ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Eric Montoya wrapped up his collegiate wrestling career at Nebraska as a two-time All-American and a Midlands Tournament Champion. The Volcano Vista graduate loved his time at Nebraska, and while he had three great years as a Cornhusker it wasn’t where he started.
He originally was at a smaller D-1 wrestling program and decided to drop a great scholarship to try and wrestle at the very prestigious Nebraska.
“You know, I just said if I go there and I work really hard and I do really good, can I earn more money…and they were like, of course. They give everybody that option, but not everybody necessarily follows through with it,” said Eric Montoya.
Montoya is just the tenth ever New Mexican to earn All-American status at the D-1 level, and is the only New Mexican to win the Midlands Tournament. He placed fifth at the NCAA Championships in his junior year, which gave him All-American status, and while he earned it again in his senior season, placing sixth was not where he wanted to finish.
“It still hurts, you know? I beat the guy that won it, beat the guy who took second, and I think it wasn’t my weekend. You know, I am still an All-American and that’s still something to be proud of, but it’s something that probably going to hurt me for, probably quite some time,” said Montoya.
Being a two-time All-American is still a major accomplishment in the sport of wrestling, and people back in home town have definitely acknowledged that.
“Even just come here, I still meet people that I have never met before, and they are like, ‘Oh we watched you and man that was awesome,’ and it feels good to be appreciated, because really that’s what I was trying to do, was represent my state,” said Montoya.
He is currently coaching at Volcano Vista and is doing camps across the country to give back to the sport he loves. Montoya also just recently got married and is expecting a boy in August. There is a lot going on in his life, but Montoya still hopes to chase a dream in the near future.
“Being a family man for the time, and just kind of letting my body recover from the past five years of just beating it up. Hopefully, I want to get into mixed martial arts, it’s going to take some time, but I am training when I can and if everything goes well, I will be set and I can start pursuing that dream of mine, and that’s definitely my dream,” said Montoya.