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Nuanez, Sierra shine in final tune-up for VOL

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POSTED December 31, 2009 10:49 p.m.
WALNUT CREEK — Sierra High’s wrestling team brought just 11 athletes to the Bill Martell Tournament Wednesday, but that was enough for it to leave its mark in its final tune-up for the Valley Oak League season.

With three weight divisions unoccupied by Timberwolves, they still managed to finish fourth out of 30 teams. They finished with 117 points behind Foothill of Pleasanton (122.5), Freedom of Brentwood (139) and host Northgate (225).

“I was pleased,” Sierra coach Bob Blanco said. We made a couple of mistakes but it’s nothing that we can’t correct in practice. We’ll get better and better as the weeks go by.”

Leading the charge was Alex Nuanez, who is ranked second among the Sac-Joaquin Section’s 171-pounders, in the 189-pound weight class. He was one of six Timberwolves to earn top-five medals.

Nuanez tore through the field consisting mostly of wrestlers from the North Coast Section, pinning his first four opponents before outpointing De La Salle’s Matt Huberty, 10-6.

While Nuanez is off to a good start in preseason tournament action, Blanco expects him to get better after starting late because of the school’s playoff football run.

 “I’m not too concerned,” Blanco said. “We have a few guys from the football team that are a little behind, especially with the conditioning, but once they get into shape we’ll be all right.”

Turning in impressive third-place finishes were heavyweight Greg Cardenas and Aidan Foster at 160. Foster went 5-1 worked his way into the third-place match after an early loss knocked him into the consolation bracket.

Cardenas took the same route but avenged his 2-1 first-round loss to Stephen Arguello of Vallejo. The two met again for the third, with Cardenas prevailing by decision, 7-2.

Austin Soto (130) and Jose Cortez (171) each went 4-2 for fifth place.

Sierra opens the VOL with a double-dual meet in Oakdale.

— Jonamar Jacinto
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