West won the team match, 38-31, at Tracy High, for the team’s second win in pre-league dual matches.
A key win for West came in the 195-pound class, where junior Robert Misko pinned Tracy freshman Wali Aimaque in 56 seconds. It was the second-to-last match of the night and put West in the lead.
Misko, an exchange student from Slovakia, is new to wrestling this year but had practiced martial arts in Europe. He won his previous match on Nov. 30 with a third-round pin against Lodi.
“This is my second match so I was kind of worried about it,” he said.
Misko knew on Thursday that a win would be important to his team and to Wolf Pack fans in the crowd.
“I heard that West High and Tracy High are rivals, so I’m so happy that we won,” he said
Also scoring a key win for West early in the team match was sophomore Jared Dolor (113). He won a 12-3 major decision over Tracy sophomore Jakob Anaya.
Dolor is also a first-year wrestler, and has won all five of his matches this season.
“When you’re on the mat you really appreciate the conditioning and all the hard work you do at practice a whole lot more,” he said. “All the hard work and sweat paid off and I feel like I had the upper hand.”
West coach Carlos Salazar said the win showed that new varsity wrestlers will overcome their inexperience as the team faces strong opponents.
“I have a lot of young kids in there and they do a lot of rookie mistakes,” Salazar said. “Tracy came out and wanted it just as much as us, so they gave us a run for our money.”
Tracy coach Tony Leanos said that he also had new varsity wrestlers replacing experienced members of his team. They included freshman Alex Lopez (138), who scored a reversal and a take down in the third period to beat West freshman Modesto Silvestre on an 8-6 decision.
Senior Gage Chavez (132) got a 19-8 major decision over West sophomore Alex Soto in his first match of the season.
“I’ve been working a lot in practice on technique and defense to not get taken down as much,” Chavez said. “It’s a big confidence boost to win the first match.”
West won nine of the 14 matches. Junior Ron Sasing (106) pinned senior Thomas Saldana in 1:12; senior Jeff Sapiandante (120) beat junior Dalton Gualco 6-4; senior Roy Bravo (145) beat sophomore Tomas Landeros 16-5; senior Mitchell Selna (152) pinned sophomore Zoheb Bafaiz in 1:05; senior Scott Romo (170) beat junior Antonio Orosco (170) 12-9; and senior Amrit Singh (220) pinned freshman Angelo Carranza in 32 seconds. West also won the 182-pound match by forfeit.
Tracy won five matches. Senior Lucas Furtado (285) pinned senior Ethan Padilla in 48 seconds; senior Albert Landeros (126) pinned junior Ricardo Gallardo in 2:54; and sophomore Noah Blackwell (160) pinned senior Dallas Whelan in 1:45.
Tracy won the junior varsity match 42-35.
Contact Bob Brownne at 830-4227 or firstname.lastname@example.org.