A long trip to Southern California paid off for the Oakdale Mustangs wrestling team. This past weekend the grapplers headed to Temecula for the Temecula Valley Invitational: Battle for the Belt. The annual tournament saw the Mustangs place third overall, scoring a team total of 209.5 points. Wining the event was Poway at 291.5.
Seven Mustangs placed in the top eight in their respective weight classes. Senior Colbey Harlan (195) continues to impress in his final season at Oakdale. The unbeaten senior claimed first place on Saturday afternoon. Harlan went 4-0 over the weekend and defeated Tony Andrade of Gilroy 5-1 in the finale. On the season Harlan is 30-0 and well on his way to having a memorable campaign. Harlan will be wrestling at Stanford next fall.
Also wrestling in the finals on Saturday afternoon was junior Ricky Torres. He found himself in the finals at 138 pounds. Torres battled his way to the finals and took on Alex Felix of Gilroy. There, he fell behind early in the match and could not regroup, falling to the senior 9-2, settling for second place honors.
Senior Jake Ryan (145) came home a third place finisher. The future Cal Poly grappler got knocked out in the semifinals but bounced back with an 8-2 decision over Adrian Salgado of Martin Luther King High School.
Two Mustangs finished in fourth place at the tournament. Brayden Abell (106) and Gabe Martinez (170) each placed fourth in their weight classes. Freshman Abell drew a tough opponent in the consolation finals as he met senior Robert Casanave of Bonita. Abell was pinned 1:11 into the match. As for Martinez; the junior battled Levi Farris of Palmer. The two wrestled tough through three rounds but it was Farris who won the match 2-0.
Freshman Henry Porter made an impression this past weekend as the 120-pounder placed fifth in his weight class. Porter defeated junior Jacob Peralta of Vacaville 1-0 in a dramatic battle. In his first year on the team Porter currently has a record of 24-5.
Junior Cody Golding has won 24 of his 30 matches this season. The 182-pounder finished seventh overall in Temecula with a win over Dylan Auschwitz of Bishop Gorman 3-1.
This week the boys get back to Valley Oak League action when they travel to Modesto to take on Central Catholic. This VOL showdown is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 17 at 6 p.m. This weekend members of the team will travel to Sonora for the Haler Memorial on Saturday, Jan. 20.