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Pitman, Turlock qualify wrestlers at CCC tourney
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Turlock High freshman Albino Orozco, top, gains the advantage over Golden Valley senior Daniel Gonzalez in the 145-pound title match. - photo by CHHUN SUN / The Journal
Central California Conference Championships

Top 4 Finishers Qualify for Divisionals

103 — 1st, Emilio Saavedra, Pitman; 3rd, Jason Valdovinos, Turlock

112 — 3rd, Rafael Herrera, Turlock

119 — 3rd, Alexia Moreno, Turlock

125 — 1st, Fabian Garcia, Turlock; 2nd, Tyler Klinkhammer, Pitman

130 — 1st, Andrew Perez, Pitman; 2nd, Brandon Egleston, Turlock

135 — 3rd, Derrick Avila, Pitman

140 — 4th, Logan Wolfley, Pitman

145 — 1st, Albino Orozco, Turlock; 3rd, Mark Bennett, Pitman

152 — 3rd, John England, Pitman; 4th, Zach Grimes, Turlock

160 — 3rd, Marcel Vega, Pitman

171 — 1st, Mario Aguirre, Pitman; 4th, Walter Hernandez, Turlock

189 — 3rd, Omar Flores, Turlock; 4th, Thomas Baza, Pitman

215 — 2nd, Kyle Martinez, Pitman

285 — 2nd, Matt Teeples, Pitman

ATWATER — This year’s Central California Conference wrestling championships had a festive vibe. Some wrestlers dyed their hair blonde to perhaps highlight team camaraderie, as well as the start of the postseason. Another wrestler was spotted wearing pink socks.

Even those who had unique hair colors still handled their business.

Especially Pitman High and Turlock High athletes.

The Pride entered Thursday’s league tournament with 14 wrestlers — for each weight class — and left the Buhach Colony High gym with 12 heading to next week’s Sac-Joaquin Section Division I South Championships in Modesto. They also finished with three individual champions in freshman Emilio Saavedra (103 pounds), senior Andrew Perez (130) and sophomore Mario Aguirre (171) to finish second in the team standings with 182 points, 47 behind winner Golden Valley High.

Turlock High came in third with 153 points with two tournament winners in senior Fabian Garcia (130) and freshman Albino Orozco (145). The Bulldogs also qualified seven other wrestlers for the divisional tournament at Gregori High in Modesto on Feb. 18-19.

Two of the title matches featured Pitman and Turlock wrestlers. Turlock’s Garcia settled for a forfeit win at 125 after Pitman’s Tyler Klinkhammer couldn’t go on because of an injury he suffered earlier in the tournament, while Pitman’s Perez outlasted Turlock’s Brandon Egleston at 130.

Even so, Pitman coach Adam Vasconcellos hoped for better results.

“We have some confidence,” he said, “but there are definitely some things we need to work on for the next couple weeks.”

After the division tournament is the Masters, which is the last step before the CIF State Championships on March 4-5. Expect all the local wrestlers to be all business until the last event of the season.

To contact Chhun Sun, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2041.