Clovis News: Sports

Local talent on display at wrestling tourney

BAKERSFIELD – The story lines for Central Section accomplishment during the CIF State Wrestling Championships were lengthy Saturday at Rabobank Arena.

Consider the following on a night when 11 section finalists captured seven of the 14 individual golds, 35 of the 112 medals overall and the top three spots in the team standings.

  • Selma High's Alex Cisneros won his third straight title – becoming one of 16 in state history to do so – and set the stage for him to try to become only the second four-time champ when he edged Clovis North's Vince Rodriguez 2-1 in double overtime at 125 pounds.

Cisneros improved to 44-1 on the season and 129-2 over three seasons, the first two of which produced state titles at 103 and 112 pounds. He has never lost to a wrestler from California.

"For today, I got three, but tomorrow is a whole other story," Cisneros said. "I just keep my focus on every day. I know there is always someone looking to beat me, so all I can look to is the next match."

  • Cisneros' practice partner, Nick Pena, struck gold at 130 pounds for the second straight year while capturing his fourth medal overall with a 6-3 win over Union Mine-El Dorado's Cody Tow.

"Ever since I was a kid growing up, I dreamed of being a state champ," said Pena, who finished 35-5. "All of these years of work are paid back. I had a target on my back this year and I still did what I had to do."

  • Lemoore's Isaiah Martinez capped one of three undefeated seasons in the state this season with an entertaining 18-10 win over St. Francis-Mountain View's Nick Cano for the 140-pound title.

And Martinez (50-0) didn't waste any time setting his next goal.

"Tomorrow I'm going to start working toward next year," said Martinez, who won his second state medal. "There's no time off in this sport. Not to be at the level I want to be at, and I want to be one of the elite in the country. I want to be No. 1."

  • Clovis' Nick Nevills (49-3) became the heaviest freshman state champion in the event's 39-year history when he beat Mira Mesa-San Diego's Gabi Musallam 5-0 at 285 pounds.

The heaviest previous freshman state champ was Louis Bland of Central Catholic-Modesto at 152 in 2005.

"This is the best feeling I've ever had," Nevills said. "I'm going to try and be a four-time champ."

  • Clovis West's Nikko Reyes captured the last of three all-section finals matchups with a 7-2 win over Selma's Justin Lozano at 171. Reyes put an exclamation point on a 49-1 season when he dropped Lozano for a take-down with 7 seconds remaining.

"You have to sacrifice a lot to get this, and I sacrificed a lot," said Reyes, a junior two-time medalist. "It's not going to get any easier from here, but I won't back down from anything."

  • And kicking off the Fresno area's night of achievement was Clovis' Daniel Gaytan with a 6-3 victory at 119 pounds over Clovis West's Stevan Knoblauch that secured a record ninth state team title for the Cougars.

"I felt a little pressure, but I just stayed focused," said Gaytan, 48-7. "I'm proud I did it."

Also from the Central Section, Bakersfield's Bryce Hammond won a second straight 160-pound title with a 7-3 win over Oak Ridge's Vince Waldhauser in a rematch of last year's state final, and Porterville's Shane Yacuta fell 7-2 against Redlands East Valley's Chris Mecate 7-3 at 135s.

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