Adam Velasquez (120) keeps on winning.
Of the 20 wrestlers from Turlock, Pitman, Denair, Delhi and Hilmar High that competed at the Sac-Joaquin Master's tournament this past weekend, only Pitman's Adam Velasquez came out as a winner after defeating Aaron Rugnao of Bear Creek, 5-2, in the championship match.
“It's a feeling of relief from all the hard work,” said Velasquez, who finished sixth last season.
The Master's tournament was Velasquez's top career performance and he will now move on to State with a higher seed than he did just a season ago.
“With it being my top finish I hope to get a top seeding hopefully now at State,” he said.
Velasquez won his first match via fall then followed it with a tight match against Waterford's Ivan Gomez after winning with a 4-2 decision.
Velasquez topped Kai Caspillo with a major 10-1 decision in the third round, followed by a semifinal win over Jose Sanchez via fall, just one minute and 46 seconds into the first round.
In the final, Velasquez had little trouble as he handled Rugnao effectively.
Isaiah Perez (138) of Pitman will also be moving on to State with his cousin Velasquez, after finishing in fourth place at Master's.
“I am excited that we have two guys representing our school at the State tournament, it is extremely hard to consistently have high-end wrestlers,” said Pitman head coach Adam Vasconcellos. “It's nice that our studs will be back next year in Isaiah and Adam, they will give us a chance to win.”
Turlock's Andy Orozco (152) finished in fourth place and qualified for the State tourney after being ranked eighth going into Master's.
Turlock's Brady Egleston (138) and Breck Jeffus (195) each finished in seventh place, just one placing away from qualifying for state.
“We had eight qualify for Master's, three medalists and one state qualifier. We also ranked 15 as a team, so not too bad,” said Turlock coach Mike Contreras. “Now Andy is looking forward to a great week of practice and hopefully making the podium in Bakersfield.”
“From the administration down to the coaching staff, we are all proud of Jesse,” said Delhi head coach Ray Cedras. “For the last three years he has gotten better and better. He has gotten himself better. The coaching staff didn't get him there, we just helped hone some skills he already had. He has opened some eyes and now people are taking notice.”
Hilmar had three representatives for the day in Justin Rentfro (160), Wyatt Carter (113) and Gaven Azevedo (106). Unfortunately, only Rentfro made it past the second day as the freshman finished in the top 12.
The two-day CIF state tournament will be at Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield beginning on Friday morning at 9 a.m.
“Every match will be a barn burner,” Velasquez added. “I have to train every hour till the State time on Friday, I won't take any breaks. I've wrestled for 12 years, it won't affect me at all doing that. Plus it will be worth it in the end. I want to get in the podium, but the ultimate goal is a State championship, and if all goes well and as planned, then I can do it.”