Los Banos and Pacheco qualify five for SJS Masters

dwitte@losbanosenterprise.comFebruary 28, 2014 

From here, it only gets harder.

Four wrestlers from Los Banos and one from Pacheco finished in the top four of their weight classes at the Sac-Joaquin Section Division 4 tournament to qualify for the section Masters tournament this weekend at Stockton Arena.

Los Banos’ Tyler Felix placed second at 113 pounds, Jesus Valdez was second at 138 and Bailey Rodriguez was second at 220, while Josh Bustamante placed fourth at 120. Pacheco’s Nick Vermillion placed third at 220.

“Tyler lost to Nico (Colunga, Oakdale) by two points and in that match managed to give up a cheap takedown. Very happy with his progression at this point in the season,” Los Banos coach Josh Adams said via email. “Jesus beat the WAC champ by fall to make the finals, which we must say is a vast improvement from one week to the next. Bailey also pulled off the upset of the No. 1 seed in the semis in what was a classic battle of heart and fortitude.”

Placing second as opposed to taking the championship may have adverse effects on the wrestlers’ seeding at the Masters, but Adams isn’t worrying too much about that.

“Placing between one and four in Divisionals is really a crap shoot going into Masters, as some of the other divisions send their top eight,” Adams said. “So a one (seed) versus a four can be a lot tougher than a two versus a three in some instances.”

Several wrestlers from both schools fell during what is known in always-colorful wrestling lingo as the blood rounds — the rounds right before the medal round. Los Banos’ Daniel Fernandez placed fifth at 195 and Fernando Mendoza placed sixth at 132, just missing a qualifying spot, while Pacheco’s Ruben Rocha was fifth at 152 and Joseph Coronado was sixth at 285.

“Andrew and Ferb really underperformed this weekend and were bummed out individually, but they are making the trip to Stockton with us to support their teammates,” Adams said. “It's going to be a great weekend of wrestling.”

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