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Pitman finishes with 6 placers at tourney

POSTED January 25, 2011 9:04 p.m.

This time, it wasn’t the Emilio Saavedra show. That’s because Pitman High wrestling coach Adam Vasconcellos decided to give the freshman sensation — already considered a favorite to win the state’s 103-pound title in March and the winner of numerous tournaments this season — the weekend off.

So other Pitman wrestlers stepped into the spotlight.

In one of the season’s last big tournaments before the postseason, the Pride had a good showing at MidCals in Gilroy. They entered nine varsity wrestlers, eight of them advanced to the second day and six took home medals, awarded to the top eight in every weight class.

Kyle Martinez placed second at 215, Derrick Avila finished fifth at 125 and Tyler Klinkhammer placed seventh at 130, while teammates Andrew Perez (135), John England (145) and Marcel Vega (152) all finished in sixth place.

Coach Vasconcellos said a couple of his guys were too banged up and were forced to forfeit, settling for sixth.

Martinez had Pitman’s top performance.

“Kyle Martinez had the best weekend, defeating Luis Bjorquez of Buhach Colony, who made it to state last year,” Vasconcellos said. “A big win for him and then he lost to the No. 5 ranked wrestler in the state in the finals, 9-6. He really stepped up and wrestled hard.”

The Pride will host their annual Rumble in the Jungle on Saturday before starting the postseason, “where,” as Vasconcellos said, “things really start to count.”

To contact Chhun Sun, e-mail csun@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2041.

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