Divisional wrestling across the area took place Feb. 17 and 18, and when all was said and done, Turlock, Pitman, Delhi and Hilmar High qualified a total of 30 wrestlers to advance to the Master's tournament, beginning today.
Turlock and Pitman wrestling qualified 23 wrestlers combined to move on to Masters after both teams showcased their talent in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I-AA Tournament from the Prides gym.
Although the Pride led after day one as a team, Del Oro snuck away with the victory as a team while the home team Pitman finished just behind in second, all while qualifying the most wrestlers in program history to advance into the next round.
“Twelve is the most we’ve ever qualified in our school for Master's,” said Pitman head coach Adam Vasconcellos. “After winning the D2 section title, you heard chatter about it not being D1 and our kids took it as a challenge; we know whatever division we have as much depth as any.”
Pitman had only two guys not in the top four. Adam Velasquez (126) and Isaiah Perez (170) of Pitman took home first place finishes.
“They are just rallying near the end of the season for each other. I have had years qualify just five or six kids and these kids like being around each other and they genuinely like it,” said Vasconcellos. “They are fighting for each other. We will go in and give our best shot next week.
Turlock's top finishers were Breck Jeffus (195) and Alex Oliveira (134), who both placed second in their respective weight classes. As a team, Turlock finished fifth while qualifying 11, the second most next to Pitman's 12.
“We also got two fourth, two fifth and a seventh and eighth place finish,” said Turlock head coach Mike Contreras. “I don't know if it was an advantage to have the meet here but the kids all made weight and we competed well and were happy with our performance.”
At the Division-V tournament, Delhi and Hilmar each competed and both came away with a champion.
Delhi heavyweight and No. 3 in California, Jesse Flores, won in the final after a 6-0 decision. Scorpio Castorena (152) of Delhi also advances to Masters.
Hilmar's Cody Rentfro (182) clinched the Yellowjackets only first place finish after a 7-1 decision.
Steven Silva (106), Gaven Azevedo (113), Wyatt Carter (120) and Justin Rentfro (170) will also go to Masters.
The Master's tournament will take place at the Stockton Arena through Saturday.