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March 1, 2021

Aguilar leads a strong GHS run at CIF wrestling

BAKERSFIELD—Four turned out to be a really good number for the Gilroy High wrestling team at the California Interscholastic Federation State Wrestling Championships, Friday and Saturday at Rabobank Arena.
Not only did the Mustangs place four wrestlers on the medal podium at the end of one of the nation’s toughest tournaments, they also placed fourth in the team standings. Nine wrestlers competed for Gilroy and every single one of them won at least one match.
It was Gilroy’s best finish at the state competition.
The top performer was sophomore Nicolas Aguilar at 106 pounds, who reached the final but ended up second after an 11-3 loss to Matt Olguin of Buchanan (Clovis). Aguilar, who came in ranked third in the nation with a 44-1 record, had defeated Olguin earlier this season by a 2-0 count but was quickly playing catch-up after Olguin took him down to his back and earned three near-fall points. After Aguilar escaped it was 5-1 and early in the second period he made it 5-2 with another escape. But Olguin got another takedown and near-fall points to put it at 9-2 in the second and yet another takedown in the third made it 11-2 and he coasted to the win.
Aguilar had two pins, a 5-2 decision and a technical fall in the semifinals to reach the title match.
Alex Felix (132) captured another state medal, placing fourth after taking third the year before as a freshman. He won 12-1 and 7-1 before a tight 2-1 loss to Folsom’s Curtis Booth bumped him to consolation. He won 7-3 over Trevor Williams of Oakdale to get into the medal rounds, then beat Tony Mendoza of Selma 5-1 and Eric Yang of Mission San Jose (Fremont) 9-1 to reach the third-place match. He lost that one in a tight 5-4 loss to Kalani Tonge of Elk Grove.
The other fourth-place finisher for the Mustangs was senior Noe Garcia (195). He won his first three matches with a pin, and then decisions of 7-3 and 4-1 before Danny Salas of St. John Bosco (Bellflower) sent him to consolation with a 3-2 win. His 4-2 triumph over Joey Daniel of Santa Ana guaranteed him a medal and then he won big over Anthony Spallino of Windsor, 14-3. A 5-1 victory over Adrian Godinez of Foothill (Bakersfield) put him in the third-place match, where he lost 6-3 to Jake Wood of Newbury Park.
Gilroy’s final medalist could have placed higher but a concussion and broken nose shortened his tournament. Sophomore Juan Villareal (152) finished sixth but was right there in the semifinals against Jett Moy of San Marcos. He suffered a broken nose and a concussion in a 1-0 loss that took him out of the tournament.
On top of those four medalists, three youngsters reached the second day of competition to place in the top 12.
Sophomore Joseph Delgado (113) won 14-5 over Jake Vergara of San Leandro and then 8-7 over Jared Callison of Monache (Porterville) to start things off. He lost to seventh-place winner Luciano Arroyo of Calvary Chapel (Santa Ana) 9-1, then fell to consolation where he beat Rocky Beckett of Clovis North 6-4 and Jake Lillenstein of De La Salle  (Concord) 9-2. His tournament ended with a 5-0 loss to eighth-place winner Wyatt Cornelison of Clovis.
Freshman John Fox (126) reached the second day and went 3-2, a great performance that bodes well for the future. He won 12-0 over Isaiah Walls of Clovis West (Fresno) to start out, then eventual third-place winner Gary Joint of Lemoore beat him 7-4. In consolation, Fox pinned Kyle Parko of San Ramon Valley (Danville) in 4:02 and pinned Gabriel Cortex of Northview (Covina) in 2:13. In Saturday action, he came up one win short of earning a medal when he lost to seventh-place winner Zander Silva of San Marino 6-0.
The other freshman, Joe Barnes (145), lost his opener 8-1 to Isaiah Torres of Redwood (Visalia) but then went on a tear in consolation, winning four in a row before getting bounced in a 3-1 loss to Luis Enloe of Poway on Saturday morning. Barnes pinned Alessandro Szabo of Galileo (San Francisco) in 38 seconds, won 6-4 over Michael Nieves of JW North (Riverside), won 6-2 over Cristian Dominquez of Central Catholic (Modesto) and then eliminated Perez Perez of Windsor, 6-0.
Senior Gavin Melendez (138) had a great start, with two wins in the championship bracket, a 4-0 win over Manuel Gamboa of Cesar Chavez (Delano) and a 1-0 triumph over Victor Gonzalez of Brawley. But he lost 6-4 to Ethyn Ewing of Canyon (Anaheim) and then 6-1 to Oscar Diaz of Selma.
Melendez did take home a Pursuing Execelence with Honor award.
Senior Javin Aragon (160) started out with a 6-5 win over Jordan Stanley of Central (Fresno) but he was pinned by Quinn Simard of University Prep (Redding) in 1 minute, 55 seconds to fall into consolation where he lost 3-0..
Christopher High’s lone competitor junior Adam Mena (170), who went 0-2. Ian Morford of Northgate (Walnut Creek) pinned him in 3:29 and then Antonio Gutierrez of Bakersfield did the same in 4:19.
Sobrato High junior Felipe Duenas (120) left with a win under his belt. He lost 3-2 to Anthony Chavez of Central (Fresno) but bounced back with a tight 8-7 triumph over Tai White of Acalanes (Lafayette) before succumbing 3-1 to Chris Gaxiola of Buchanan (Clovis).
San Benito junior Michael Camacho (182) had a brutal draw to start, losing to eventual state champion Josh Hokit of Clovis by pin in 4:29. He won 3-0 over Eduardo Zamora of Rocklin then bowed out with a 2-1 loss to Aric Lopez of Yucaipa.
Cheeto Barrera
Cheeto Barrera is the sports editor for the Morgan Hill Times and Gilroy Dispatch.

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