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Ripon trio reaches D-V semifinals
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HILMAR — The fun is just beginning for Ripon High’s semifinalists in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V Tournament.

Trevor Daniel (145) and Travis Smith (189) each went 2-0, and Christian Spence (215) won his only live match in the first day of the tournament Friday at Hilmar High.

Freshman Nick Solario (103) and heavyweight Nick Baker are also alive but have to battle through the consolation bracket.

“I expected us to be in the position we’re in right now, but I was hoping to have at least one more semifinalist,” Ripon coach Glen White said. “But the three who are in the semifinals wrestled really well.

“They looked good; hopefully they’re peaking at the right time. But (today) we will be able to tell. We’re going to be underdogs in the semifinals.”

Daniel and Spence are Ripon’s only champions from the Trans Valley League Tournament. Tough matches are ahead for both after coasting through the opening rounds.

Daniel joins three other 145-pound semifinalists who are ranked in the section by the The California Wrestler. Next for Daniel is No. 7 Carson Gracia (Summerville), with No. 2 Tyler Brown (Calaveras) and Cameron Ferry (Central Catholic) on the other end. Daniel and Ferry are on the honorable-mention list.

Spence, who got a first-round pass via forfeiture, must get by eighth-ranked 215-pounder James George (Lindhurst). Division favorite No. 5 Gary Gellerman (Calaveras) will likely await the winner in the championship round.

The race is wide open at 189, where Smith meets Dahlton Brown (Argonaut). Eighth-ranked Escalon takes on Garrett Burns (Summerville) in the other semifinal.

White had high hopes for Baker in the heavyweight class, but he was upset by Luke Pasco of Orestimba. Pasco trailed on points the entire match but stuck Baker for a pin with 3 seconds left in the second period. Baker rebounded by beating Robert Cleveland (Highlands) by fall.

Solario dropped his first match in a tough 7-4 decision against Jorge Aguilar (Hilmar). He went on to beat Richard Huartson (Amador) via major decision, 11-2, and outpointed Yevgenly Valyazdkiy (Encina) 5-3.

The Indians had three others compete Friday, most notably standout girls wrestler Hailey Owens. The sophomore, who entered as an alternate, stunned Allen Janek (Highlands) with a 3-minute, 14-second pin but lost her next two matches.

“Hailey didn’t wrestle very well (in the league tournament) last week,” White said. “She wasn’t feeling very well, but she sucked it up this week and practiced hard. She hoped to get in and made the most of it.

“She won one (match at divisional) last year, too, so hopefully we can get over the hump next year.”

— Jonamar Jacinto