Former Clovis High and Fresno City College wrestler Brady Bersano finished second in the 157-pound division at the NCAA Division II Championships on Saturday in Sioux Falls, S.D.
Competing for Cal Baptist, Bersano dropped a 6-4 decision to Terrel Wilbourn of Lindenwood (Mo.) for the title after rolling into the final behind major decisions over Adam Martz of Shippensburg (Pa.), Matt Mincey of Minnesota State Mankato and top-seeded Matt Martoccio of Kutztown (Pa.).
Bersano, a senior, finished the season 22-6. He is a two-time NCAA D-II qualifier for Cal Baptist, a two-time state community college champ while at Fresno City, and a state seventh-place medalist as a senior at Clovis.
Two other area wrestlers – Arnulfo Olea and Vicente Hernandez – medaled at the NCAA D-III and NAIA Championships.
Olea, a former Exeter standout now at Wartburg (Iowa), finished fifth at 125 pounds at the NCAA D-III Championships, while ex-Clovis wrestler Hernandez of Simpson was sixth at 133 pounds at the NAIA finals.
The NCAA Division I Championships are Thursday-Saturday at New York’s Madison Square Garden, where Illinios’ Isaiah Martinez (Lemoore) will seek a second straight title as the top-seeded 157-pounder.
Martinez (27-1) is one of six former Central Section wrestlers in the field, including Michigan State 141-pounder Javier Gasca III (21-8) of Kingsburg, as well as Cal State Bakersfield’s Ian Nickell (26-10 at 141), Coleman Hammond (21-13 at 149), Adam Fierro (17-9 at 165) and Bryce Hammond (19-3 at 174), all formerly of Bakersfield High.
Martinez last year became the first undefeated freshman (35-0) to win an NCAA title since Iowa State’s Cael Sanderson in 1999 when he beat Cornell’s Brian Realbuto by 10-2 major decision in the 157 final.
Gasca, a sophomore, earned his first trip to the NCAA finals with a sixth-place finish at the Big Ten Championships.