Mother Nature has dealt Egleston (35-2) a nasty hand. The Sac-Joaquin Section's formerly top-ranked wrestler at 112 has grown 2½ inches this season, forcing him into a tough spot. Making weight at 112 proved too hard, but moving up to 119 meant he collided with Turlock's Fabian Garcia, one of the state's best.
Egleston's solution -- fast-track all the way to 125. So far, so good. Egleston scored a major decision over Pitman's Derreck Avila, who gave him a tougher match the week before at the CCC finals, to win the 125s at the Section Division I South. Not bad for a guy who placed eighth in the state a year ago at 103.
"I feel I have all the stuff I need in my body," said Egleston, one of four returning Masters champions from the Stanislaus District. "He's still small at 125, but he has surprised people," Turlock coach Mike Contreras praised.
Miranda (29-9), a four-year wrestler for the Tigers, always saves his best for late in the season. He lived up to his billing at the Section DV last weekend at Hilmar, where he defeated Kyle Towler of Calaveras 11-4 for the 171-pound title. In the semifinal, he rallied from the down position and pinned Amador's Quentin Becker of Amador in the first round to avenge a loss earlier in the season. With that, Miranda to No. 5 in section rankings.
"George is very cerebral and takes advantage of mistakes and works the angles," the veteran Patterson coach Lee Scoles said. "He's strong but not as strong as many of his opponents. He often uses his opponents' strengths against them."
Miranda, a two-time Western Athletic Conference champion, also assists Scoles in teaching a submission karate class. All his attention will be targeted on the Section Masters this weekend, of course, where he went 1-2 in 2009.