Bruins, Miners take their shot at state berth
Nine western Nevada County wrestlers will toe the line today in the first round of action in the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters tournament at University of the Pacific in Stockton.
The top six wrestlers in each weight class will earn a berth into the California State Championships to be held Feb. 29-March 1 at Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield.
Masters action in 32-man brackets is slated to start 9 a.m. today on eight mats inside UOP’s Spanos Center.
A trio of Bear River seniors, Addy Gemignani (125 pounds), Derek Julian (145) and Chase Duncan (HWT) will represent the south county contingent.
And six Nevada Union Miners were on their way to Stockton Wednesday night, when co-head coach Paul Gross pondered his expectations for the half dozen this week.
“It’s tough,” Gross said. “All of our guys are going to meet some tough guys.
“But I think they all have a good chance at making it to state.”
At 103 pounds, NU sophomore Jacob Purdy will square off with Amador sophomore Eric Lopez. Freshman Josh Cena is slated to face Golden Valley junior David Thao in the first round of the 112-pound bracket.
At 119 pounds, Robin Callas, another NU freshman, will wrestle Golden Sierra senior Jon Arena.
At 125 pounds, Nevada Union sophomore Trevor Painter is pitted against Turlock junior Mychal Jackson. In that same bracket, Gemignani of Bear River will face Jesuit sophomore Chris Winn.
Matt Manuel, NU’s returning state qualifier and the lone county champion at last week’s divisional round, will face Atwater junior Juan Aguilar in the opening round of the 130-pound Masters bracket. Fellow senior teammate Jake Cena has a first-round match Casa Roble junior James Hall.
At 145 pounds, Bear River’s Julian has an opening match with Casa Roble junior Aaron Pickard. Duncan, meanwhile, will represent the Bruins in the heavyweight division with a match against McNair sophomore Nexez Marquez.
Action continues through 7:30 p.m. today and resumes Friday at 9 a.m. The championship semifinals are slated to start at 10:15 a.m. Friday with the championship finals scheduled for a 4 p.m. start.
For more information on the Masters tournmaent, visit the section’s Web site http://www.cifsjs.org.
To contact Sports Editor Brian Hamilton, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 477-4240.
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