Turlock High’s Rafael Hererra, Isaac Bertalotto, and Albino Orozco experienced mixed results at the USA Wrestling National Tournaments in Fargo, ND this week. All three competed in the Cadet Freestyle Tournament, but Bertalotto and Hererra also competed in the Cadet Greco Tournament. The Bulldog grapplers made their way to the national level after a rigorous summer schedule and generous donations from the community.
“These kids have wrestled a lot this summer, maybe 40 to 60 matches,” Turlock’s coach Mike Contreras said. “It’s going to pay big dividends this next year.”
The Greco Tournament didn’t treat Hererra and Bertalotto well as they finished 2-2 and 1-2, respectively. The Freestyle Tournament was a different story, though. Bertalotto finished 4-2 in the 140 pound bracket, two matches away from medaling and becoming an All-American. Hererra finished 5-2 in the 126 pound bracket, one match away from the All-American title and a medal. Orozco, on the other hand, struggled in a tough 160 pound bracket and finished 0-2.
“They were defiantly prepared, they just came up short,” Contreras said. “I’m pretty sure they’ll be back though.”
Even though none of Turlock’s wrestlers earned a medal their participation in the national tournament was an accomplishment in itself, providing attention from outside California and a quality learning experience.
“We haven’t had guys compete in that tournament in nine years,” Contreras said. “I’m very proud of them.”