He is one of seven local wrestlers – four from West, three from Tracy -- who will head to the tournament next weekend at Stockton Arena.
Martin Del Campo took first place Saturday in the finals at Lincoln High in Stockton on a 12-4 major decision over Ben Weber of Golden Valley High of Merced.
While Martin Del Campo controlled the match through the second round, Weber was able to move quick and struggle out of a couple near-pins.
“He was real lengthy,” Martin Del Campo said. “He got out of the cradles a lot and stretched out. He was good.”
Martin Del Campo went 4-0 for the day, pinning wrestlers from Cesar Chavez and Merced, and then beating Manuel Hernandez of Bear Creek in a major decision in the semifinal.
In his freshman year Martin Del Campo placed sixth in the division and went on to compete in the state tournament. Last year he came in third in the division.
For the next week he and three West High teammates and three wrestlers from Tracy High will all train together in the new wrestling room at Kimball High. Martin Del Campo said he’s ready for the intense workouts needed to prepare for the next level.
“We train harder and it gets better,” he said. “I’m excited. Hopefully I’ll go to state and place this year.”
“Anything can happen at the Masters meet,” West coach Ed Carlos added. “We’re going to work on sending all of them to state.”
Also making the finals Saturday was West junior Kris Merrill. Merrill took second place in the 275-pound division. He pinned wrestlers from Modesto and Turlock and beat Andres Quintero of Los Banos on a decision to make it to the final.
Merrill faced Pablo Guerrero of Pitman High for the championship. In the third round, after a 2 ½ round stalemate, with both wrestlers trying to find a way to score a takedown, Guerrero finally got an advantage and brought Merrill to the mat and made the pin 1:34 into the third round.
“We were just looking for angles and looking for a way to take the other guy down,” Merrill said. “He got to me first.”
That match was close to being a contest between two local wrestlers. Guerrero beat Tracy senior Chad Fraga on a decision in the semifinal. Fraga previously beat an opponent from Merced on a decision, and another from Enochs by pin. Fraga won the third-place match over Andres Quintero of Los Banos on a pin in the third round.
Also taking third place was Tracy senior Dylan Smith, who won two matches in the 160 class by pin before he lost to Gabe Gonzalez of Grace Davis High in the semifinal. Gonzalez went on to take first place, and Smith took third with a decision over Aaron Manly of Pitman.
Tracy senior Chase Nicholson took fourth place in the 135-pound class. He went 3-2 for the day with both losses to Joe Thao of McNair High, first in the opening round on a decision. After Nicholson won three in the consolation bracket he faced Thao again and lost that third place match by decision.
Also taking fourth place on Saturday was West junior Daniel Mora, wrestling in the 130-pound class. He lost in the first round, won three in a row in the consolation bracket, and then lost on a decision to Jovanny Gonzalez of Merced.
West junior Jonny Cabral-Ramsey lost in the first round in the 189-pound bracket, took a win by pin and another by forfeit in the consolation bracket to make it to the top six, and then lost two matches to finish in sixth place.
The top six wrestlers from each weight class move on to the section tournament Friday and Saturday at Stockton Arena.
Pitman High of Turlock took first place as a team with 190.5 points. Pitman sends eight wrestlers to the SJS Masters meet, including four who took first place in their weight classes Saturday. Los Banos was second, 139, Grace Davis third, 116, McNair fourth, 110, Turlock fifth, 106, and West sixth, 104.5. Tracy finished tied for 15th with 52 points.
Contact Bob Brownne at 830-4227 or firstname.lastname@example.org.