Oakdale wrestling is well known throughout the state of California and this past week, the Mustangs put themselves on the national stage. In their biggest road trip in school history, Oakdale boarded a plane on Tuesday, Dec. 27 to participate in the Powerade Tournament held in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. Fifty teams from around the nation participated in the two-day tournament that began on Dec. 28. As a team Oakdale placed 37th scoring a total of 48 points.
Making a big statement for the Mustangs was junior Colbey Harlan, who placed fifth overall in the 182-pound bracket. The junior finished 4-2 overall against some of the top talent in the weight class in America. After scoring a fall in the first round, Harlan advanced to the quarterfinals following a 5-1 decision over his next opponent. Harlan’s quest to be champion fell short in the next round as he lost 5-3. The resilient Harlan continued his out of state journey with a pair of consolation victories earning him a spot in the top five. His 3-1 victory over Jake Thompson of Moeller, Ohio earned him his spot on the podium.
Oakdale’s Dustin Chavez, a 113-pound sophomore, went 3-2 in the tournament. Senior Jake Abeyta started the tournament off on the right path with two victories, but lost his next two, ending his medal hopes. Sophomore Ricky Torres made the long trip to compete in the 132-pound division. Torres won his first match with a quick fall, but lost 2-1 in the next round. The young sophomore then lost 3-1 in the consolation bracket. Oakdale’s young core of sophomores also has Gabriel Martinez on its roster and the 152-pounder earned a hard fought fall in the first round. However, Martinez went down in the second round by major decision. He regrouped with a late fall in the consolation round but could not advance to the medal round. Another shining young star for Oakdale’s sophomore class is Cody Golding. He wrestled at 160 pounds, 10 pounds lighter than when he started the season. Golding won his first match to advance in the tournament, then fell in the second round and went 1-1 in the consolation round, failing to earn a medal.
In his final season of wrestling, senior Abel Garcia went to Pennsylvania in hopes of a medal. The 170-pound grappler battled his way to the third round before suffering a loss. Garcia’s journey came to a close as he lost his next match via fall. Garcia went 2-2 overall.
The Mustangs are back in California and are now focused on winning another Valley Oak League title. Oakdale will host Central Catholic tonight, Wednesday, Jan. 4 in the first Valley Oak League dual of the season. Wrestling action begins at 6 p.m.
This weekend the boys will compete at Clovis for the Doc Buchanan for the two day annual tournament beginning Friday. Those not making the trip to Clovis will compete in the Lloyd C. Engel Tournament at Escalon High School, set for Friday and Saturday. Oakdale’s junior varsity wrestlers will compete on Saturday at Turlock High School for the Turlock JV duals.