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Oakdale Finishes Wrestling Season At State
Torres Earns Medal
Junior grappler Jake Abeyta grappled his way to the State Meet with a fifth place finish. Shown is Abeyta working the arm of his Central Valley opponent at the Masters, where his efforts earned him the trip to state. Dennis D. Cruz/The Leader

Freshman grappler Ricky Torres capped off his successful rookie season with an eighth place finish at the 2016 CIF State Wrestling Meet. Torres and four other Mustangs battled with the best of what California high school wrestling had to offer in Bakersfield. The two day wrestle fest began at Rabobank Arena on Friday, March 4 and continued through Saturday, March 5.

Torres finished the tournament with a 4-3 record. The 126-pound freshman entered the tournament ranked 15th in the state in the competitive weight class. In his first bout, Torres defeated Zach Bedrosian 9-2. Torres kept his state championship hopes alive with back to back wins over Bailey Mora (11-2) and senior Johnny Arrela of La Sierra by fall in the fourth period. Arrela was ranked 11th in the state. Torres’ early winning streak came to a close with a loss to junior Gary Joint of Lemoore. Joint was ranked third in the state and edged Torres 5-3. Torres bounced back with a consolation victory over Adrian Marrufo 3-1. In his final match of the tournament, Torres fell to ninth ranked Brett Villarreal via fall. His eighth place finish, however, earned him a coveted state medal.

Masters champion at 152 pounds, Bronson Harmon, made his state debut for Oakdale as well. Harmon entered the tournament ranked number 12. Like his teammate Torres, Harmon began the tournament on a 3-0 run. He put away Isaiah Burris 12-3 in the first round. The sophomore continued to dominate as he dismissed Ryan Franken 11-4. Facing his biggest threat of the tournament, Harmon was faced with the task of wrestling against sixth ranked Jonathan Garcia of Frontier. Harmon did not back down and walked away with his hand raised after a 9-3 victory. However, Harmon’s momentum came to an end when he fell to Jett Moy, who eventually made the finals. Harmon’s weekend and season then came to an end with a loss to senior Tyler Meisinger via fall. Meisinger entered the tournament as the 10th ranked 152-pounder in the state.

The tournament saw the end of an era for 132-pound Oakdale wrestling as senior Trevor Williams’ high school wrestling career came to a close. A four-time state qualifier, Williams began the weekend with a strong performance in his opening round match against Antonio Cortina, winning 9-1. Williams’ dream of becoming a state champion came to an abrupt end, however, with a second round loss to Erik Young 11-2. Williams did regroup and bounced back with a pair of victories, including a fall over tenth ranked Alex Lopez. But he came up short against second ranked Alexander Felix of Gilroy 7-3 in his final match, falling short of a medal.

Junior Jake Abeyta made his state meet debut at 113-pounds. He clashed with 14th ranked Alex Nunez of Alta Loma and fell 4-1. Abeyta answered back with a 4-3 victory over fifth ranked Luciano Arroyo. However, Abeyta’s day came to a close with a 4-2 loss to 15th ranked Brandon Mendoza of Buhach Colony.

Oakdale’s final state representative was freshman Dustin Chavez. Like Torres, Chavez had an impressive rookie campaign for Oakdale. The 106-pound Chavez, ranked 14th in California, took an early exit from championship contention with an opening round loss. Chavez rebounded with a pair of victories but his weekend ended with a loss to fourth ranked Christian Nunez.

Oakdale finished in 22nd place as a team with 38 points.