YUBA CITY – With 5 seconds remaining in the third period Saturday and a tie score in the 285-pound consolation championship of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III Wrestling Championships at River Valley High School, Manteca’s Steven Martinez smothered Matt Kjeldgaard of Oakdale and slammed Kjeldgaard to the mat, landing on top of the Mustang and apparently claiming third place.
Not so fast.
The official ruled there was no takedown due to a lack of reaction time. Having pushed himself to the limit to take Kjeldgaard to the mat that one last time, it was all Martinez could do to make it through the first overtime period before giving up two more points in the ensuing two overtime periods to lose 3-1.
“The official stated that they needed to have reaction time,” Buffaloes coach Joe Rohles said. “So the takedown with two seconds left was not a takedown because of no reaction time. He said that neither wrestler was in control and they needed time to react and get in position. That is what I was told.
“Steven did a good job early on of pressing the match but toward the end we lost some gas and that affected the score. He left it all on the mat.”
As a result of finishing in the Top 4, Martinez advanced to the two-day Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Championships beginning Friday at the Stockton Arena.
“Last year as a junior it was all new to me,” Martinez said. “I made it to Masters but was two and out.
“I wasn’t mentally prepared but this year as a senior I know a lot more about it and I am going to try and go as far as I can.”
Sierra’s Alex Loaiza (126) finished second to Trevor Williams of Oakdale, losing 4-0 in the finals. To earn a berth in the championship match Loaiza posted three pins in a row.
“I have a lot of things to work on to get better,” Loaiza said. “I am planning to fix those things and come out better next week, especially since this is my last year.”
For the second week in a row Alex Garcia of Lathrop (120) faced Oakdale’s Nico Colunga in the finals, and for the second week in a row Colunga won, but this time the 5-1 final was closer than the 7-0 win at the Valley Oak League meet.
“I feel like I did a lot better than I did at league against him,” Garcia said. “As always, I have mistakes I need to work on. I am getting there.”
After losing to eventual champion Isaac Mendoza of Inderkum in the 220 quarterfinals on Friday, East Union’s Jaysen Reindel started Saturday with a pin over El Camino’s Josh Arevalo in the consolation semifinals and found himself trailing Garret Monroe in the consolation finals 2-1 in the second period.
Reindel then maneuvered for a reversal and pinned Monroe for third place.
“I just never give up,” Reindel said. “He is a very good wrestler – very strong – but I caught his legs, slammed the body, got on top and pinned him.
“It was a reversal to a half-nelson to a pin.”
Sierra’s Branden Rullan (113) avenged a loss from the VOL meet, coming from behind in the third period to edge Kainoa Caspillo 4-3 for third place.
“I wanted to get revenge because he beat me at league,” Rullan said. “And I knew he was heavy on the top so I kept faking.
“It’s just a relief not losing.”
Lathrop’s Cristian Garcia (126) battled through a cold to win third place in convincing fashion with a 12-3 major decision over Ethan Zelak of River Valley.
“I’ve had a really bad cold and I was sore from yesterday,” Cristian Garcia said. “Every night I have been drinking my medicine and relaxing, coming in the morning ready to wrestle.”
Weston Ranch’s Mark Carganilla (195) finished fourth, losing 8-4 to Montell Bland of Central Catholic in the consolation finals.
“It is a great feeling,” Carganilla said. “It is my first time going to Masters and I am so blessed.”
Sierra finished ninth as a team.
Division V Championships
Tristan Smith (285) finished first Saturday at Sonora and leads a contingent of four Ripon wrestlers to the SJS Masters Championships on Friday.
Gabe Barnett (152) was third for the Indians and Donny Fontillas (113) and Dyllan Heald (160) were fourth.
“We finished fifth as a team,” Ripon coach Glen White said. “I thought our kids wrestled really well this weekend. I was really proud of the improvement that they all made.
“I’m very happy with four guys moving on.”