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Wrestling Success Oakdale Sends Five To State Championship
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Oakdales 113-pound standout junior Nico Colunga defeated St. Marys junior Kieran Deal on Friday and eventually won the Sac-Joaquin Section title on Saturday at the Stockton Arena.

Oakdale High School had a strong presence at this year’s Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Championships on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 28 and March 1 inside the Stockton Arena. With nine representatives from Oakdale, numbers and momentum were on their side. After grappling their way through multiple opponents, Oakdale flexed their muscles and advanced five of its wrestlers to the 42nd annual CIF State Championship March 7 and 8 in Bakersfield.

Oakdale’s Logan Eaton (106) got things started for the Mustangs as he started off with back to back victories over Lodi’s Dylan Crawford and West’s Greg Viloria. Eaton would then fall to Modesto’s Adam Velasquez but would bounce back with a victory over Valley’s Bilal Baloch. After four tough matches, Eaton would then face Elk Grove’s Jacob Seto, but would come up short. His final match of the day would be against Oak Ridge’s Josh Ploke.

The winner would finish seventh in the weight class and advance to State. Eaton would win with a 7-3 decision. Vacaville’s Jordon Aquino went 5-0 and won the 106 weight class.

Mustang Nico Colunga would run the table in his five matches and win the 113-pound weight class in sensational fashion. Napa’s Jason Enriquez, Summerville’s Devin Conklin, Saint Mary’s Kieran Deal, Lincoln of Stockton’s Alex Olivera, and Dixon’s Deven Turner all fell victim to Colunga.

“Nico is wrestling his best when it counts, adding a section title to his résumé gives him a lot of momentum heading into state,” said Oakdale head wrestling coach Steve Strange.

Promising sophomore Trevor Williams would wrestle a total of six matches on the day going 4-2 on his way to finishing seventh in the 120 weight class. Williams defeated Joemar Anicete and Ellias LoBuono before falling to Vacaville’s Gionn Peralta. Williams would bounce back against Hughson’s Anuar Ortiz. Williams would then fall to Jansen Englebrecht of Del Oro but would regroup and win in his “winner goes to state” match over Elk Grove’s Tristan Scott. Modesto’s Israel Saavedra would go 5-0 and clinch the 120 weigh class title.

Max Stevens (126) would finish eighth, just missing the cut, going 3-3 in his six matches. Much like Eaton and Williams, Stevens would open with back to back wins over Roseville’s Logan Runner and American Canyon’s Justin Caballero before falling to Devon Sookoo of Enochs. Stevens would defeat Nick Santibanez of Ceres but would end his season with back to back losses against Josh Villaflor of Franklin Elk Grove and Rafael Herrera of Turlock. Anthony Hernandez of Vacaville finished 5-0 and won the 126 weight class.

Abel Garcia (145) failed to advance to next week’s tournament but was off to a promising start. Garcia opened up with two quick pin falls against Lincoln of Stockton’s Anthony DeHoyos and Justin Abasolo of Benicia. Unfortunately, Garcia’s day would end as he suffered consecutive losses to Lorenzo De La Riva of Folsom and Ethan Morse of Golden Valley. Josh Peterson of Beyer would win the weight class with a perfect 5-0 mark.

The 160 weight class was represented by Oakdale’s Tanner Reeves. Reeves would finish 4-2 and took seventh, just grabbing that final state qualifier spot. He defeated Jacob Marcee of Lodi, Branden Jepson of Del Oro, Edgar Rivera of Lindhurst and Miguel Hernandez of Central Catholic. He would lose to Emilio Flores of Woodland and Conner Watson of Folsom. Keleio Romero of Oakmont swept the competition and won the weight class.

Oakdale’s Frankie Trent would go 7-1 and finish third in the 170 weight class in his quest for state. Though he lost his opening match against Nathan Ahyou of Gregori, Trent would rumble his way to seven straight victories and punched his ticket for state.

“Frank’s rare blend of intensity and toughness allowed him to win seven consecutive matches in the consolation bracket; that is not done very often at the Masters tournament,” added Strange.

Will Summer of Nevada Union would win the weight class as he went undefeated in the bracket.

Oakdale’s Miguel Ibarra (195) and Wyatt Hjelm (220) both struggled with tough draws. Ibarra would fall to Jerod Nooner of Folsom in his opening bout. Ibarra would rebound with a victory against Chris Schaftlein of Tokay. However, Ibarra’s season and state hopes would end as he fell to Seth Avis of Central. Joey Banks of Franklin Elk Grove won the 195 weight class. For Hjelm, he would fall victim to Jeramy Seany of Vacaville, who would finish the night 5-0 and win the weight class. He would then come up empty against Garrett Monroe of Pioneer, also ending his hopes for a chance to represent Oakdale High School at the State Meet.

“Bringing five wrestlers to state gives us a chance to represent Oakdale on the biggest stage in California high school wrestling. The boys are looking forward to state and then the National Championship in Virginia Beach, Virginia on March 27-31,” announced coach Strange after the tournament. Vacaville would end up scoring the most points on the day with a total of 197 while Oakdale finished in sixth place as a team with 88.5 points.

State Meet action starts Friday, March 7 and continues Saturday, March 8.