Turlock Youth Wrestling Club coaches Andy York and Lucas Solarez saw major successes and improvements this year in their athletes, who range in age from 5 to 13.
“This is my second year taking over and we have been doing very good and improving a lot,” Solarez said. “We've got a good solid core, sticking with us all over. We have been taking them to tougher tournaments instead of the same locals, changing it up. It was a great year this year.”
Last weekend’s freestyle state championship in Fresno saw Juan Mora at the 112 pound weight class take the state title in slope style. Jeremiah Bertalotto took second in Greco, and in the girls division Hailey Ward won second place in freestyle and slope style to cap off the year on a high note.
William Giron, one of TWC's veterans as a fifth grader, and took fourth in Greco, fifth in freestyle, and seventh at the San Joaquin Wrestling Association free style tournament. Myron Perez, who was a first year wrestler, placed fourth in freestyle.
Maria Bertalotto took second at the girl’s folk style and Jonah Bertalotto left the SJWA a freestyle champion. Tyler Stout took third in freestyle and second in the SJWA freestyle championships. As a team, Turlock won the intermediate freestyle division at the SJWA freestyle championships back in May.
In the San Joaquin sections tournament, the Turlock squad took home 11 medals, with four first place finishers — Mora, Myron Perez, Isaiah Regalado and Jonah Bertalotto.
The squad also made their first trip to Reno for the Worlds of Wrestling tournament where Mora placed fifth. Ethan Ward fell just short as he was a match away from placing in top six.
In the USA Wrestling state meets, four kids placed in all three styles — folk, free, Greco. Ethan Ward placed eighth in the 45 pound folk style, fifth in 50 pound Greco, eighth in the 50 pound freestyle and third in SJWA freestyle championships, the bantam division. Sister Hailey Ward placed second in folk, seventh in Greco, and second in freestyle. Zoraya Perez placed second in folk, fourth in Greco and third in freestyle.
As a fourth grader, Mora took first in freestyle and second in Greco. He placed first at the SJWA folk style championships and captured another first place at the SJWA freestyle championships.
Other placers this year consisted of the Bertalotto twins, Jeremiah and Isaiah. They are kindergartners who have wrestled up in age division all year (bantam, 1st and 2nd graders). Isaiah placed third in Greco and fourth in freestyle with a 4-2 record at Reno and was a SJWA freestyle champion. Jeremiah took second in Greco, seventh in freestyle and second in the SJWA freestyle championships.
“It's been a great year. The kids improved leaps and bounds from last year,” Solarez said.
The Turlock Wrestling Club will hold a car wash from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. today at Golden State Food and Gas to try and raise money for new wrestling gear.
Those interested in joining the Turlock Wrestling Club can find more information at facebook.com/TurlockWrestling. Practices start again in November.
“I am expecting to hopefully get more kids and grow overall as a youth program,” Solarez said.