Miners’ Manuel takes title
No less than a dozen area wrestlers have qualified for this weekend’s Sac-Joaquin Section Championship Tournament at Folsom High School.
Eight of those qualifiers came at the Northwest Subsection in Elk Grove over the weekend, where Nevada Union (155) finished third in team scoring behind champion Vacaville (271) and runner-up Elk Grove (219.5).
NU was led by the performance of 119-pounder Luke Manuel, the only Miner to claim a subsection championship. Drew Maraglia (135) and Mel Bird (152) each finished second in their respective weight classes, while the state’s No. 1-ranked heavyweight, Wade Sauer, took third place.
Sauer, still recovering from pneumonia, lost to Hogan’s Marcus Moore, ranked third in the state, by a 2-0 count in the semifinals. Moore went on to claim the subsection title in the finals.
The top six in each weight division qualify for the section championships, meaning the Miners will also send John Bird (4th place at 145 pounds), Nolan Walters (4th at 140), Andrew Owen (6th at 125) and Andrew Jackson (6th at 215).
Four Bear River wrestlers also qualified for the section tournament, including heavyweight Sean Belnap, who finished second at the Small Schools Subsection Saturday at Escalon High School.
Belnap will be joined by teammates Brad Sweet (3rd at 103 pounds), Josh Jacquier (3rd at 140) and Glenn Wheeler (6th at 125).
Among the intriguing potential matchups at this week’s section championship, according to the section seeding plan, Bear River’s Belnap and Nevada Union’s Sauer could toe the line in the second round of the heavyweight division.
Sauer is set to square off with Golden Valley’s Domonique Byrd in the first round Friday. Belnap, due to his second place finish at the subsection earned a bye and will face the winner.
Other matchups for area wrestlers include:
103 – Brad Sweet (BR) vs. Marvin Mora (Hogan)
119 – Luke Manuel (NU) vs. winner of Jewel Jackson (Buhach Colony) and Josh Jimenez (Natomas)
125 – Glenn Wheeler (BR) vs. Josh Romero (Woodland); Andrew Owen (NU) vs. Wills (Golden Sierra)
135 – Drew Maraglia (NU) vs. winner of Nick Phillips (Colfax) and Ben Baker (Rocklin)
140 – Nolan Walters (NU) vs. Michael Dixon (Los Banos); Josh Jacquier (BR) vs. Donny Trone (Foothill)
145 – John Bird (NU) vs. Mora (Lincoln)
152 – Mel Bird (NU) vs. winner of Kenneth Hooks (Bear Creek) and Lippincott (Escalon)
215 – Andrew Jackson (NU) vs. Michael Perez (Golden Valley)
HWT – Wade Sauer (NU) vs. Domonique Byrd (Golden Valley); Sean Belnap (BR) vs. winner of Wade Sauer (NU) and Domonique Byrd (Golden Valley)
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