Oakmont’s Elliott exceeds expectations at Tim Brown Memorial

Granite Bay 15th out of 80 teams at elite-level tournament
By: Kurt Johnson, The Press Tribune
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Flying a bit under the radar this season after a fantastic freshman campaign a year ago, Oakmont High’s Jake Elliott burst out of the shadows Saturday. At one of high school wrestling’s most prestigious events, the sophomore battled to fourth place in a competitive field at 130 pounds at the Tim Brown Memorial tournament at the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium. The event, formerly known as the Foothill Invitational, now bears the name of U.S. Marine Corp Lance Corporal Timothy W. Brown of Foothill Farms. Brown, who wrestled at Foothill High, was killed in the Al Anbar province of Iraq in 2006 when a roadside bomb exploded near the Humvee he was driving. “All our students wrestled very well,” said Oakmont coach Dave Wells. “Highlighting our group was Jake Elliott, who went into the tournament as the eighth seed and came out with the fourth-place medal.” Elliott won his first three bouts by decision, the first two by huge margins, before he ran into the division’s top seed, Oakdale’s Shane Tate, in the quarterfinals. Tate won that battle 7-3 and sent Elliott to the consolation bracket. The young Viking won two more matches on the mat, and one due to an injury to Roseville’s talented junior Dylan Jankovich, to reach the consolation final. His consolation semifinal win was over the No. 2 seed in the weight class, Sultan Beardsley of Red Bluff. Elliott lost the consolation final in overtime to finish fourth. Jankovich also reached the quarterfinals before a loss dropped him to the consolation bracket, where he won his first match before being unable to continue. The end result was an eighth-place finish for the highly decorated Tiger. Del Oro’s Austin Branum won the 130-pound weight class. Peter Santos of Woodcreek finished fifth at 125 pounds. Granite Bay had a pair of wrestlers reach the podium as Gavin Andrews (285 pounds) and Adam Wagner (140 pounds) both finished sixth in their divisions. “We were very proud of our wrestlers at this tournament,” said Granite Bay coach Mike Lynch. “Every wrestler won at least one match, and half wrestled into the second day. For our level of experience and the competition we faced, we felt this was a successful tournament that helped us progress as a team, and helped prepare us for the challenging Sac-Joaquin Section Division II and Master's tournaments. I am very optimistic about our development for the remainder of this season and our prospects long term over the next couple of seasons, as we will be returning most of our lineup.”