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Foster finishes with 152-pound crown, named Engel Most Outstanding Wrestler
Manteca High first-year varsity wrestler Salvador Castaneda just missed out on a tournament championship, finishing 3-1 in the tournament but falling in the final.
ESCALON – Aidan Foster made the most of his participation in the 24th Annual Lloyd Engel Wrestling Tournament, closing as the 152-pound champion and being named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Wrestler of the upper-weights Saturday at Escalon High.

Foster shook off any ill-effects a bad-break in the tournament’s title round a year ago to handle Escalon High standout Andrew Baroni 8-7 for a thrilling 152-pound title. Foster was joined by teammate Jose Cotez (171-pound) as weight-class champions, as he outdueled teammate Lucas Maesitas for the championship.

The Timberwolves got quality productivity last week during the Big Valley Tournament, and continued to improve with a strong showing in the Engel. The Timberwolves had four wrestlers in place matches and also boasted the tournament’s fastest pin winner with Nick Baker’s eight-second early round win.

“I think we are getting better and better with each week we’re on the mat,” Sierra first-year head coach Alex Nuanes. “Everybody is in the wrestling room  is working hard. It is taking some time, but I think we are getting close to where we want to be when the season ends.

“We have two or three guys that are working to get to state, and I think they can make it.”

The Lathrop Spartans found some success as well in the two-day Engle tourney, getting a tournament title in the 160-pound weight class from Mark Maynard. Maynard outlasted Ricky Howard from Patterson 11-6, handing him the 160-pound title.

“Mark Maynard started out the season 11-7 and he is 18-8 right now,” Lathrop head coach Dimos Birakos said. “He is wrestling really well and taking care of the opponents that he should.

“Right now we have a couple of guys banged up; when they get back I really feel that we’re going to peak at the right time.”

Lathrop’s Luis Orejal missed out on an opportunity to wrestle for the 125-pound title, but took advantage of the third-place match with a relatively easy 5-1 win. Orejal was tied 2-2 late in the semifinal match, but squandered his match to Austin Ramirez of Sonora.

Weston Ranch earned a top-4 finish with Luis Ochoa in the 103-pound weight class, and East Union saw Devon Woodall (third-place, heavyweight) also earn a top finish in bracket “A” action.

Manteca High’s Evan Sharp was runner-up in the 189-pound division, falling 9-5 to Keenan Johnson of Mariposa. Teammate Salvador Castaneda let the bracket “B” championship slip away in the 215-pound action.