STOCKTON – Tristan Smith is not afraid of overtime.
After losing in the championship semifinals Saturday morning, Ripon’s Smith won his next two matches in overtime to take home the 285-pound third-place medal in the the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Wrestling Championships at the Stockton Arena.
“He is really good shape,” Indians coach Glen White said. “And that is one of his biggest strengths. He is very patient.
“One thing we focused on this week is not making mistakes and he did a really good job of that this whole tournament.”
In the consolation finals with Vacaville’s Mike McCauley, the two battled to a 1-1 tie through three periods. This being Smith’s second overtime match in a row did not seem to faze the Ripon junior as with eight seconds left in the first overtime period Smith took McCauley to the mat to end the match with a takedown.
“With good endurance, you can do anything,” Smith said.
Smith worked his way into the consolation finals with a grueling 6-1 double-overtime thriller over Tokay’s Clint Schallberger.
Schallberger got his lone point with 26 seconds remaining in the second period on a locking-hands call for a 1-0 lead. Smith got an escape in the third period to force overtime.
In the second overtime period with time running out, Smith got a reversal and back points to get the win.
Smith started the day with a semifinal loss in the first period to eventual champion Jake Minshew of Casa Roble-Orangevale.
“Considering I lost to the guy who won, I feel pretty good,” Smith said. “Only losing once since the league meet is pretty good.”
Sierra’s Alex Loaiza was eliminated in the first round of consolation action when he ran up against Ethan Brewer of Sacramento-Sheldon and lost 4-0.
“We knew he (Brewer) was a legger,” Timberwolves coach Alex Nuanez said. “And we tried to work on a few things last night and talk about it.
“This was a huge accomplishment for Alex to make it this far. He was hurt his sophomore and junior years and to get here his senior year was just a huge accomplishment.”
Loaiza and Brewer battled through a scoreless first period and Brewer chose bottom to start the second. Brewer was able to get a reversal and Loaiza never recovered.
According to Nuanez, Loaiza is only the second wrestler from Sierra to make it to the second day of Masters competition.
“It feels good to have made it here,” Loaiza said. “I would like to thank the coaches for everything they did to help me.
“I am proud of where I got to today. I couldn’t even advance to the league meet the last two years and this year I wanted to go far.”
Aysia Cortez (126) from Venture/Excel Academy needed two more wins Saturday to place in the top 8 at the Girls State Wrestling Championships but she could only manage one at the Visalia Convention Center.
Cortez started the day in the consolation bracket with a 7-5 win over Julissa Taitano of Silver Creek-San Jose and then was pinned with eight seconds remaining in her bout with Miranda Lamela of Pacheco-Los Banos.