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Turlock area to be well represented at divisional, regional wrestling tournaments
Hughson wrestling
Twelve Hughson Huskies finished in the top four of their respective weight classes last week at the TVL individual meet in Escalon to qualify for this weekend’s Division V Boys Divisional meet in Sacramento (Photo contributed).

Sixty-five grapplers between the Turlock, Pitman, Hughson, Hilmar and Denair wrestling programs will be spending the weekend on the mats at the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Boys Divisional and Girls Regional tournaments after dominant showings at Friday’s Central California Athletic League (CCAL), Trans-Valley League (TVL) and Southern Athletic League (SAL) individual championships.

Bulldog Arena on the grounds of Turlock High School saw the most grapplers punch their tickets to the boys divisional round, with Turlock and Pitman each qualifying all 14 of their boys at the CCAL championships.

Denair wrestling
Even Coronel lets out a roar after pinning his opponent in the final round of the 190-pound bracket at the Southern Athletic League individual championships in Mariposa on Friday (Photo contributed).

The Pride, who clinched the CCAL team championship against Turlock last month, once again outlasted the Bulldogs 295-236.5 to claim the league tournament title. All 14 of Pitman’s wrestlers placed in the top-three of their respective weight classes.

Taking home first-place medals for Pitman was Shalveen Prasad (108), R.J. Wilharm  (122), David Jimenez (128), Mika Ontiveros (146), Xadian Padilla (159), Brodie Johnson (167), Mason Ontiveros (177), Carter Vannest (192) and Troy Ceja (285). Runner-ups were Josh Teosidio (115), Brayden Silva (140), Abriel Padilla (152) and Jeremiah Mora (217). Coming in third was Angel Villasenor at 134 pounds.

As for the Bulldogs, first-place finishes were earned by Cole Cronan (115), Jeremiah Bertalotto (140) and Elijah Watson (217). Second-place finishers Cruz Contreras (122), Jack Locke (134) and Levi Cook. Because of an injury in his final match, Isaiah Bertalotto (146) joined the trio as a runner-up due to injury default. Third-place wrestlers were Eliseo Martinez (128) and Shane Petty (159). Meanwhile, John Arango (108), Isaiah Torres (152),Cesar Barajas (167), Jaxson Perry (177) and Marcos Pernillo (287) placed fourth.

Despite coming in second to rival Pitman again, Turlock head coach Mike Contreras was proud of his team’s effort considering there are seven grapplers in his rotation who had minimal or no experience at the varsity level coming into this season. “Overall, a pretty good performance by the Bulldogs. For a young team with not a lot of varsity experience, to qualify all 14 is excellent,” he said.

The 28 wrestlers from the two Turlock schools will once again be under the same roof of the Pitman High School gymnasium on Saturday for the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division II tournament, with action kicking off at 9 a.m. The top eight place winners in each weight class, excluding alternates, will qualify to the Section Masters Tournament at Stockton Arena on Feb. 16 and 17.

Hilmar wrestling
The Hilmar Yellowjackets will be sending 10 wrestlers to the Division V Boys Divisional meet in Sacramento this weekend after strong showings at the Trans-Valley League championships in Escalon last week (Photo contributed).

Turlock and Pitman will also be sending a handful of grapplers to the Section’s South Regional girls tournament, which will take place from Friday through Saturday at Central Valley High School in Ceres. The Pride will have eight wrestlers representing their program — Lily Dizon (102), Lexie Capote (107), Patricia Bray (112), Alina Dizon (117), Gabby Austin (122), Baya Austin (132), Shyla Volk-Wood (137) and Lindsey Carolan (142). The Bulldogs will be sending Aliah Bertalotto (102), Leah Ladd (117), Lauren Olvera (122), Lacey Hovlik (127) and Karley Wool (142).

Hilmar, in their first year fielding a girls team, will also be sending a large group to Ceres. Carlee Maciel (110), Catarina Teixeira (125), Gloria Ledezma (140), Isabella Rolon (145) and Estefani Partida (170). 120-pounder Hanna Parreira and 135-pounder Nora Jorge were also planning on competing before injuries ended their seasons.

“Girls wrestling, it's starting to happen and it’s growing,” said Hilmar head coach Ray Santos. “You look at these other programs in the area with great girls teams, we figured we should jump on board. We had a pretty good number of girls come for tryouts, and look where some of them are. They are some of our most dedicated wrestlers, and it’s cool to see how far they’ve come.”

Action will get underway at the South Regional girls meet at 9 a.m. on both days. Like at the boys divisionals, the top eight place winners in each weight class (no alternates) will qualify for Masters. 

On the boys side, the Yellowjackets will be sending five to the Division V boys tournament at Rosemont High in Sacramento. Qualifiers are Cody Bray (215), Dustin Carmo (106), Scotty Emery (115), Logan Von Aspern (120), Johnny Pereira and Liam Adams. Bray and Carmo took first-place in their classes, while Emery and Von Aspern grabbed third and fourth respectively. Pereira and Adams qualified as alternates.

The TVL will also be represented by the Huskies of Hughson High, who qualified 12 to the D-5 meet. Brady Kline (165), Nicholas Perez (175) and Diego Castillo (190) each grabbed first place medals. Shane Lockwood (106), Logan Dekleva (132) and David Burns (215) placed second. Third-place finishers were Landon Mason (126), Eric Gonzalez (157) and Ryan Lankford (285). Caleb Parshall (138), Xavier Hernandez (144) and Gideon Benetiz (150) qualified with fourth place finishes.

A pair of Denair grapplers will represent the Southern Athletic League at Rosemont High, as Even Coronel (190) and Christian Vrioni (157) won their weight classes.

Like the girls regionals, the Division V tournament is a two-day tournament, running from Friday through Saturday. Matches will begin at 9 a.m. both days.