BAKERSFIELD – The tournament began with 560 wrestlers all with
– a state title.
After 10 hours of competition at Day 1 of the CIF State
Wrestling Championships on Friday in Bakersfield, two Gilroy High
wrestlers, Dominic and Blake Kastl, remain in contention and are
two victories away from the coveted recognition.
BAKERSFIELD – The tournament began with 560 wrestlers all with one dream – a state title.
After 10 hours of competition at Day 1 of the CIF State Wrestling Championships on Friday in Bakersfield, two Gilroy High wrestlers, Dominic and Blake Kastl, remain in contention and are two victories away from the coveted recognition.
Day 2 begins Saturday at 9 a.m. with the finals at 6:30 p.m. from Rabobank Arena.
The biggest news, perhaps; there will be no second state title for Jesse Delgado, Gilroy’s No. 1-ranked wrestler at 125 pounds.
“My coaches wanted me to attack more,” Delgado said. “It’s a coulda, shoulda, woulda. It’s always disappointing to lose but I’ve won before and I will wrestle again.”
The four-time CCS champ and three-time state placer, including last year’s state championship at 112 pounds, ran into a difficult opponent in the quarterfinals. The state’s third-ranked grappler at 125, Vince Rodriguez of Clovis North, had Delgado’s number in a match that had the attention of the 5,723 that were gathered inside Rabobank Arena – so much so it was displayed on the arena’s video screen.
Delgado and Rodriguez were deadlocked 6-6 in the third period before Rodriguez rattled off a two takedowns and a three-point near fall for a 13-7 decision victory, much to the shagrin of the Gilroy fans on hand.
“He wrestled tough,” head coach Greg Varela said. “Jesse didn’t make any mistakes really, (Rodriguez) just got us today.”
Delgado also lost to Rodriguez in overtime at the 5-Counties tournament earlier this year.
The Kastl brothers are the lone Mustangs that will wrestle in the semifinals on Saturday, while Rodney Balajadia, Vicente Aboytes and Delgado are sticking it out in the consolation bracket.
The Kastls each went an undefeated 3-0 to keep their championship hopes afloat.
Blake (3-0) tussled with Spencer Hill of Buchanan to a narrow 3-1 victory and Dominic took on No. 7 Ian Roy of Poway in a heated confrontation. Dominic, the state’s No. 1 at 160-pounds worked out a 5-2 victory for his spot in the semifinals.
Blake (No. 4 in the state at 135) will meet David Ferry of Central Catholic and Dominic will have the tall task of going toe to toe with the state’s third-ranked wrestler at 160-pounds, Bakersfield’s Bryce Hammond.
“They are going to have some wars tomorrow,” Varela said.
Balajadia defeated Peter Palacios, 8-4 in consolation round three and continued his successful run through the bracket with an 11-3 win over Matt Fregoso of Rosemead in round four to qualify for the second day.
“He picked a good weekend to come alive,” Varela said. “I’ve never seen him wrestle this good. He is on fire.”
Balajadia (4-1) is now one win away from a medal.
“I’m on the road back right now,” Balajadia said, regarding his journey through the consolation rounds to the podium. “Tomorrow I just have to get in there and finish the tournament right.”
Aboytes took care of business against Michael Ciccarelli eliminating him with a 14-3 major decision in the third consolation round then manhandled Nick Pena with a pin at 46 seconds of the first period.
“Right now I just have to focus on what I have to do tomorrow,” Aboytes said. “I’m not really worried about what he’s going to do, I’m just worried about what I have to do.”
Aboytes will take on Trent Noon of Oakdale. A win means a medal, what place it comes at is still to be decided.
Three Mustangs, however, will not continue on in the tournament.
Sophomore Willie Fox beat Anthonie Linares of Oak Grove 11-0 major decision in his round three consolation match. Fox then had to contend with Shane Yacuta of Porterville in the next round and came up short in a difficult 4-3 loss, eliminating him from the tournament. Fox finishes 3-2.
Freshman Leif Dominguez had a solid state meet debut going 2-2. The 103-pound fighter was bounced in third consolation round 7-0 by Josh Rodriguez.
Luis Barragan lost to Luis Contreras of Madera 6-1 in the third consolation round. The senior wrapped up his final appearance at state with a 2-2 record.
TOP 5 teams after Day 1
1. Poway – 72.5
2. Bakersfield – 72
3. Gilroy – 69
4. Selma – 68.5
5. Clovis – 66
Check back for Day 2 highlights.