Four wrestlers from West High, and three from Tracy High, will move on to the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters wrestling tournament. They are among the wrestlers who finished in the top five in their respective weight classes at the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I South tournament Saturday at Stagg High in Stockton, and will compete again on Thursday and Friday, Feb. 23 and 24, at Stockton Arena.
West High also placed fifth among the teams at the tournament, scoring 107 team points. Turlock was the division champion with 218 points and qualified nine wrestlers for Masters, including five gold medalists. McNair was second, 120.5, Lodi third, 120, and Merced fourth, 112.5.
West senior Ulysses Juan (113) was the only local wrestler to bring home a gold medal from the Division I South tournament. Juan took first place in the 113-pound weight class after he pinned Zach Blackwell of Tracy High in 1:58 the championship match on Saturday. Juan also won by pin in his semifinal match, and won his previous match on a decision. Blackwell got to the final match with three pins in a row leading up to the final.
The two have met on the mat before when Juan beat Blackwell on a major decision in the crosstown dual match in December.
“I knew he would want it a lot more, but I just want to represent my school so I go out there and did what I needed to do,” Juan said, adding that his advantage came from taking control of the match from the start.
“I just want to make sure that I score first. Once I do that I start putting the pressure on more and more,” he said. “I kept working for the pin and was waiting for my opening, and toward the end (of the first period) I caught it and took advantage of it.”
It’s his third time at the divisional tournament, where he placed second last year, and this will be his second trip to the Masters tournament, where he placed third last year and qualified for the state championships.
“It feels good. A lot of us on the team wanted it bad and sending four isn’t too bad. Going to Masters is a big deal for us, because we always want to push toward state.”
West junior Amrit Singh was the runner-up in the 182-pound class. He won his first two matches on first-period pins, won the semifinal on a pin in 3:16 over Kevin Scroggins of Turlock, and then lost a 10-1 major decision to Dean Duivenvoorden of Gregori High.
Tracy junior Albert Landeros (120) qualifies for Masters with a fourth-place finish. He won on a technical fall and a 12-4 major decision to get to the semifinals, where he lost on a 6-4 decision. He then beat Francisco Lopez of Lincoln on a 6-5 decision and then lost to Gary Thao of McNair on a 7-6 decision.
Tracy senior Kendrick Bergmann (170) qualified with a fourth-place finish. He lost his first match on a technical fall to eventual champion Erick Parsons of Turlock, and then came up through the consolation bracket with a pin and three decisions before he lost a 4-1 decision to Daniel Huff-Zehr of Enochs.
West senior Matt Mahe (220) qualified with a fifth-place finish. He had two first-period pins to get to the semifinal, where he lost to eventual champion J.T. Goodwin of Bear Creek. He then lost a 5-1 decision and then beat Marcos Guerrero of St. Mary’s on an 11-3 decision.
West senior Devon Hutchins (285) qualified with a fifth-place finish. He won his first match with a pin, lost on a pin, and then won on two more pins to make the top six. He then lost on a second-period pin to Tanner Purdy of Lodi, and then pinned Everett Keener of Tokay in 23 seconds.
West freshman Angel Castillo (106) just missed qualifying for the section tournament when he placed sixth, losing his final match on an 8-0 major decision to Travis Robinson of Lincoln High. Castillo went 2-3 for the tournament, with two pins in Friday’s rounds to get him to Saturday’s semifinals.
West junior Roy Bravo just missed qualifying. Bravo won his opening match on a major decision, lost in the second round on an 8-3 decision, and then came up through the consolation bracket with an 8-2 decision and a pin before he lost on a 6-2 decision and then lost a 9-6 decision to Xesus Velarde of Atwater High in the fifth-place match.
Other West wrestlers included Michael Montoya (120) and Daniel Austin (145), who both went 2-2 and made the top eight that wrestled on Saturday. Chris Maroulas (152) went 1-2 and Scott Romo (170) went 0-2.
Other Tracy wrestlers were Austin Shankel (132), Zoheb Bafaiz (138) and Alex Warner (220) who all went 1-2; and Gage Chavez (126), Josh Gomez-Zavala (145), Chaz Briggs (182) and James Faile (195), who all went 0-2.
Kimball High qualified four of its wrestlers for the Masters meet, and the Jaguars also placed fifth among teams competing at the Division IV tournament Friday and Saturday at Weston Ranch High in Stockton, logging a team score of 110. Division champion was Oakdale with 270.5 team points. The Mustangs qualified all 14 of their wrestlers for the section meet, including five gold medalists. Second place was Weston Ranch, 132.5, Union Mine was third, 130, and Los Banos fourth, 125.
Sophomore Trent Nicholson won the team’s only gold medal, winning on a second-period pin and a first period pin. He faced Oakdale’s Jake Jacobson in the final, and won that by pin in 3:22.
Freshman Reese Chew (106) placed second. He went 2-1 for the tournament, winning two major decisions before he lost by pin in 3:50 to Oakdale’s Nico Colunga.
Senior Chris Sampino (195) placed second place after he went 2-1 for the tournament. He won on two third-period pins, and then lost by pin in 3:20 to Dallas Hernandez of Patterson in the championship match.
Sophomore Matt Cooper went 5-1 for the tournament to take third place in the 182-pound class. He won his first match with a pin, lost on a decision, and then won four in a row with two pins and two decisions, including his 9-4 decision over Adrian Vizcaino of Central Valley High.
Logan Finley (220) just missed qualifying after he went 3-3 for the tournament and placed sixth. He won his first match by pin, lost by pin, won two more with second-period pins and then lost on a 13-4 major decision in the fifth-place match.
Also competing for Kimball were: Nathan Pearlman (285) went 2-2, and Josue Pajarito (138), Marco Tello (152) and Shane Gooch (160) all went 0-2.