Trinidad Diaz may have come up short in his quest for the California State Wrestling Championships this year, but along the way the East Union 160-pound senior reached some long-term goals.
After finishing third in the Valley Oak League Championships in his sophomore and junior seasons, Diaz was only one of two wrestlers who were not from Oakdale to bring home an all-league patch in this year’s league tourney.
He is the Manteca Bulletin All-Area Wrestler of the Year.
“When I was a freshman, winning league seemed like the next level to me,” Diaz said. “I came up just short until this year and winning it this year meant a lot.”
Diaz’s next goal was to make it to the Sac-Joaquin Masters Championships, and to do so he had the place at the SJS Division III Championships for the first time. He took third at Divisionals but failed to place at Masters.
“At Divisionals, my main goal was to make it to Masters because I had never been before,” Diaz said. “I wanted as good a finish as I could get at Divisionals for a good seed at Masters. I ended up finishing third and that was a little disappointing but it felt great to advance.
“Although I didn’t place at Masters and make it to State, it still felt really good to make it as far as I did.”
Another notch on Diaz’s wrestling bucket list was to place at the prestigious Tim Brown Invitational where he finished eighth.
“When I would see the finishers in the top right at Tim Brown, I was always amazed,” Diaz said. “I would see them and want to be in their spot. I thought they were great.
“And when I made it there it was almost surreal for me that I had made it to that next step.”
Diaz finished second in the grueling A bracket of the Lloyd C. Engle Memorial at Escalon, second in the Ceres Invitational and fourth at the Los Banos Morning Star Invitational.
“TD, as we call him, was one of the best all-around athletes I have ever had the privilege to coach,” East Union coach A.J. Reindel said. “And, if possible, he’s a better person than athlete.
“I’ve summed it up like this to other people before: If I had a daughter, he’s the type young man I would want my daughter to date, but sorry girls — he’s taken.”