Qualifiers ready for Masters section wrestling meet

Sanger advances seven in boys Division II and 11 in girls D-I, Reedley boys have two weight class champions to place second in Division IV

Reedley High’s boys wrestling team poses
Reedley High’s boys wrestling team poses for a team picture after capturing second place at the Central Section Division IV qualifying tournament in Delano on Feb. 10. The Pirates had two weight class champions in seniors David Arroyo (140 pounds) and Izaac Olivas (145). (Reedley High Wrestling)
Jon Earnest
Published February 12, 2024  • 
11:00 am

VISALIA – Sanger High will have 18 qualifiers in total from its varsity boys and girls teams for upcoming Central Section Masters Meet competition this week.

The Apaches boys advanced seven from the Division II section qualifying meet on Feb. 9-10 at Redwood High in Visalia, while the girls advanced 11 (including three top 3 finishers) from the D-I qualifiers on Feb. 9-10 at Visalia’s Golden West High. All wrestlers will compete starting Friday, Feb. 16, at the two-day Masters Meet at Selland Arena (matches start at 9 a.m. for boys and 10 a.m. for girls).

Top finisher for the Sanger boys was senior David Gonzales (27-12), who advanced to the 126-pound finals before losing a 6-0 decision to South High’s Ernest Grant in the finals. Junior Tirso Jimenez IV (23-9) placed third at 165 pounds. Other Masters qualifiers were sophomore Nathaniel Flores (eighth at 106), senior Matthew Sumner (eighth at 113), junior Brandon Gamino (29-14, sixth at 120), freshman Elias Gonzales (28-16, fifth at 138) and senior Armando Sanchez (fourth at 150).

The Sanger girls had two second place finishers in seniors Gabriela Flores (24-16, 145 pounds) and Yvette Garcia (19-7, 235 pounds). Junior Jenna Garcia (26-13) placed third at 106 pounds while sophomore Jeniyah Duarte (28-12) was fourth at 100.

Other SHS Masters qualifiers were junior Sadey Weiss (ninth, 110), senior Ruby Contreras Martinez (10th, 115), sophomore Elza Vang (eighth, 120), senior Lailanie Vongnakhone (26-10, sixth at 125), freshman Camila Bernaga (sixth, 130), sophomore Leslie Gonzalez (eighth, 155) and freshman Natalie Castrejon (sixth, 190).

Central Section Division II girls qualifying tournament
Reedley High’s Kenzie Herrera (third from left) stands on the awards podium after finishing in fourth place at 120 pounds during the Central Section Division II girls qualifying tournament at Morro Bay High School on Feb. 10. (Reedley High Wrestling)

Dinuba boys advance two to Masters meet

Two members of Dinuba High’s boys team moved on to the Masters meet after earning Top 10 finishes at the Division I qualifier in Bakersfield on Feb 10. Senior Ethan Garza (16-10) finished in eighth place at 106 pounds while junior Vincent Vargas placed 10th at 122..

Senior Evaristo Ruiz was 11th at 134 pounds and earned a first alternate position while Roy Perez was second alternate at 140 pounds. Reigning state champion Buchanan rolled to the team championship with 452 points.

Pirates’ Arroyo, Olivas snag D-IV weight class titles

Seniors David Arroyo (140 pounds) and Izaac Olivas (146 pounds) won their respective weight classes as Reedley High finished second out of 27 schools at the Central Section Division IV qualifier at Cesar Chavez High in Delano on Feb. 9-10. The Pirates amassed 155 points to trail only Golden West (194.5) in the team standings, and advanced four wrestlers to the Masters meet.

Arroyo (31-9) captured all four of his matches by fall, capped off with a third-period pin of San Luis Obispo’s Kaden Trajan. Olivas, meanwhile, improved to 19-8 with four wins including a 3-2 decision over Jayxen Silva of Mendota in the finals. Fellow senior Demetrius Vargas (21-6) finished second at 152 pounds while freshman Cristian Bustos (19-8) was third at 108 pounds, with both qualifying for masters.

The Pirates’ other medalists were freshman Jayden Olivas (sixth at 115 pounds) and sophomore Daniel Baker (fifth at 128). Sanger West placed 23rd in the team standings with 32 points as senior Elpizo Gamez (22-15, 192) and junior Alex Caconie (16-13, 146) both went 1-2. Parlier finished in 26th place  with 17 points, as junior Matthew Maldonado (11-7) went 2-2 at 217 pounds.

Reedley High had one girl qualify for Masters in 120-pounder Kenzie Herrera (31-9), who finished fourth while picking up four victories including a pair of pins at the Division II qualifying meet in Morro Bay on Feb. 9-10. Jocelyn Ochoa (21-9) finished in 12th place at 115 pounds while collecting three wins including a pair of pins.

Jon Earnest