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Wrestling Mustangs Claim Riddle Invitational Crown
Burford O 12-13
Taking the mats for Oakdale at 190 pounds, Wes Burford wrestled his way to the championship at Saturday’s annual James Riddle Memorial Tournament hosted at OHS. The Mustangs also were overall winners of the tournament, topping second place Folsom, 251.5 to 198. Jeff Kettering/The Leader

More than two dozen schools sent wrestlers to town on Saturday, Dec. 9 to compete in the annual James Riddle Memorial Invitational hosted at Oakdale High School. By the end of the afternoon, it was the host team that took first place honors in the prestigious event. Oakdale finished with 251.5 team points. Second place went to Folsom with 198.0 and third place went to Del Oro with 161.5 points.

Two Mustangs were crowned as tournament champions in their weight division while several others nailed down second place honors.

At 126 pounds, Eziequel Vela took first place and scored a total of 32 points. He defeated Richard Yang (Clovis East), Landon Mason (Hughson), Brian Peck (Sutter Union) and Chase Manski (Folsom).

Wes Burford, at 190 pounds, placed first and earned 30 points for Oakdale. In his journey to the title, Burford defeated Gabreil Urias (Johansen), Levi Cook (Turlock), Jake Blake (Granada) and Scott Beadles (Calaveras).

In the 144-pound division, Jesse Meza went 3-1 on the day and placed second. Meza defeated Wesley Palmer (Lodi), Matthew Loftis (Folsom) and Ethan Gonzales (Palma). Meza lost to Jagger French (Del Oro) in the finals.

At 165 pounds, Gideon Gerber took second place and went 3-1 on the day. Gerber defeated Damian Mannon (Clovis East), Evan Sanchez (Clovis North) and Rosalio Leal (Buhach Colony) to reach the finals. Gerber lost to Junior Bojorquez (South High) in the final.

Wrestling at 175 pounds, Carlos Garcia placed second for the Mustangs. Garcia defeated Evan Himen (Del Oro), Will Dawson (Granada) and Aiden Haynes (Benicia High). Garcia fell to Nicholas Perez (Hughson) in the finals.

Oakdale’s 215 pounder, Elias Corona, placed second. Corona reached the finals by defeating Daniel Madera (Lodi), Joshua Cantrell (Downey) and Eli Watson (Turlock). Corona lost to Michael Murrillo (Bakersfield) in the finals.

At 285 pounds, Emilio Johnson placed second. Johnson defeated Jake Schwabenland (Granada), Richard Savali Nuku (Johansen) and Bryce Meggers (Oak Ridge) to reach the final round. Johnson lost to Adam Stanley (Bakersfield) in the finals.

Other Mustang wrestlers who competed were Izaias Espino (106, seventh); Avery Jones (113, did not place); Jake Simmons (113, sixth); Taylen Beck (120, sixth); Carson Sundberg (120, did not place); Ty Morgan (120, did not place); Landon McKinley (126, did not place); Broderick Steck (132, did not place); Dwight Skinner (126, did not place); Anthony Martinez (138, third place); Isauro Ramos (144, did not place); Ethan Sanders (144, did not place); Jakob Dudley (150, did not place); Cody Soares (150, fifth place); Xander Birakos (165, seventh place); Matthew Cooley (190, fifth place); Thomas Vierra (190, did not place); Nathan DeAnda (215, did not place); Angel DeAnda (285, did not place).

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Continuing to impress, Mustang Eziequel Vela earned the championship title of the 126-pound weight class at the James Riddle Memorial Tournament, hosted at Oakdale High School on Dec. 9. Jeff Kettering/The Leader