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Area wrestlers take stage in Big Valley Classic

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Sierra Timberwolf Aidon Foster keeps his opponent down during the Big Valley Wrestling Classic Tournament Saturday at the Stockton Arena.


POSTED January 10, 2010 1:41 a.m.

STOCKTON – For any of the area wrestlers have not had the opportunity to experience the CIF State Wrestling Championships, this weekend’s Big Valley Wrestling Classic gave some of the state hopefuls a glimpse at what making it to the final stage is like.

Wrestlers from over 70 schools participated in the two-day event, showcasing their wrestling skills alongside some of the best grapplers in Northern California and Nevada.

The Valley Oak League earned more respect with a solid showing from its representatives attending the tournament. East Union, Weston Ranch and Sierra highs all found members from their programs landing berths into championship round contention.

The Timberwolves led the way with a strong day one showing from Alex Nuanez (189 pounds), Austin Soto (130-pounds) and Grant Widmer (215-pounds) and continued to shine brightly in day two. Aidon Foster took the long road to a medal, closing out the tournament with a sixth place finish after dropping his consolation semi-final match 7-2 to Bry Shaun of Sheldon High.

Nuanez was the area’s most dominant force, earning a third place finish with a 5-4 decision over Jonathan Morales of Pioneer Valley in the third-place match.

Weston Ranch got its standout performance from Chris Contreas who cruised into day two with two wins and a bye on the first day, but ran into trouble after a close 4-3 loss in the quarterfinals to Mick McElvogue of Newark Memorial pushed him to the consolations. Contreas dropped his final match 5-2 to Joseph Golden of St. Mary’s.

“It was a little frustrating for him after losing that tough match in the quarterfinals,” Weston Ranch head coach Pat King said. “Those are the matches that he has to learn to win. I know he wants to get in the medal rounds and the semi-finals, but when things don’t go your way it’s all about how you recover quickly and move on.

“You can’t just go through the motions, or you’re going to lose.”

The Cougars also got recognition from 140-pounder Robert Gonzales, whose championship first round pin of Libert Madera’s Martin Escarcega in 13 seconds earned him the tournament’s fastest pin award.

East Union had several wrestlers still in contention on day two, but proved unable to garner a medal position finish in the tournament. Marco Castaneda (126-pounds) and Stevyn Teeple (136-pounds) both saw their tournaments end during the sixth-round of consolation action. Castaneda fought valiantly, but came up just short to Golden Valley’s Austin Bondi in a 10-9 thriller.

Lancer’s Jason Cortez (131-pd) and Parsa Davari (146-pounds) both extended their tournament to the fifth round of the consolation bracket. Sierra’s Jose Cortez and Widmer both lasted until round six of the consolations.

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