West High, which placed third in the Division I South tournament Saturday, Feb. 19 at Gregori High School in Modesto, will send six wrestlers, including Justin Martin Del Campo (112), who won the Division I South title in the 112-pound weight class, the second year in a row that he be division champion, and the fourth year that he has qualified for the section Masters tournament.
Martin Del Campo went 4-0 on Friday and Saturday and wrestled Johnathan Salazer of Buhach Colony in the final. They went all three rounds, with Martin Del Campo scoring on a takedown in the first period, and for the rest of the match he and Salazar battled for the advantage. He said afterward that Salazar was hard to turn so he knew it would be tough to get a pin. It turned out that both wrestlers were strong from the bottom starting position, so Martin Del Campo knew he had the same advantage as his opponent.
"I have a pretty good base and I was confident he wasn't going to turn me. If anything I had to get out."
Martin Del Campo then scored twice more on reversals in the third period to win the 6-3 decision. He added that his experience also is an advantage.
"I won it last year and that gave me more confidence," he said, adding that the next two weekends are what matter most.
"I'm a senior, so I have to throw the cards on the table."
West had three others in the finals Saturday, including Ulysses Juan (103), Amrit Singh (171) and Dominic Williams (189), who all finished in second place. Kris Merrill placed third in the 275-pound class, and Trevor Manaois placed fifth in the 119-pound class.
Tracy will send two wrestlers, including senior Tyler Huckaby, who placed third in the 189-pound class. He pinned John Johnson of Atwater in the second period of the third place match. Huckaby scored first on a takedown in the first round, and then scored on an escape and another takedown before he made the pin.
"I knew I wanted a good seed for Masters, so I had to turn up the heat in every round and put the pressure on him. That motivated me to get the pin," he said. "I've been looking to go to state all year, so I really have a fire to make the top seven (in the section) to go to state."
His teammate, sophomore Albert Landeros, placed fifth in the 112-pound class.
Winner of the Division I South tournament in the team score is Golden Valley of Merced, which qualified 9 wrestlers for the Masters tournament, and compiled a team score of 194.5. Pitman of Turlock placed second with eight section qualifiers and a team score of 154.5, and West was close behind with a score of 147.5. Turlock was fourth, 117.5, with four section qualifiers, and Tokay was fifth, 108.5, with four qualifiers, including three gold medalists.
Kimball High will send freshman Trent Nicholson, who placed second in the 137-pound class at the Division IV tournament Saturday at Union Mine High School in El Dorado. Nicholson lost in the final in a rematch with Shane Tate, a senior out of of Oakdale. They had also faced each other in the final at the Valley Oak League tournament last weekend. Nicholson is one of three freshmen, out of 70 wrestlers total, who will represent Division IV next weekend.
The VOL's Oakdale was the Division IV champion and qualified all 14 Mustang wrestlers for the Masters tournament, including nine gold medalists, and had a team score of 303.5. Second place was Union Mine, 137.5.
Coaches said that regardless of the outcome this past weekend, the wrestlers all aim for the section Masters tournament, and a chance to make the top seven that will compete at the California Interscholastic Federation state championships in Bakersfield the first weekend of March.
"We didn't wrestle to our capabilities, but no one will remember this week. It's all about next week," West Coach Ed Carlos said. "From here on out it gets tougher."
Tracy Coach Tony Leanos added that the division-level competition is tough enough to eliminate some of the best wrestlers from his team, so now his goal is to get the two that moved up ready for their best competition yet.
"We're happy these guys are moving on. We're hoping we get them through next week in the same fashion, and then go to Bakersfield and see what we can do there."
Individual results from Division I South tournament include:
Justin Martin Del Campo (112) beat Isaiah Alva, Merced, 13-4; beat Paul Fagbamila, Beyer, 16-0; and beat Blaze Fidler, Golden Valley, by pin in 4:41; and beat Johnathan Salazar of Buhach Colony 6-3 to win the gold medal.
Ulysses Juan (103) beat Steven Valencia, Bear Creek, 15-0; beat Jason Valdovinos, Turlock, 7-4; beat Hoa Le, Chavez, 2-1, and lost to Emilio Saavedra, Pitman, by pin in 2:47 in the final to finish second.
Amrit Singh (171) beat Miltom Morales, Chavez, by pin in 5:07; beat Cameron Matthews, Davis, by pin in 1:04; beat Dean Duivenvoorden, Gregori, 11-9; and lost to Joshua Logan, Enochs, 4-0 in the final. Singh and Logan went scoreless for most of the match, each looking for an opportunity to make a takedown. Logan finally got his opportunity after a reversal at the end of the third period.
Dominic Williams (189) beat Omar Flores, Turlock, by pin in 1:38; beat Tyler Huckaby, Tracy, 5-1; beat John Johnson, Atwater, 9-2; and lost to Andrew Richards, Tokay, 2-1 in overtime to finish second. Neither wrestler was able to score a takedown in the final match, and were tied 1-1 at the end of three rounds after each scored on an escape. They went scoreless through the first sudden-death overtime, and Richards scored on an escape in the second overtime. Williams needed to score at least an escape in the third overtime, but Richards kept his hold on Williams to take the win.
Kris Merrill (275) beat Miguel Negrete, Enochs, by pin in 1:01; beat Danny Ochoa, Atwater, 9-0; lost to Matthew Teeples, Pitman, 4-3; beat Brian Collins, Lodi, by pin in 1:21; and lost to Richard Hammer, Edison, by pin in 2:22 to finish fourth. It was the third time this season that the two heavyweight wrestlers have faced off. Merrill won the first two times. This time Hammer scored on a reversal in the second round and quickly made the pin.
Trevor Manaois (119) beat Taran Myatt of Enochs by pin in 2:22; lost to Ben Weber, Golden Valley, 2-0; beat Xavier Alva, Merced, by pin in :57; beat Manual Hernandez, Bear Creek, 4-0; lost to Gabe Parkinson, Beyer, 4-2; and beat Alex Moreno, Turlock, 4-0 for fifth place.
Sixth-place wrestlers just short of qualifying include Daniel Aflague (125), who went 3-3, including a 10-5 loss in the fifth-place match; and Mitch Selna (130) who went 3-3, including a 13-9 loss in the fifth-place match. Other West wrestlers were: Matt Mahe (215) went 2-2 and was eliminated one match short of the medal rounds; Jacob Biehl (145) and Christian Theissen (160) went 1-2; and Kyle Selna (135) and Alex Martin Del Campo (152) both went 0-2.
Tyler Huckaby (189) beat Mario Delgado, Modesto, by pin in :16; lost to Dominic Williams, West, 5-1; beat Mark Welch, Franklin, by pin in :41; beat Austin McGill, Davis, 10-3; beat William Eastman, Golden Valley, 10-0; and beat John Johnson, Atwater, by pin in 2:23 for third place.
Albert Landeros (112) beat Ralph McCullar of Davis 16-1; lost to Blaze Fidler, Golden Valley, 8-0; beat Daniel Vergara, St. Mary's, by pin in 4:16; beat Andy Huynh, McNair, 15-1; lost to Chris Kreifels, Downey, 5-1; and beat Rafael Herrera, Turlock, 10-4 to finish fifth.
Other Tracy wrestlers included Zack Blackwell (119), who went 1-2; and Austin Shankel (125), Josh Gomez-Zavala (130), Michael Frymyer (135), and Alex Warner (215), who all went 0-2.
Trent Nicholson (137) had a bye in the first round, beat Reggie Bland of Central Catholic 14-4, beat Jaleon Reid of Vista Del Lago 12-6, and lost to Shane Tate of Oakdale on a technical pin in the final to finish second.
The Jaguars had four other wrestlers qualify for the Division IV tournament. Diego Alvarenga (103) didn't wrestle because of a knee injury, and Luis Cornejo (145), Cameron Diaz (171) and Matt Cooper (215) all went 0-2.