Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2009 | 5:54 p.m.
Every time Britain Longmire walks into the Cimarron-Memorial wrestling room, a giant list on the wall reminds him of the many state champions that have gone through the program.
After winning state titles at 103 pounds as a sophomore and 112 pounds as a junior, Longmire is one of nine wrestlers in the school's history to have won at least two championships.
But to be truly remembered as one of Cimarron's elite grapplers, Longmire knows he must finish his high school career with a third title. Just two Spartans, Chris Harris and Kendall Thacker, have been three-peat champions, while only one, Randel Aleman, won four titles.
"As you can see on the board, we've had a lot of state champs, but only a few three-timers," Longmire said. "To be a multiple-time state champ would be awesome with all the names up there. Those guys were great. They went off to college and did great things. Hopefully I can follow in their footsteps."
Recognizing Cimarron's rich wrestling history has become a tradition in the program. Every season, wrestlers are given a handbook that includes records of top grapplers from years past. And former Cimarron wrestlers who wrestle in college constantly return to the high school to help with practices.
"Any athletic team, everybody likes to talk about tradition," Cimarron co-coach Garcia said. "The more tradition you have, the more expectations you have. It's nice to be with that elite group that is remembered as being successful. Britain is right near the top somewhere for us."
Longmire is on pace to win the elusive third title. He is off to a 31-3 record this year and has yet to lose to an opponent from Nevada.
He has also written his ticket to college. In the fall, Longmire signed with Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, which wrestles in the Pacific-10 Conference.
Tim Jeffries, Cimarron's other co-coach. said he sees Longmire being an impact wrestler at the next level.
"He's always wanted to wrestle in college, and I think that keeps him going," Jeffries said. "Focus and commitment are some of his strengths. He's in that top portion of guys that we've had that have gone on to be successful in college. He's in the top five of our kids that we've coached here all time."
After all the time he has spent in Cimarron's wrestling room, Longmire said he is sad to see it coming to an end. When the Spartans are finished with a two- or three-hour practice, Longmire usually stays after to work on moves for an extra hour and a half.
Longmire has put in that kind of time since he moved to Las Vegas from Ohio in between his freshman and sophomore year. But with the possibility of three state championships and a college scholarship earned, he couldn't be happier with his time invested in the wrestling room.
"My first ever practice here I was really out of shape," he said. "I remember like it was yesterday. I was a little sophomore 103-pounder busting out wind springs. It's kind of hard to see it coming to an end. But I'm glad I've made my mark here, and hopefully, I will get another championship."
Christopher Drexel can be reached at 990-8929 or firstname.lastname@example.org.