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Local youth wrestlers capture state title
Wrestling team photo
The Turlock Youth Wrestling Club and their coaches sit with their trophies after they captured a team state title. - photo by Photo Contributed

Turlock has long been known for its success in wrestling at any level and this past weekend reinforced that as the Turlock Youth Wrestling Club concluded their seven month long season with a state title after taking the California Freestyle State Championships Wrestling Tournament by storm at Selland Arena in Fresno.

Turlock would tally up six placers and also a bantam team championship before Father’s Day weekend would end.

“Four to five days a week and going to wrestling tournaments all year long on the weekends, the kids did well and finished well… a team state championship was a big accomplishment and we thought we could do well in a team race,” said Turlock head coach Lucas Solarez.

It is the best result since entering the Folkstyle State Tournament back in March in which Turlock tied for second place.

“Next our goal is to earn more than one title and send a team to Western Regional and USA Wrestling Nationals,” said Solarez. “Just sticking it out will help them for next year, I tell them to get better for the following year.”

With wrestlers ranging from the ages of 6 to 13 split into four divisions, the Turlock boys bantam division managed to win the state title with 17 points ahead by three points of second place ‘Beat the Streets.’

Three bantam wrestlers would finish in the top four while one intermediate and two novice wrestlers also finished in the top four.

“Just have to get the right group of kids and we have them for sure,”  Solarez said.

In an Olympic set format, rules varied but that didn’t deplete the top wrestler for Turlock in Isaiah Bertalotto, in the 55-pound weight class, who managed to capture a second place finish in the bantam division. Brother Jeremiah Bertalotto, topped out in fourth place in the 60-pound class also in the bantam division.

Hailey Ward, who is in the novice girls division, placed third in the 80-pound weight class.

Eli Watson, Ethan Ward and William Giron each took fourth place in their respective divisions.

“We have guys that are older and everybody in the room helps out and not just the three standouts,” said Solarez. “We are still a young team. They are all doing well, the kids who stuck through it for this long that is just impressive.”