STOCKTON - Tracy High’s wrestling team took the San Joaquin Athletic Association championship for the third year in a row at Bear Creek High School Saturday.
The league title didn’t come easy for the Bulldogs and could have gone to the Titans from Cesar Chavez High School, the top-scoring team in Saturday’s tournament, had Tracy not won some key matches in the final round.
The league championship is a combination of the teams’ dual meet records and the tournament result. Tracy coach Darryl Rond said his team’s first-place record in league duals offered only a slight edge over Chavez.
Tracy ended the season at 5-0 and Chavez at 4-1. At Saturday’s tournament Chavez outscored the five other teams in the league, and Tracy outscored four, which made the two teams even again in the quest for the league title. The tiebreaker was Tracy’s 37-33 team win over Chavez on Jan. 29 during the dual meet season.
Had Tracy come in third at Saturday’s tournament Chavez would have won the league championship. The Trojans from Lincoln High would have been the team to stand in Tracy’s way. The final teams scores were: Chavez 189, Tracy 163, Lincoln 152.5, Lodi 88, Bear Creek 77.5 and Franklin 55.
Of the 28 wrestlers in the final matches, eight came from Chavez, eight from Lincoln, six were from Tracy, three from Bear Creek, two from Lodi and one from Franklin. Lincoln’s team score was only one pin behind Tracy’s going into the final round, where the two teams would have three matchups with each other.
Tracy’s Josh Mandeville, in the 119-pound weight class, scored for his team and took a first place medal when he pinned Lincoln’s Dylan Matthews in 2:34.
In the 130-pound class, Tracy’s Josh Tristan ended up in second place after he and Lincoln’s Will Lenz went three rounds with no score, until Lenz scored one point for an escape at the end of the third round.
In the 140-pound class Chase Nicholson scored for his team and took first place after he fought through three rounds against Lincoln’s Eli Nagle and won an 11-10 decision.
Tracy’s Bailey Barnes took second place in the 145 class after Bear Creek’s Damaniq Howse pinned Barnes in 3:21 in the final.
Tracy kept the advantage in its last two matches with Dylan Smith’s 6-4 decision over Franklin’s Ricardo Moreno in the 152 class, and Tyler Huckaby scored big when he pinned Chavez’ Jonique Andrews in 1:25.
Smith said he hoped to score a pin, but saw the chance to get the extra two takedown points he needed.
“Going into it I knew it was going to a really tough match,” he said. “I wrestled him last year and he’s improved a lot. I was hoping for a pin, but I got what I could get.”
Huckaby said his match also turned on his recognition of a chance to take back the advantage.
“I felt the weight shift when he was trying to pin me,” he said, adding that he went into the match knowing that his team needed another win. “That inspiration kept me fighting and going for the pin.”
The top four wrestlers from each weight class will move on to the Sac-Joaquin Section South tournament on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 20 and 21, at Turlock High School.
Other results for Tracy were: Chad Fraga (275) third, Philip Fleming (215) fourth, Marc Chapple (189) third, Daniel Nunes (125) third, Cameron Henle (112) third, and Jesse Leanos (103) third.
Results for junior varsity wrestlers include: Austin Shankel (119) 4-0, Ashanti Ligon (103) 3-1, Zachary Blackwell (103) 2-1, Danielle Rond (119) 2-1, and Manuel Gamez (119) 2-1.
Over at McNair High School the wrestlers from West High took fourth place in the Tri-City Athletic League tournament. West ended its league dual meet season at 1-4, and on Saturday the Wolf Pack wrestlers finished behind first-place McNair, the overall league champion again this year, Tokay and Stagg.
Coach Ed Carlos said that the team will still have strong presence at next week’s Sac-Joaquin Section South tournament in Turlock. Ten wrestlers from West will represent their school at the tournament, including three who made it to Saturday’s final rounds.
Carlos added that the result is encouraging after a year where his team included many first-time wrestlers who improved consistently through Saturday’s meet.
“That goes with practicing over time and putting the work in,” he said. “They show up and work hard. Some were able to bounce back from previous losses and it’s rewarding to see that as a coach.”
Justin Del Campo, wrestling in the 103-pound weight class, took first place with an 18-2 technical pin over Nick Contreras of Stagg High.
Trevor Manaois took second place in the 112 class after he was pinned in the second round of the final, and Adam Crandall was second in the 140-pound class after a 12-2 decision went to McNair wrestler Jim Wilson in the final.
Other West wrestlers going to the section tournament include: Daniel Aflague (119) third, Daniel Mora (125) third, Sal Alvarado (130) third, Hewey Burnett (145) fourth, Tyler Higaki (171) fourth, Michael Anguelo (189) fourth, and Kris Merrill (275) fourth.
Junior varsity wrestlers who placed in their competition Saturday were: first place, Julia Sauer (103), Michael Montoya (112); second, Dylan Richards (103), Kyle Selna (125), Carlos Ocampo (130); third, Ulysses Juan (103), Johnny Cabral (160).
Contact Bob Brownne at 830-4227 or email@example.com.