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Pitman, Turlock wrestlers dominate at CCAL Championships
Turlock wrestling
Turlock High’s Ethan Ward walked away victorious by majority decision in his finals match over Pitman High’s Ronaldo Wilharm Friday afternoon (CHRISTOPHER CORREA/The Journal).

Considering that Turlock High and Pitman High came into last month’s Central California Athletic League finale with undefeated team records with the league title on the line, it should come as no surprise that the local wrestlers once again dominated against area competition when it came to individual championships on Friday.

Of the 28 wrestlers competing between Turlock and Pitman, 27 qualified for this weekend’s Boys Divisional and Girls Regional tournaments. The Pride ended the day better than anybody, as they compiled 10 first-place finishes. The Bulldogs ended up with four first-place finishers.

For the Pride, Lilly Avalos (G-121), Baya Austin (G-126), Alana Ontiveros (G-143), Alex Talemante (140), Elyjah Austin (154), Carter Vannest (162), Mason Ontiveros (172), Matthew Burciaga (197), Achilles Clarke (222) and Troy Ceja (287) were the last ones standing in their respective brackets. For the Bulldogs, Aliah Bertalotto (101), Ethan Ward (115), Jeremiah Bertalotto (134) and Elijah Watson (184) all took home first-place medals.

Pitman wrestling
Pitman High’s Carter Vannest works on Keenan Tumbarello of Gregori High during the finals of Friday afternoon’s CCAL Individual championships, eventually securing a pin in the second period (CHRISTOPHER CORREA/The Journal).

Despite not grabbing first-place spots, Pitman’s Shalveen Prasad, Ronaldo Wilharm, David Jimenez, Abriel Padilla, Xadien Padilla, Kai Merafuentes, Jeremiah Mora and Gabby Austin punched their tickets to the next round of playoffs.

“Our wrestlers answered the bell today, sending 12 of our wrestlers into the finals and all 14 qualified for next week’s divisionals. We are very proud of the way our kids competed today, humble in defeat and victory,” said Pitman head coach Adam Vasconcellos.

Similarly, Turlock’s Uriah Castillo, Jack Locke, Ferris Quisada, Isaiah Bertalotto, Colten Mauksh, Logan Ladd, Kaeden Patterson, Curby Dimond, Adam DeMatos (alternate), Nolan Ashbaugh, Logan Durkee, Tanya Terriquez, Leah Ladd, Lauren Olvera and Heidi Judson will advance despite not having a first-place medal.

The Turlock High and Pitman High boys will both be competing in the Division II Boys Divisional bracket, which will take place at Laguna Creek High in Elk Grove on Saturday. Meanwhile, the girls will be competing over the course of two days on Friday and Saturday on the campus of Central Valley High School in Ceres.

And with another round of playoffs, the stakes get even higher. The top eight wrestlers per weight class in the boys divisional tournament and girls regional tournament will move onto the Masters tournament next weekend at the Stockton Arena, with a ticket to the State tournament on the line.