Fresh off their Junior Bulldog Classic two weeks ago, the Turlock Youth Wrestling Club traveled to Hanford and entered the California Republic Wrestling Invitational.
With over 500 kids present from ages 5 to 13 at the one-day event last Sunday, Turlock head coach Lucas Solarez and his assistants brought 20 kids total—12 of which placed in the top six in their respective age and weight divisions.
“It was a good tune up to see all the tough competition in the Central section,” said Solarez. “It's always tough and there were even teams from out of state.”
Turlock's eight and under division team took second in the team standings, with Dethrone Wrestling only 6 points ahead at first.
“We think it's good,” Solarez said of his team's top finish. “It was more of a learning experience and we go over the things that did not go well and it's a preview for state. This is just the first of many big tournaments to follow, SJWA Championships, State and our favorite — Reno Worlds.”
The two champions at the eight and under division were Isaiah Bertalotto (58) and Isaiah Cortez (55).
Elijah Cortez finished second after losing to Bertalotto in the final at the 58-pound weight class.
The other participants in the second-place finish for the eight and under division where Jeremiah Bertalotto (62) who finished third, Mason Ontiveros (62), who placed fifth, and Eli Watson (74), who topped out in fourth.
“Everybody did well,” Solarez said. “Last year we only had three placers and this time we were there in the team championship.”
Josh Cortez (150), who competed at the 12 and under division, brought home a second place finish.
Another 12 and under standout was William Giron (75), who finished second in his division and sixth in the Middle School class. Isaiah Ontiveros (100) placed third.
“It's good to lose here rather than State,” Solarez said. “It's a preview for postseason and for it only being our second year we turned some heads, had some good compliments from many people there. This was definitely the toughest tourney before we reach State and league championships.”
The TYWC's next match will be this Sunday at Jackson followed by another tournament in Ripon next weekend.