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Wrestling: Stars of the weekend (Jan. 10-11)
Here are my picks for stars of the weekend on the mats:
Tyler Williams, Villa Park. The heavyweight won two matches by fall on his way to the title at the Inland Empire Tournament of Champions, Saturday.
Laguna Hills’ Matt De La Riva (145). De La Riva won three matches by fall and another by major decision to take the title at the Nogales Super Champs Tournament. One weight away, James Oliveros (152) was also taking care of business. Oliveros had three victories by fall and a 7-0 victory in the finals.
Santa Ana. The Saints were in full beast mode at the Asics SoCal Challenge. The Saints had seven finalists and three champions (Ricardo Solorio, 113; Joey Daniel, 195 and Alex Blanco, 220) as they posted 273 points to win the tournament. Solorio won one match by fall, two by technical fall and one by major decision.
Alex Blanco, Santa Ana. He was another of the dominant Saints this past weekend. Blanco won four matches by fall another by major decision.
Ryan Gutierrez, Brea Olinda. Gutierrez was consistent throughout the SoCal Challenge, winning three matches by fall and he picked up a couple of decision victories, including 7-4 over Ricardo Navaratte in the finals at 126.
Brandon Hernandez. Capistrano Valley’s 132-pounder won two matches by fall, one by technical fall, major decision in the semifinals and then he had to battle for a 3-1 hard-fought victory in the finals.
Andrew Longmore, Tustin. It was pretty cool to see Longmore win at 145 pounds in front of his teammates and family in his home gym.
Blake Vasquez, Fountain Valley. Vasquez (160) won four matches by fall and one by technical fall to win the title.
Austin Moore, San Clemente. Moore (220) won all four of his matches by fall at a one-day tournament hosted by Esperanza.
Servite’s duo of Marcos Polanco (106) and Troy Madrigal (145) captured titles at the Peoria Invitational in Arizona.
Mater Dei’s Jed Smith (182) went 5-0 to capture the title at the Peoria Invitational in Arizona.
Justin and Jeremy Thomas both finished second at the Doc Buchanan Invitational. Elijah Palacio (106) ended up third at his weight.