Pitman’s Izzy Tubera (113) and Lilly Freitas (143), along with Turlock High’s Mike Jeffus (HWY) are moving on to the semifinals of the California Interscholastic Federation State Wrestling Tournament after all three went undefeated following the second day of the three-day event.
Hundreds of wrestlers, along with friends and family, flocked to Bakersfield’s Rabobank Arena for the three-day event that kicked off on Thursday in the first ever co-ed tournament.
All three are now guaranteed a medal, with the addition of Hailey Ward (101) who is in the consolation semifinals.
“Never know with wrestling, but Lilly and Izzy are dominating. Izzy had the best match he has had, and beat him three times in a row, good for us,” said Pitman head coach Adam Vasconcellos.
“What Hailey has done is already a great accomplishment, her third state medal, got fifth last year and hopefully can place better. Her goal is third since she is in the consolation semis,” said Turlock head coach Mike Contreras. “Mike is matching with Vista Del Lago for the sixth time. I never coached someone who had to wrestle a guy six times, it’s crazy. Izzy and Will wrestled three times and that is a lot.”
Day two of the most challenging and deepest high school state tournament in the country concluded on Friday afternoon with Pitman and Turlock high teams still vying for medals in multiple weight classes.
Four of the 10 wrestlers that qualified for State are still alive in the tournament after Friday concluded.
Tubera punched his ticket into the semifinal round to meet a familiar opponent.
Will Giron of Turlock met Tubera of Pitman in the quarterfinal round on Friday.
Tubera was up 2-0 after the first period, then by the third, with 34 seconds remaining, Tubera went up 4-0 over Giron and held on for the win.
Freitas captured back-to-back wins early on Thursday as a
No. 3 seed. She then followed up with a victory that came in the third via fall
with a score of 15-2, and exactly 1:07 on the clock.
That was good enough to punch her ticket into Saturday’s semifinals and a medal.
Jeffus, who came in ranked No. 2 in the state bracket, showed why he is one of the best.
He won his first match convincingly via fall before picking up an 8-4 decision victory that put him into the quarterfinals on Friday.
From there he took on Josiah Hill of Bakersfield who was No. 7 in the bracket.
Hill and Jeffus were tied at 0-0 in their quarterfinal match after the first.
Then Jeffus went down 1-0 after an escape from Hill, but Jeffus followed up with a takedown immediately and went up 2-1.
Hill got his second escape then the score read 4-3 with 1:43 left in the third. Jeffus then was able to hold on for the win.
He moves on to face No. 3 Justin Ramos of Vista Del Lago.
From Hilmar, Justin “JR” Rentfro went 2-0 before being sidelined for the remainder of the tournament due to a severe ankle injury he sustained in his prior win.
Rentfro, who was ranked No. 10 in the state heading into the tournament, kicked off Thursday with a 3-2 win, then he followed up with an 11-8 victory in his second match before injuring himself and going home early.
On the girls side, only Freitas advances to the semifinals after Turlock High’s Hailey Ward fell in her quarterfinal round match to No. 4 Mikayla Guevarra.
Before that, Ward captured back-to-back wins via fall to set herself up in the final eight.
Unfortunately, things didn’t go her way as Guevarra was able to hold her off for a 9-1 win.
Will Giron (113) and Adrian Heras (126) each fell by one point in the consolation bracket and were one victory away from earning a medal.
“Giron and Heras both lost one-point matches in the consolation, one win away from medaling for both… could have gone either way,” said Contreras. “I am proud of our boys, we gave our best effort, too bad we had Will and Adrian fall and at least they’re not seniors. This will make them hungry for next year.”
Day three of the first ever co-ed California Interscholastic Federation wrestling tournament continues from Rabobank Arena at 9 a.m. Saturday with the finals slated for 5:30 p.m.