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Oakmont wrestler Elliott settles for second at state championships

By: John Parker/Roseville Press Tribune Correspondent
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BAKERSFIELD — Oakmont High School senior Jake Elliott said Friday night that half the pressure was off after winning three matches and guaranteeing himself a medal at the CIF State Wrestling Championships.

After winning his semifinal Saturday afternoon, the state’s second-ranked 152-pounder was really ready to let it fly against national No. 2 Isaiah Martinez of Lemoore. Elliott barely got the chance.

Martinez, who won the 140-pound title last year, pinned Elliott, the returning 145-pound champ, 1:36 into the first round Saturday night at Rabobank Arena.
“He’s a good wrestler,” Elliott said. “I have a lot of respect for him.”

Martinez scored an early reversal for two points before Elliott escaped for one in the first 30 seconds. But Martinez gained control of Elliott’s arm and from there cycled to the front, putting his shoulders to the mat.

“I knew I had to stay away from that under-hook, and I didn’t do a very good job at it,” he said.

Peter Santos, Elliott’s Oakmont teammate and practice partner, rebounded from a 5-3 quarterfinal loss to eventual champion Zach Nevills of Clovis to go 3-1 on Saturday and secure fifth place at 170 pounds. Santos spent much of the season wrestling at 160 and moved up to 170 shortly before the postseason.

He sustained an ankle injury at the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II tournament and defaulted out of the final. From there, Santos won the Masters meet and went 5-2 in his second state championship appearance.

“I’m totally happy with how it turned out for us,” Oakmont coach Dave Wells said. “I can’t believe everything fell into place the way it did for us. This is such a tough meet, and so much has to come together to even get a placer. To get two surpassed my expectations.”

Oakmont’s 15th-place finish was the best among Placer County teams. The Vikings totaled 40 points.

Granite Bay senior Adam Wagner dropped his first match of the day, finishing in a tie for 12th for the second year in a row.