GHS Wrestlers Place Third at Zinkin Classic

At this year’s prestigious Zinkin Classic, the Gilroy wrestling
team took third for the second consecutive year.
But what’s more impressive is the fact that the Mustangs scored
45 points more than they did last year at the 46-team event – with
one less wrestler.
Gilroy – At this year’s prestigious Zinkin Classic, the Gilroy wrestling team took third for the second consecutive year.

But what’s more impressive is the fact that the Mustangs scored 45 points more than they did last year at the 46-team event – with one less wrestler.

“We were really pleased with the way they did,” said Gilroy assistant coach Mike Koester. “We wrestled above what was expected.”

The Mustangs also had four individuals leave Fresno as champions: Freshman Martin Gonzalez (103 pounds), junior Nico Naranjo (112 pounds), senior Adin Dueñas (135 pounds) and sophomore Hunter Collins (171 pounds).

Buchanan won the tournament with 250 1/2 points. Bakersfield took second with 188, followed by Gilroy with 185.

Collins, who is ranked second in the state at 171, was also named the outstanding wrestler of the tournament. In the final, the sophomore broke an 11-all tie with California’s third-ranked wrestler, Matt Boger of Fresno’s Buchanan High, in the last 10 seconds to win 13-11.

Freshman Gonzalez had a breakthrough performance in the high-profile tournament. The 103-pounder was seeded fifth and had to wrestle the toughest competition in his weight class to get to become the champion. Gonzalez pinned eventual third-place finisher David Chaidez of Bakersfield’s Foothill High and also beat Nevada’s eighth-ranked 103-pound wrestler, Jordan O’Neil of Reno’s Damonte Ranch High. In the final, Gonzalez easily defeated Colvis East’s Steven Fitzgerald 7-2.

“(Gonzalez) pretty much dominated. We knew once (he got through) his half of the bracket, the other side of the bracket was so weak that he would win the final,” Koester said. “The ref had to stop the (final) match because Martin almost broke the guy’s arm.”

Dueñas won a 7-2 decision against fellow senior Jovany Velarde of Buchanan for the 135-pound title.

Other notable finishers for Gilroy were Andres Barragan (3rd, 189 pounds), Daniel Gamez (5th, 215 pounds), Tim Ibañez (6th, 119 pounds) and Luis Chavez, who was one match away from placing.

If they had been at full-strength, the Mustangs might have done even more damage. Gilroy was without state qualifiers Armando Gonzalez (140 pounds) and Austin Gubrud (152 pounds) and also 125-pound wrestler Rudy Maldonado. Armando Gonzalez, who Koester said would likely have won the 140-pound title, sat out with a minor injury, but will be back for the Mustangs’ next tournament, the Coast Classic in Scotts Valley this Friday. Gubrud is also injured, but won’t be back until the end of the month. Maldonado didn’t make weight.

“We were extremely proud of the kids. They wrestled hard and are right on track for our goals for the season,” Koester said.

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