ESCALON – East Union’s Tyler Diaz battled his way to first place in the 113-pound A division Saturday in the two-day Lloyd C. Engel Wrestling Tournament and was named outstanding lightweight wrestler at Escalon High School.
Although Diaz is only a freshman, he has the experience of an upperclassman.
“I have been wrestling since I was a little kid,” Diaz said. “I wrestled some pretty good wrestlers today but I used the techniques that I have learned.”
The first day of the tournament was a round-robin format to determine Saturday’s brackets, with the undefeated wrestlers ending up in the A bracket, those with one loss in the B bracket, and so on. The only other area wrestler to win an A bracket championship was East Union’s Jaysen Reindel (285) who won all five of his matches by pin.
“I treat everyone I wrestle like they are ranked in the state,” Reindel said. “And you can’t tell how people are going to be because everyone changes throughout the season.”
Lathrop brought home two gold medals in the B division – Mario Ragosa (195) and Keonnee Linnell (152).
“This was a tough tournament,” Ragosa said. “Had a lot of tough guys on Friday but I bounced back and got it done today.”
Linnell was a point shy of making it to the A bracket.
“I was surprised when I lost my first match Friday,” Linnell said. “I only ended up in the B pool by a point.
“I recovered pretty well and this is probably better than I thought I was going to do.
Manteca’s Dominic Day (132 B) finished third.
“It feels pretty good,” Day said. “I am still getting back into the rhythm of things for wrestling after football.
“This was some good mat time and competition for when league comes around.”
East Union’s Trinidad Diaz (152 C) brought home a gold medal.
“I came out slow on Friday and loss my first match,” Trinidad Diaz said. “I could have won that one and in the second match I had a really tough opponent who is ranked fourth in the section.
“I had to come back today and pick it up in the beginning because that is usually when I come out slow. After I got that first match out of the way everything started flowing.”
East Union’s Joseph Patton (132 C) was third. From Lathrop, Armondo Silvas (126 C) and Mysson Harrell (132 C) were second and Jerald Asican (138 D) was fourth.
Manteca’s Jacob Sanchez (182 B) was second, Diego Rodriguez (106 B) and Joshua Craighead (182 B) were third and Dominic Ramirez (170 B), Bryan Resendiz (195 B) and Safi Sumtal (132 C) rounded out the Buffaloes attack with fourth-place finishes.
NAPA – Sierra’s Alexa Garcia battled through the two-day, 130-team tournament at Vintage High and came away with a sixth-place medal at 170 pounds.
Out of four Timberwolves, only Garcia qualified for the second day. She was 2-0 after Friday with two pins but dropped her quarterfinal match Saturday 3-2. She bounced back with two more pins but had to forfeit her last match to finish sixth.
“I have seen some great improvements with all the girls,” Sierra coach Alex Nuanez said. “It is the toughest tournament other than state.”
The other three Timberwolves wrestlers – Ezra Moral (101), Cami Jardon (116) and Cielo Angulo (121) started Friday with first-round pins – Moral notched hers in 11 seconds – but all three dropped two matches on Friday and were eliminated.