Wrestlers set sights on Stockton, one step from state
The season is winding down in high school wrestling, as the field of competitors is whittled down week after week.
Last weekend, the top wrestlers from three leagues gathered to determine the Division II champions, and this weekend, five qualifiers at each of 13 weight classes will congregate with the top grapplers from other divisions at the Sac-Joaquin Masters tournament in Stockton.
Oakmont sends just one athlete to Stockton Arena, but he goes as a D-II champion. For the second time in two weeks, sophomore Jake Elliott out-dueled his cross-town rival, Roseville junior Dylan Jankovich. The first was for the Sierra Foothill League title, the second for a D-II crown.
“Dylan is in the most difficult weight class in our section,” said Roseville coach Jeremiah Miller. “For him to make it to the finals two weeks in a row is awesome. I have to give credit to Jake. He wrestled us really smart. I hope they meet up again next week so we can see a fourth battle in their war.”
“I think Masters will be a different look as there are some really established wrestlers going into the tournament,” said Oakmont coach Dave Wells. “Heading up the pack would be Shane Tate of Oakdale, who already placed in state as a sophomore. There are also really tough wrestlers from McNair in Aaron Ceballos and Lincoln in Dalton Metivier. This weekend will be a great test for Jake, and we would be very excited to make it through to the state tournament.”
Granite Bay sophomore heavyweight Gavin Andrews pinned his way to the title in the 275-pound weight class. He will be joined by five teammates at the Masters meet.
“The Masters Tournament will provide a huge challenge for our athletes but, if we have another great weekend like this one, we will get a trip to the CIF State Meet,” said Granite Bay coach Mike Lynch.
The top seven in each Masters weight class move on to the state tournament in Bakersfield.
Three Woodcreek wrestlers are on their way to Stockton, led by a pair of second place Division II finishers, Sean Merigold (103 pounds) and Peter Santos (125).
“I am very please with Peter’s performance this year,” said Woodcreek coach Doug Mason about his freshman wrestler. “He has done very well and worked hard to achieve this success. Yes, he was very talented coming in to this year but he worked hard and had some really good performances to get where he did.”
In addition to Jankovich, who finished second to Elliott, Ryan Fratto (171) finished second in El Dorado Hills and will move on to Stockton.
“Ryan Fratto had a great tournament,” Miller said. “His improvement from the beginning of the season to now has been huge.”
The Masters meet will be contested at Stockton Arena Friday and Saturday, with matches beginning at 9 a.m. each day.
Roseville/GB area qualifying wrestlers for Sac-Joaquin Section Masters tournament:
Jake Elliott (Oakmont) D-II champion at 130 pounds
Gavin Andrews (Granite Bay) D-II champion at 275 pounds
Shane Saylor (Granite Bay) D-II third place at 103 pounds
Andrew Broadland (Granite Bay) D-II third at 112 pounds
Adam Wagner (Granite Bay) D-II third at 145 pounds
William Anderson (Granite Bay) D-II third at 189 pounds
Charlie Gordon (Granite Bay) D-II fifth at 160 pounds
Sean Merigold (Woodcreek) D-II second at 103 pounds
Peter Santos (Woodcreek) D-II second at 125 pounds
Angelo Ciaraglia (Woodcreek) D-II fifth at 135 pounds
Dylan Jankovich (Roseville) D-II second at 130 pounds
Ryan Fratto (Roseville) D-II second at 171 pounds