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Six wrestlers take second at divisonals

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Sierra senior Lucas Widmer (170) came up short of the championship at the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV Tournament against Oakdale junior Frank Trent Saturday at Vista del Lago High but was one o...


POSTED February 23, 2014 8:25 p.m.

FOLSOM – Six of the eight area wrestlers who punched tickets to this weekend’s Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Tournament in Stockton all came up empty during the finals of their divisional tournaments on Saturday.

Each of the five Manteca Unified School District programs will ship one wrestler apiece to the Masters after the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV Tournament at Vista del Lago advanced the top four.

Three Ripon wrestlers moved on from the Division V tournament at Delhi after they all finished second.

Sierra senior Lucas Widmer (170) will return to the Masters for a second straight year. He also finished second at the divisional tournament for a second time and placed second at the Valley Oak League Tournament last week against the same opponent.

Widmer guaranteed him a berth at the sectional tournament with a 7-2 victory over Central Valley’s Rick Brown in the semis. He then went on to lose in the championship against Oakdale junior Frank Trent 5-1 – an opponent who had already beat him two times previously.

“My goal was to obviously get first,” said Widmer who took a 1-0 lead during the second period. “I had a game plan for (Trent). I knew he wasn’t going to take a shot and I had to work around that.”

After Widmer scored the first point of the second frame, Trent took a 2-1 advantage as the second period expired. Trent went up 3-1 in the third with an escape and pulled away with another two-point score in the final minute.

“I knew the first one to get a takedown between us was going to win the match,” Widmer stated. “That’s how close it’s been the last two times we wrestled, it has come down to a takedown every single time.”

Manteca junior heavyweight Steven Martinez made a run to the finals and punched his ticket to Masters with a 1-minute, 33-second pin over River City (Yuba City) senior Bryan Hoffman in the semis. He made it to the championship and lost by fall (1:48) toward the end of the first period against El Dorado’s Zachary Brazell, who knocked off Oakdale’s Cedric Vierra to get to the finals.

“When I got the head-and-arm (on Hoffman), so much rushed through my head,” Martinez said. “It’s my first year going to Masters and it felt great.”

Lathrop junior Alex Garcia (120) was the third runner-up and returns to the sectional tournament after making it through to the second day his sophomore year. Garcia came up short in the finals against Oakdale sophomore Trevor Williams, 5-2.

Garcia punched his ticket to the Masters earlier in the day, though, with an 8-4 decision against Los Banos’ Josh Bustamante in the semis.

“I wrestled a lot better than I have all year,” he said. “Just a couple of mistakes that I need to work on, other than that I think I wrestled good in this tournament.”

Garcia lost against Williams for a second time in as many weeks after falling short in the VOL final in Sonora. Last year at Masters, Garcia lost the match that would have propelled him into the fifth-place match and would have given him an opportunity to make it to state.

“My goal I set at the beginning of the season was always to make it to the (CIF State Championships),” Garcia said. “I think I can accomplish that goal. I think I got a good shot with how I’m wrestling right now.”

East Union senior Nick McGIll (195) and Weston Ranch junior Andrew Olaya (132) both finished fourth after winning their consolation semis propelling them into Masters.

McGill beat Los Banos’ Daniel Fernandez 9-5 and then lost to Ceres’ Abel Morales in the consolation championship.

Olaya, the MUSD’s only VOL champion from last week, moved on to Masters after pinning Los Banos’ Andrew Cintora in 3:35. Olaya lost in the consolation finals against Livingston’s Christian Moreno by a score of 8-2 and finished the tournament 3-2.

East Union senior Jesus Vasquez (145) and Weston Ranch senior Brendan Curtwright (126) both lost their consolation semifinals that would have sent them to Masters.

Vasquez got pinned by Vista del Lago’s Ney Vencer in 3:58. That match was tied 0-0 after the first and Vasquez trailed 1-0 in the second and 3-0 in the third before losing by fall. He wrestled for fifth but settled for sixth after losing 15-0 against Cosumnes Oaks’ Jackson Pfau.

Curtwright lost his consolation semifinal by defeating himself.

The Cougars’ lightweight was dominating his match against Livingston’s Jose Sanchez and was up 8-2 before a defensive fall forced his season to end early at 3:10 in the second round.

He opted to forfeit the meaningless fifth-sixth place match.

Manteca’s Cameron Flores (113) lost his first match to be eliminated, as did teammate Matt Wilkerson (220) against Oakdale’s Wyatt Hjeim with a 4:45 pin. Wilkerson stormed out the Eagles’ gym visibly and vocally upset after his high school campaign ended against a VOL rival Mustang.

EU freshman Jason Betlej (106) went one-and-done against River City’s Gage Stolpe. Sierra’s Julian Semenza (195) was also eliminated in the first match of the weekend after McGIll pinned him in less than a minute.

Weston Ranch’s Uriel Salvador (120) was eliminated by Vista del Lago’s Antonio Mulqueeney with a 0:26 fall, as was teammate Marc Carganilla (182), losing against Oakdale’s Christian Johnson in 1:30.

Oakdale dominated and won the tournament with 242.5 points over Central Catholic and crowned six divisional champs.

Division V Tournament

Ripon had three second-place finishers at the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V Tournament, including Tristan Smith (220), Javier Hernandez (140) and the reigning Trans Valley League champ at 128 pounds Edgar Gonzalez.

Smith lost in the championship against Escalon’s Dominic Freeseha, and Hernandez came up shy against Escalon’s Tyler Lawrence. Gonzalez took second to Summerville’s Andrew Brennan. David Goforth (HW) took fifth place and Gabe Barnett (145) placed sixth.

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