Clovis High School’s Justin Mejia had a productive weekend in his quest to become the second four-time gold medalist in the 45-year history of the CIF State Wrestling Championships.
Buchanan looked pretty good, too, in its pursuit of a second consecutive state team title.
Oh, and Clovis’ Seth Nevills remained undefeated in his three-year prep career.
Mejia rolled through the 126-pound division, Buchanan cruised as a team, and Nevills crushed all comers at 285 pounds to highlight the Central Section’s Yosemite Divisionals on Saturday at East Bakersfield High School.
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Mejia, ranked No. 1 in the state and No. 4 nationally, outpointed Buchanan’s Tyler Deen 10-4 in the final. It capped a 5-0 run that also included three pins and a major decision.
I’m feeling good going to (Masters). But I’ve got to keep working on things.
Clovis’ Justin Mejia, who won the Yosemite Divisional champion at 126 pounds, continuing in his quest to become the second four-time state wrestling champion
The Illinois-bound senior is looking to join Bakersfield’s Darrell Vasquez as the state’s only four-time champions. Mejia, 29-0 on the season and 159-1 in his career, won at 106 as a freshman, 113 as a sophomore and 120 last year as a junior.
The California Interscholastic Federation State Wrestling Championships are set for March 3-4 at Bakersfield’s Rabobank Arena.
“I wrestled good, a lot better than I had been against that guy,” Mejia said. “I wrestled with more intensity, I thought. I’m feeling good going to (Masters). But I’ve got to keep working on things.”
Buchanan 14 of 14
Buchanan advanced all 14 of its wrestlers – the only Yosemite Division team to do so – to the Masters on Feb. 24-25 at Clovis High, including divisional champions Matt Olguin, Ethan Leake, Brett Villarreal, Anthony Montalvo and Cade Belshay.
“Our team is rolling pretty solid,” said state top-ranked and national No. 20-ranked Montalvo, who beat state No. 3 Sam Loera of Bakersfield 5-0 in the 182 final. “We’re just going to keep working toward the goal of advancing all 14, and the state title is ours if we wrestle the right way.”
Belshay, who’s ranked first in the state and No. 19 in the nation at 220, pinned Clovis North’s state No. 10 John Halajian in 3:34 during the final, putting the finishing touches on Buchanan’s 342.5-point performance. Clovis was second with 309.5.
The Bears also had state No. 1 and national No. 2 Olguin beat Clovis North’s state No. 4 Devin Murphy 3-1 at 113, state No. 1 and national No. 15 Leake score a 10-0 major decision over Clovis’ state No. 16 Wyatt Cornelison at 120 and state No. 2 Villarreal rally past state No. 1 Jaden Enriquez of Mission Oak 4-3 at 138.
Clovis has 5 champs
Second-place Clovis had five champions in Mejia, Nevills, Giano Petrucelli, Brandon Martino and Victor Vargas.
Nevills, ranked first in the state and No. 2 in the nation, moved to 28-0 (all by fall) on the season and 118-0 in his three-year career by pinning Hanford’s state No. 5 Armando Barcenas in 1:38.
118-0The three-year career record of Clovis’ Seth Nevills, who improved to 28-0 on the season with a pin of Hanford’s Armando Barcenas in the 285-pound final at the Yosemite Divisionals wrestling tournament
State No. 7 Petrucelli edged No. 6 Cole Reyes of Frontier 5-4 at 106, state No. 1 Martino topped No. 2 Joel Romero of Buchanan 3-1 at 160 and state No. 3 Vargas beat No. 9 Jeremy Maas of Liberty-Bakersfield 11-4 at 170 as the Cougars advanced 13 to Masters.
Clovis North rising
Clovis North had the best finish in school history, placing third with 209.5 points behind Chris Deloza, the state’s No. 5-ranked 132-pounder who rallied in the third period to upset state No. 1 Gary Joint of Lemoore 9-7. Deloza also beat state No. 3 Elijah Ozuna of Frontier 4-2 in the semifinals. The Broncos qualified 10 to Masters.
Other titles went to Bakersfield defending state champion Navonte Demison at 145, Frontier’s Jonathan Garcia at 152 and Clovis West’s Ryan Reyes at 195.
Reyes, ranked third in the state, edged Buchanan’s No. 13 Trevor Ervin 4-3 in the finals.
“I’m happy with the way I performed,” said Reyes, the younger brother of former Clovis West two-time state champion Nikko Reyes. “But I need to score more points and get more points on the board, turn little things into big things. I’m looking for the state title in March.”
Sierra/Sequoia: Selma tops Dinuba
In the marquee matchup of the tournament, Selma High’s Robert Garcia IV edged Dinuba’s Isaiah Perez 3-1 in overtime at 126 pounds to help the Bears capture the team title at the Central Section Sierra/Sequoia Divisional on Saturday in Hanford.
Perez, ranked No. 2 in the state by The California Wrestler and No. 9 in the nation by InterMat, had beaten Garcia, ranked No. 3 in the state and No. 20 nationally, 6-1 during a Central Sequoia League dual meet Jan. 18 in their only previous meeting this season.
Garcia was one of nine individual champions for Selma, which scored 321.5 points and advanced 11 wrestlers to the Masters.
Tristan Lujan (106), John Sosa (120), Luis Ramos (132), Tony Mendoza (138), Jace Luchau (152), Oscar Diaz (160), Christian Rodriguez (170) and Isaiah Jimenez (195) also won titles for the Bears.
Dinuba finished second. The Emperors’ Jacob Wright, a Fresno State commit, beat Selma’s Jonathan Ramos by a 10-0 major decision for the 145-pound title. Wright, who was the state runner-up at 145 last season, is ranked No. 2 in the state and No. 17 in the nation.
Central Section Yosemite Divisionals
Top 10 advance to Masters on Feb. 24-25 at Clovis High
106: Giano Petrucelli, Clovis, d. Cole Reyes, Frontier, 5-4
113: Matthew Olguin, Buchanan, d. Devin Murphy, Clovis North, 3-1
120: Ethan Leake, Buchanan, maj. d. Wyatt Cornelison, Clovis, 10-0
126: Justin Mejia, Clovis, d. Tyler Deen, Buchanan, 10-4
132: Chris Deloza, Clovis North, d. Gary Joint, Lemoore, 9-7
138: Brett Villarreal, Buchanan, d. Jaden Enriquez, Mission Oak, 4-3
145: Navonte Demison, Bakersfield, tech fall Beau Bradley, Monache, 17-1
152: Jonathan Garcia, Frontier, d. Dillon Cravens, Bakersfield, 3-0
160: Brandon Martino, Clovis, d. Joel Romero, Buchanan, 3-1
170: Victor Vargas, Clovis, d. Jeremy Maas, Liberty, 11-4
182: Anthony Montalvo, Buchanan, d. Sam Loera, Bakersfield, 5-0
195: Ryan Reyes, Clovis West, d. Trevor Ervin, Buchanan, 4-3
220: Cade Belshay, Buchanan, p. John Halajian, Clovis North, 3:34
285: Seth Nevills, Clovis, p. Armando Barcenos, Hanford, 1:38
Team: Buchanan 342.5, Clovis 309.5, Clovis North 209.5, Frontier 191, Hanford 135.5, Madera 122, Clovis West 120.5, Lemoore 120.5, Madera South 101.5, Central 93.5, Bullard 84, Porterville 83, Monache 70, Mission Oak 61, Centennial 59.5, Golden Valley 59, Ridgeview 50, Liberty-Bakersfield 48.5, Hoover 44, South 44, Foothill 42, Stockdale 42, North 41, Golden West 40, Sanger 40.
OTHER MEDAL MATCHES
106: 3rd, Ramero Castillo, Central, dec. Josh Poore, Buch, 6-1; 5th, Brian Benevidez, Port, dec. Manuel Bermudez, MO, 7-2; 7th, Gabriel Reyes, Han, dec. Ruben Jimenez, Foot, 10-6; 9th, Thomas Terrence, CE, dec. Laz Maldanado, CW, 8-5; 11th, Jayven Rojas, GV, tech fall Sabian Jones, Lem, 26-10
113: 3rd, Brandon Paulson, Clov, maj. dec. Mateo Sanchez, Central, 11-2; 5th, Anthony Pacheco, Sang, dec. Mario Moreno, Mad, 5-4; 7th, Elijah Navarro, Bak, maj dec. Bobby Salazar, GV, 16-2; 9th, Marco Benevidez, Port, dec. Angel Nava, Del, 10-4; 11th, Sebastian Moreno, MS, maj dec. Bryan Worsham, South, 13-3
120: 3rd, Eric Rivera, CN, maj dec. Ryan Morphis, Fron, 12-4; 5th, Marcus Hutcherson, West, dec. Andrew Bloemhof, Bak, 6-4; 7th, Mikey Ortega, Bull, dec. Ukiah Heasley, MO, 3-1; 7th, Jared Callison, Mon, maj dec. Paul Bustos, Mad, 11-1; 11th, Pedro Ramirez, RV, dec. Isaac Hernandez, Han, 7-6
126: 3rd, Dawson Siahvong, Bull, dec. Rocky Beckett, CN, 6-2; 5th, Anthony Chavez, Central, dec. Izzak Olejnik, Bak, 6-2; 7th, Garret Fletcher, Fron, maj dec. Jesse Lopez, GW, 9-0; 9th, Angelo Cannavino, Han, dec. Isaiah Rios, Mon, 8-4; 11th, Jonathon Rodriguez, CW, by default
132: 3rd, Elijah Ozuna, Fron, dec. Wyatt Peverill, Buch, 9-3; 5th, Ronnie Reyes, Han, dec. Brandon Rhodes, CW, 7-1; 7th, Adrian Gonzalez, Bak, maj dec. Sal Soto, Reed, 8-0; 9th, Abraham Del Toro, Mad, pin Brandon Rhodes, Clov, 3:09; 11th, Florencio Hernandez, MS, dec. Joey Hernandez, Sang, 6-1
138: 3rd, JJ Figueroa, Bak, dec. Moses Contreras, Mad, 4-3; 5th, Marco Hernandez, Fron, I-D Joe Romero, Lem; 7th, Isaiah Walls, CW, I-D Emmett Kuntz, High; 9th, Elijah McNeal, McL, dec. Niko Petrucelli, CN, 8-7; 11th, Juan Garcia, MS, pin Levi Garcia, South, 1:53
145: 3rd, Tristan Zamilpa, Buch, dec. Greg Guzman, Lem, 5-3; 5th, Mikelli Chiaramonte, Clov, pin Trent Tracy, Fron, 1:59; 7th, Jose Cardoso, Han, dec. Julian Beltran, Bull, 11-10; 9th, Nathan Alvarado, Mad, dec. Ray Aranda, CW, 3-2; 11th, Vito Cuttone, CN, maj dec. Tyler Bell, Ind, 12-2
152: 3rd, Tyler Gianakopulos, Clov, dec. Chris Gaxiola, Buch, 4-2; 5th, Josh McMillon, Mad, dec. Augustine Garcia, MS, 10-3; 7th, Albert Urias, RV, dec. RJ De La Rosa, Foot, 3-2; 9th, Daniel Badilla, Reed, dec. Jacob Chairez, West, 9-7; 11th, Felipe Rodriguez, CW, pin Aldo Cisneros, Ind, 4:49
160: 3rd, Ricky Gonzalez, Bak, dec. Adrian Zendejas, Port, 5-1 (2OT); 5th, Jorge Gonzalez, Mad, I-D Mark Cardwell, Mon; 7th, Max Aguirre, Fron, maj dec. Chance Wirowek, Lib, 9-1; 9th, Matt Weir, Cent, dec. Ricardo Adame, MS, 5-2; 11th, James Quintana, CE, dec. Sexy Molina, Hoov, 6-1
170: 3rd, Dylan Miracle, MS, dec. Jake Levatino, Buch, 2-1; 5th, Isaiah Corona, Han, dec. Chris Cantoriano, CW, 3-2 (2OT); 7th, Joey Sandoval, Port, I-D, Eric Ponce, GV; 9th, John Panduro, Lem, dec. Anthony Ortega, Centennial, 3-2; 11th, Devonte Potts, Ed, pin Connor Whitby, North, 3:07
182: 3rd, Willem DeBoer, Fron, maj dec. Jacob Good, Clov, 11-1; 5th, Angel Solis, Lem, I-D Nick Maiden, Stock; 7th, Trent Lindsey, CN, dec. Andrew Azua, Sang, 11-6; 9th, Jonathan Contras, MS, dec. Mateo Morales, CW, 9-5; 11th, Brett Phillips, Hoov, pin Masiai Shaw, EB, 5:03.
195: 3rd, Ruger Wyneken, Clov, maj dec. Mark Halajian, CN, 9-1; 5th, Nathan Chavez, MS, I-D Adrian Godinez, Foot; 7th, Chris Aparicio, Central, pin Jacob Gonzalves, Lem, 1:39; 9th, Kwabena Watson, Ed, maj dec. Tommy Slatic, Bull, 9-1; 11th, Codi Slayton, Mad, dec. James Clark, Centennial, 5-2
220: 3rd, Hunter Parks, Han, dec. Joey Jaramillo, Clov, 3-1; 5th, Jasman Sandhu, Bull, dec. Rigoberto Lopez, TW, 3-1; 7th, Ricardo Garcia, High, pin Antonio Valle, Centennial, 3:14; 9th, Dakota Graham, North, dec. Jake Vasquez, Bak, 4-2; 11th, Pedro Reyes, Reed, dec. Brian Abbott, Stock, 8-2
285: 3rd, Nathaniel Holloway, CN, dec. Noah Wright, Lem, 3-2; 5th, Isaiah Ortiz, Buch, pin Patrick Slatic, Bull, 2:20; 7th, Brian Wendt, TU, dec. Xzavier Chavez, Del, 3-2; 9th, Caesar Deleon, CW, dec. Walter Ramirez, Stock, 5-3; 11th, Isaiah Scales-Edwards, Hoov, maj dec. Billy Oliver, North, 8-0.