Preps

Thursday, Mar 06 2014 11:18 PM

Top contenders at the CIF state wrestling championships

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    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    This is how the Rabobank Arena is transformed from a hockey arena to a site for the annual state wrestling championships Thursday morning.

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  2. 2 of 4

    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    Workers put the wrestling mats in place Thursday at the Rabobank Arena for the two-day CIF State Wrestling Championships in Bakersfield.

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    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    Paul Garcia unwraps the wrestling mats Thursday with help from many others including high school students for the Friday and Saturday CIF State Wrestling Championships in Bakersfield.

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    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    It took about a dozen workers to set up the floor of the Rabobank Arena for the CIF State Wrestling Championship Friday and Saturday in Bakersfield.

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By The Bakersfield Californian

TOP CONTENDERS

Returning champions

113: Adrian Camposano, sr, Fresno-Central (106)

120: Israel Saavedra, soph, Modesto (113)

126: Mason Pengilly, sr, Porterville (120)

126: Johnny Parada, sr, San Fernando (126)

132: Zahid Valencia, jr, Bellflower-St. John Bosco (106 in 2012)

145: Nico Villarreal, sr, Gilroy (132 in 2012, 138 last year)

170: Anthony Valencia, jr, St. John Bosco (126 in 2012)

220: Jeramy Sweany, sr, Vacaville (195)

HWT: Nick Nevills, sr, Clovis (HWT in 2011, HWT last year)

Top of the class

The top three wrestlers at each class, as ranked by The California Wrestler website:

106: 1. Justin Mejia, fr, Clovis; 2. David Gonzales, soph, San Dimas; 3. Zander Silva, fr, Alta Loma.

Note: There are no returning medalists at this weight; Mejia is fifth nationally.

113: 1. Vincent Elizalde, sr, Brawley 2. Matt Gamble, sr, Porterville-Monache; 3. J.J. Figueroa, fr, Bakersfield.

Note: Adrian Camposano of Fresno-Central, ranked fifth, won state at 106 last year.

120: 1. Israel Saavedra, soph, Modesto; 2. Gionn Peralta, sr, Vacaville; 3. Evan Wick, soph, San Marino.

Note: Saavedra beat Peralta 2-1 in a Sac-Joaquin Section qualifier; both reached state finals at different weights last year.

126: 1. Mason Pengilly, sr, Porterville; 2. Michael Knoblauch, sr, Clovis; 3. Danny Ruiz, sr, Madera.

Note: Pengilly and Knoblauch have split meetings the past two weekends. Both are ranked nationally.

132: 1. Zahid Valencia, jr, Bellflower-St. John Bosco; 2. Wyatt Wyckoff, jr, Paradise; 3. Matt Ontiveros, sr, Fresno-Central.

Note: National No. 1 Valencia has dominated -- except in a 1-0 win over No. 4 Julian Flores of San Marino.

138: 1. Mike Longo, sr, Corona-Santiago; 2. Uzo Owuama, sr, Bloomington; 3. Emilio Saavedra, sr, Modesto

Note: Saavedra has twice finished top-four, but he was pinned by Owuama at the Doc B. Longo's only loss to No. 4 Sergio Enloe of Poway.

145: 1. Nikko Villareal, sr, Gilroy; 2. Ralphie Tovar, jr, Poway; 3. Lorenzo De la Riva, jr, Folsom.

Note: Villarreal hopes to become the 18th three-time champion in state history.

152: 1. Paul Fox, sr, Gilroy; 2. P.J. Klee, sr, Santa Rosa-Cardinal Newman; 3. Tyler Zimmer, Clovis West.

Note: Fox has twice been a runner-up at lighter weights (126 and 132). He has not wrestled Klee this season.

160: 1. Alexander Graves, sr, San Marcos; 2. Freddie Garcia, sr, Corona-Santiago; 3. Bryan Salinas, sr, Covina-Northview.

Note: Graves is unbeaten; no wrestler here has ever placed higher than fourth (Salinas).

170: 1. Anthony Valencia, jr, St. John Bosco; 2. Bryce Martin, sr, Bakersfield; 3. Matt Penyacsek, jr, Gilroy.

Note: High-flying Valencia handed Martin his only loss, 12-6 in the Doc B finals.

182: 1. Nick Fiegener, sr, Folsom; 2. Corey Griego, sr, Hesperia-Sultana; 3. Alec Gamboa, jr, Madera.

Note: Fiegener, ranked fourth nationally, has defeated No. 5 Griego twice in close matches.

195: 1. Ian Baker, sr, Carlsbad-La Costa Canyon; 2. Dylan Bollinger, sr, Sultana; 3. Clayton Hartwell, sr, Union City-James Logan.

Note: Hartwell is the only returning medalist here, but he's lost to both of the top two.

220: 1. Jeramy Sweany, sr, Vacaville; 2. Gabriel Gonzalez, sr, Fresno-Washington Union; 3. Victor Raigoza, sr, Orland.

Note: Sweany won at 195 last year, but he has not met Gonzalez, who is also unbeaten this season.

285: 1. Nick Nevills, sr, Clovis; 2. Nour Abdullatif, sr, Eastvale-Roosevelt; 3. Chance Eskam, sr, Carlsbad.

Note: National No. 1 and Penn State-bound Nevills owns the state record for career pins with 144.

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