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No welcome mat in Reno wrestling tournament

Local grapplers manage one fifth-place medal in 97-team event
By: Bill Poindexter/Roseville Press Tribune Sports Editor
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Granite Bay High School’s wrestling team has bid farewell to the year 2011, and while the Grizzlies were out of town in the Biggest Little City in the World, they weren’t out on the town.

They were at the Reno Livestock Events Center for the prestigious Sierra Nevada Classic in Reno, a tournament numbering 97 teams from California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Montana and Idaho.

“Yeah, it was big,” said coach Robert Cooley, who was an official at the event for several years and wanted to expose his program to a large tournament early in the season and, “for the competition of course.”

There were no championships won by local wrestlers, no seconds, thirds or even fourths.

The top local finisher was Granite Bay senior Adam Wagner, who placed fifth at 160 pounds. Oakmont sent a team, but reigning 145-pound state champion Jake Elliott and state qualifier Peter Santos didn’t compete because of injuries and Yianni Athens because of an ailment.

For Granite Bay, Sean Brown (120), Daniel Flinders (132) and Ian Mook (138) all made it to day two in Reno, and Shane Saylor (126) lasted five matches.

“Making it to day two in this tournament is a pretty good accomplishment,” Cooley said. “This will probably be our toughest tournament until we see our own (Sac-Joaquin Section) Masters, somewhere between Masters and our CIF meet.”

Wagner won his first four matches — a major decision and a decision sandwiched around two falls — before losing to eventual champion Jace Billingsley of Lowry (Winnemucca, Nev.) 7-4.

While some Granite Bay wrestlers were in Reno, the school also was playing host to the 14th annual Mike Lynch Grizzly Duals on Tuesday. The Grizzlies placed second to Lincoln.

For Roseville, 113-pounder Logan Runner and 220-pounder Ryan Fratto each went 5-0 on the day, and Brandon Fratto (126) and Austin Finerty (182) were 4-1.

While events like the Sierra Nevada Classic are tough, it gets no easier next week. Awaiting the local teams are the Sierra Foothill League and Capital Valley Conference dual-meet seasons.

LEAGUE DUALS BEGIN

Wednesday’s matches (6 p.m.)

Sierra Foothill League
Rocklin at Roseville
Woodcreek at Del Oro
Granite Bay at Nevada Union
Capital Valley Conference
Christian Brothers at Oakmont