STOCKTON -- Mikey Guzman's body was bruised and battered.
In his first match of the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters tournament on Friday, the Buhach Colony 125-pound senior dislocated his shoulder. He took an elbow to the eye in his third match.
The injured shoulder and black eye were battle scars. Guzman wasn't going to let them stop him from reaching his goal of going to state.
Guzman fought his way through the consolation bracket and found himself fighting for his season in the seventh-place match against Oak Ridge's Brandon Buroni.
A win and Guzman would go to state.
A loss and it was all over.
When time finally ran out, Guzman had held on for a thrilling 10-9 victory. After shaking hands with his opponent and the Oak Ridge coaches, Guzman headed to his corner and leaped into the arms of his coach Eric Osmer as a group of Buhach Colony fans went wild in the stands.
"The first thing I did when it was over was turn to my assistant coach Adam Obad and said, 'We're going to state.' It was a total relief," Osmer said.
"When Mikey came off the mat, he headed straight to me and jumped in my arms. It was just all emotion. It was about all the hard work he'd put in the last four years.
"That's the way it's supposed to be. That's how that moment is supposed to be. He had a little tear in his eye and I had a little tear in my eye. It's this amazing bond between coach and athlete that you don't get in any other sport."
Just moments earlier, Merced coach Clayton Schneider was on the other end of the dreaded seventh-place match.
Merced sophomore Meng Xiong was pinned by Vacaville's Kasey Klaus for the final state berth in the 103-pound division. Xion's state dreams were suddenly crushed and all Schneider could do was try to console his wrestler.
"One person is going to be happy and one person is going to be sad," Schneider said. "You work all year and comes down to those five minutes. You wish it didn't have to come down to that."
It was the incredible highs and lows of what is the Masters tournament.
In all, six area wrestlers punched their ticket to Bakersfield and this week's CIF State Championships.
Los Banos' Greg Hartman finished third at 145 pounds for the best local finish.
Hartman's Saturday started out rough when he ran into the No. 1-ranked wrestler in the state in Vacaville's Tyler Johnson in the semifinals
Johnson dominated Hartman on his way to a 15-0 technical fall.
"That guy is amazing," Hartman said. "He's going to win state."
Hartman rebounded to defeat Rocklin's Tommy Williams 11-3 and Summerville's Carson Gracia 8-5 to take third place.
"I'm ecstatic," Hartman said. "My goal is to place at state and I think going in as the third seed from this section will put me in a good place. It's a lot better than the other route when I was seventh last year."
Los Banos teammate Kendal Klette finished fourth at 103 pounds. Klette has shown little rust despite not wrestling a match this season until the Central California Conference match two weeks ago.
Golden Valley's Ben Weber went 3-0 on Friday to reach the 112-pound semifinals. However, he went 0-3 on Saturday and settled for a sixth-place finish.
Livingston's Kevin Villalobos fought his way though the consolation bracket to finish sixth at 136 pounds.
Like his teammate, Buhach Colony's Luis Bojorquez was trying to overcome an injury.
The 189-pound junior separated his collarbone in his quarterfinal victory on Friday.
Bojorquez tried to wrestle in the semifinals on Saturday, but was pinned in the first round by Ponderosa's Lyndell Scarr. Bojorquez then injury-defaulted his final two matches to finish sixth.
He'll spend this week trying to rehab his collarbone in attempt to wrestle later this week at the state tournament.
"I should have known when he stayed down that he was hurt pretty bad," Osmer said. "Luis isn't one to complain about being hurt.
"He'll do a lot of running this week. We'll see how he feels on Friday."
Guzman spent his entire tournament icing his shoulder after every match.
All the pain and discomfort was worth it after earning his trip to Bakersfield.
"I just had to hang in there," Guzman said. "I'm going to state and that's all that matters."
Shawn Jansen is a Sun-Star sports reporter. He can be reached at 385-2462 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.