Gilroy proves tough at grueling tourney

Gilroy’s Antonio Andrade battles for first place in the championship round of the 197-pound division at Mid Cals over the weekend.

Antonio Andrade clung for dear life to Clovis West’s Ryan Reyes as the clock clicked down from 2 seconds to zero.
The buzzer echoed through the Bob Hagen Gymnasium, the home crowed roared and Andrade pumped his fists twice and let loose a victorious shout.
The 197-pound wrestler secured one of the more dramatic wins in the Mid Cals finals and took home the Mustangs’ second title from its own tournament thanks to a victory that almost didn’t happen in more ways than one.
In the match itself, Andrade was reversed at the start of the third period and had scored an escape, but still trailed 2-1 going into the final 30 seconds.
He took his shot and as both wrestlers fell out of bounds, the ref signled a two-point take down for Andrade and paused the match with 20 seconds left.
Reyes did everything he could for the next 18 seconds to break Andrade’s grip and force an overtime period. Even after an injury timeout with two seconds left, Reyes put everything he had into breaking Andrade’s lock.
But it did not break.
Andrade—who missed all of last year with an injury and came into this year needing to get into wrestling shape on the fly after football—was jubuliant after the match.
Coach Greg Varela gave credit to his assistants for getting Andrade not just ready to compete at a high level, but his confidence to go out strong.
It was the halmark of a strong day at what Varela called one of the toughest Mid Cal tournaments for a while.
State power Powey made the trip from San Diego and national power Tuttle from Oklahoma attended.
Still Gilroy came away with seven medals including two champions, three runners up, a third place and a fourth place winner.
Nic Aguilar at 115 pounds earned the other championship as he continues to dominate his class, improving to 34-1.
Aguilar breezed through his bracket following two byes and a pair of pins to the semis.
Aguilar scored a tech-fall to advance to the championship and dominated his way to a second-round pin.
Johnny Fox at 140, Joe Barnes at 162 and Nick Villareal at 172 both took second place after running into strong opponents.
Fox’s loss was tempered by his semifinal win over the No. 7 ranked wrestler by Cal Grappler with a pin at the end of the third period.
Villareal had a heartbreaking loss, keeping his match close the entire way, but just couldn’t get the points to go ahead.
At the end of the first period. Villareal nearly had a take down at the end of the first period, but just couldn’t get his leg free before the buzzer.
He went down 3-1 after two rounds and scored an escape in the third, but couldn’t get the final take down to earn the win.
In third was Chase Saldate at 122 and fourth was Daniel Vizcara.
From Christopher Adam Mena at 172 and Antonio Gomez at 222 took eighth.

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