ESCALON – East Union head coach A.J. Reindel only took seven of his wrestlers to Friday and Saturday’s Lloyd C. Engel Tournament at Escalon High, and two of them returned home with championships.
East Union freshman Jason Betlej won the 106-pound B bracket title and Ruben Bacanegra finished first winning the 182-pound C bracket championship.
Nick McGill (second place, B bracket), who only had three days of practice put in after returning from an ankle injury, came up short in the final, respectively. Kyle Bean finished fourth for the 133, C-bracket and went 1-1 on the final day.
Bean lost against Marcus Avila of the Lancers’ cross-town rival Manteca, who was the second of three local squads featured in this 40-team, round-robin style tournament.
“I didn’t have the turnout I wanted as far as kids, but they wrestled tough,” East Union head coach A.J. Reindel said. “I had about five varsity kids with injuries. I didn’t get the full bang for my buck, but the seven kids that showed up got a lot of experience and wrestled well.”
East Union, which will host Sonora and Weston Ranch on Wednesday in a Valley Oak League triple-dual meet, had one more placer than the Buffaloes, who will go to Lathrop to face the Spartans and Oakdale Wednesday afternoon.
Along with Avila at 132, Manteca’s Jake Orner finished third in his bracket at 138s. Robert Foo claimed second in his 127-pound C division and Matt Wilkerson was the only Buffalo to make into an A bracket after going 3-0 on Friday. He ended up sixth at 220s.
Lathrop standout Alex Garcia wasn’t able to compete due to illness, but the Spartans still got some work in from the other wrestlers in other weight divisions.
Lathrop’s 220-pounder Omar Fernandez placed second in the B bracket and lost in the final seconds of overtime. Enrique Betancourt (138s) was the only Spartan to make it to a tougher A bracket, where he went 0-2 on Saturday and bowed out respectfully.
Danny Hinman (146s) went 3-4 over the two days and Christian Garcia (120s) finished 3-2, including a tough loss against Davis’ Phil Fuentes, 6-3. Garcia went down 6-0 and attempted a comeback in the third by scoring three, but it was too little too late.
San Ramon Valley
Sierra finished fifth out of 18 teams in Danville, and senior Lucas Widmer won his second championship in seven days. Widmer took the title at 170s going 4-0 and recording two by pin fall. Widmer took home the title with a 7-4 decision.
Freshman Brandon Rullan came up short in the championship of his 106-pound bracket, 8-4. This was the freshman’s second straight second-place finish in consecutive weekends. Sierra’s Simon Marquez (132s) took fifth and Billy Fishburn won his third-place match at 145s going 4-1. Julian Semenza came up short in his third-place match at 195s.
Gordon Hay Invitational
Ripon’s standout sophomore Tristan Smith finished second in te 220-pound bracket in Calaveras. Chris Fisher (132s) and Javier Hernandez (138s) both came up shy in their third-place matches.Hernandez dropped his contest in overtime.
The Indians had two wrestlers win Gordon Hay Invite championships at the 120 and 132-pound weight classes. Caleb Boersma and Chris Delgado took first, both finishing 4-0 and winning their titles in pin-fall fashion. Isaac Adams placed third for heavyweights and Diego Moreno fourth.
Napa Valley Classic
Weston Ranch senior Alyssa Cantu won the 189-pound championship after going 5-0, including a pin 30 seconds into the second round of the final. The Cougars, accompanied by assistant head coach Seth Davis, finished 10th overall at the 109-team tournament.
Weston Ranch took five girls and two of them placed, including junior Mia Hill (third place) who went 6-1 at 106s.
Lathrop also attended the tournament under head coach Vincent Garcia.
The Spartans’ senior Jasmine Ivey took fourth at 137s and finished 7-2. Ivey’s senior teammate Edna Magana (121s) finished 3-2 overall.