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Ripon pair continue season

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POSTED February 21, 2010 1:12 a.m.
HILMAR – A perfect scenario would have had a handful of Ripon High wrestlers advancing to the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Wrestling Tournament, but it was only meant to be for a pair of Indians after top-5 finishes during the section’s Division V tournament Saturday.

Christian Spence (215-lb) and Travis Smith (189-lb) both punched their tickets to the final event leading up to a berth in the CIF State Meet in Bakersfield. Spence represented the Trans Valley League to the fullest, continuing his season with a third-place finish, while Smith kept his season alive with a win in the fifth-sixth place match.

“We are happy that we had a couple of guts qualify for the Masters,” Ripon head coach Glen White said. “They both wrestled pretty well overall, but I was definitely hoping for a couple of more guys to make it to the next match.

“I thought we had two or three other guys that had a shot to make it there.”

Ripon’s Trevor Daniel just missed out in keeping his season going, falling in his consolation match to end with a sixth place finish. Top five wrestlers in each weight-class advance to the Masters.

Matt Baker (HWT) and Nick Solario (103-lb) both dropped early consolation matches to close out their seasons.

Now Spence and Smith will look to make a special run through the Masters field, earning a coveted spot in the CIF State Meet. It will take a top-7 finish to advance to State, taking each match’s importance to a higher level.

“Right now, I just want them to get there and wrestle well,” White said of his expectations. “After all the years of coaching I have learned that you just never know what to expect once you get there.

“As long as they wrestle well and do the best that they possibly can, I’ll be happy either way.”

The Masters will get underway Friday with a 7 a.m. weigh-in and closes out with the championship finals Saturday, beginning at 3:30 p.m. All action will take place at The Stockton Arena.

— Jagada Chambers
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