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From Division to Masters

Local wrestlers ready to compete for Masters gold this weekend
By: Nick Pecoraro
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After a grueling weekend of Sac-Joaquin Section championship wrestling, dozens of local grapplers will strive for even greater heights this coming weekend.

The CIF Masters Meet is set for Feb. 15–16 at Delta College in Stockton. At Divisions last weekend, Del Oro, Vacaville and Oakdale dominated Divisions I-III, respectively, while Beyer and Hilmar took home D-IV and V banners.

In Division I, Del Oro outgunned Franklin of Elk Grove 160.5-138.5 and had five reach the top of the podium, including 115-pounder Damion Elliott, Evan Ivaldi (128), Brenden Johnson (134), Jed Campos (147) and Noah Blake (162). Other Golden Eagles headed to the Masters are Klay Browning, Eli Blake, Matt Cioci, Colton Guthrie, Reagan Arney, Adam Lowe and Tyler Randall.

For Del Oro, Johnson (No. 12 in state at 132) and both Eli (No. 3, 138) and Noah Blake (No. 2, 160) all won their respective Masters tournaments in 2018.

At 122 pounds, Isaiah Schannep of Whitney, who is currently ranked in the Top 10 in California in his weight class, scored three dominant decisions to take the crown. Joining Schannep from the Wildcats at the Masters will be Angel Chavez, Johnny Stephens, Ryan Murphy, Matt Sherer and Brody Stone, who placed third in the D-I heavyweight division over the weekend.

The runner-up to Schannep at 122 was Granite Bay’s Kai Nimi, who will now chase Masters gold with teammates Talan Nimi, Anthony Perez, Azary Matsuda, Mason Wilcox, Joseph Burgess, Jackson Kohls, Anthony Hastings and third-place section finishers Gabe Jensen and Elias Mendoza.

Rocklin High rounds out the local D-I competitors. At 154, Jacob Meggers lost in the opening round but won four straight to take third place at Divisionals. Joining Meggers are Thunder teammates Evan Tablada, Johnny Mateush, Aaron Wilson, Ryan Clark, Josh Pitts, Max Pitts, Fernando Pelayo, Nick Molina, Nick Johnson and Bobby Piland.

Vacaville dominated at the D-II level with seven first-place finishers. The Roseville Tigers finished fifth as a team with nine individual placers, who will all move on to Masters. The Tigers will send Garrett Solso, Cole Babbini, Alexander Alcautar, Josh Provins, Mark Bonar, Brenden Thao, Eric Dutka, Ethan Bandy and Mathew Hoffman.

Roseville’s Capital Valley Conference rival Woodcreek will have a pair of Masters representatives in Ethan Perrault and Speero Tannous.

While Oakdale had nine first-place finishers in Division III, sixth-place Oakmont will take five to Masters, including Stephen Lundquist and Foothill Valley League champions Sean Myles, Danny Myles, Kyle Obien and Ben Murphy. Both Myles brothers were runners-up at Divisionals.

Placer came in 10th place with four advancing to Masters. Senior Joseph Valdez, who ranks 11th in the state at 170 pounds in the latest rankings from The California Wrestler, took third overall in the 170-pound division. Valdez went 4-1, losing only to the eventual champion, Gabriel Martinez of Oakdale.

Sophomore AJ Ferreira went 4-2 with two pins at the 113-pound level. Senior Bryce Cook took sixth overall at 138 after splitting six matches. Sophomore Logan Moon also went 3-3 over the weekend and took sixth at 108.

Also representing the FVL are Lincoln heavyweight Lucas Cook, who took third in D-III, and Nicolaus Burns, who placed fifth at 126.

Bear River’s Aidan Smith will represent the Bruins after taking fourth place in the D-V 182-pound class.

For the Divisional girls, Colfax’s Heaven Lang placed third in the 131 department with Destiny Lang placed eighth at 116.