in the match that wasn’t observed, the action of our wrestler was inappropriate and shouldn’t have taken place,” Chavez said.

Sally Marquez, Executive Director of the NMAA, said she could not comment on Beltran's case.

“The NMAA is always seeking to improve the level of sportsmanship and fair play in education-based athletics and activities,” Marquez said. “When those principles are not adhered to, the NMAA does take action, which can lead to suspension from future events.”

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