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Bulldogs finish third at home tournament, crosstown Hawks place 11th
Ceres High School's varsity wrestling team edged out Rocklin and Modesto High by a combined six points while placing third overall at the Ceres Invitational this past week.

The host Bulldogs totaled 123 points.

Ceres High, Rocklin (121) and Modesto High (119) finished behind Livermore (176) and Beyer (135.5) at the 21-team event.

Crosstown-rival Central Valley took 11th (68.5).

The Bulldogs and Hawks finished third and ninth, respectively, in 2010.

"I didn't expect to bring home another team trophy because I had to make some changes to my lineup," Ceres High head coach Jon Nowicki said. "The bonus points (for wins by pin) put us over the top. Every single person helped. I was impressed with what they did."

The top six individuals in each weight class medaled.

The Bulldogs had six medalists, including Armando Morales, Nick Moran, Gabriel Balderas, Joey Bettencourt, Brandon Christeson and Eric Bejaran.

Morales won three of four matches en route to a runner-up finish in the heavyweight division.

He beat Central Valley's Marcus Rodriguez (pin, 5:50), and Kimball's Edward Manio (decision, 6-3) and Nate Pearlman (pin, 1:48).

Armando lost by pin (1:30) to Rocklin's Sam Woods.

"I knew he was capable of it," Nowicki said. "But it wasn't expected. He did a lot of good stuff."

Moran finished in second place with a 3-1 record at 145 pounds.

He lost 13-4 to 2010-11 state-qualifier Shane Keefe of Rocklin in the finals.

"Nick wrestled real tough," Nowicki said. "He was in the match until the very end."

Moran beat Deer Valley's Jonathan Farmer (pin, 0:53) and Austin Morales (decision, 9-2), and Summerville's Quintin Dunlap (decision, 10-4).

Balderas finished third (4-1) at 120 pounds.

Gabriel lost 3-2 to runner-up Josh Diaz of Johansen. Diaz pinned Balderas for the 112-pound title last season.

Gabriel qualified for the CIF State Meet as a sophomore.

"He'll get better," Nowicki said.

Bettencourt (3-2, 106s) placed fourth.

He beat Hughson's Jackson Calbreath (pin, 1:22), Kimball's Robbie Delgado (major decision, 13-2) and Beyer's Chris Anderson (decision, 8-2).

Christeson (3-2, 126s) and Bejaran (3-2, 195s) both placed fifth in their respective weight classes.

Brandon beat Waterford's Archie Ainsworth (pin, 1:11), Rocklin's Steven Ramos (major decision, 11-2) and Livermore's Nick Sanchez (major decision, 8-0).

Bejaran beat Beyer's Aiden Gehres (pin, 4:57), Livermore's Alex Ezerski (pin, 0:47) and Summerville's Raymond Baker (pin, 1:17).

Bulldog teammates Dustin Palacek, Ivan Raya, Erick Garcia, Gabe Solis and Moses Gomez also contributed.

Palacek (3-1, 160s) and Raya (2-1, 170s) wrestled back for seventh place.

Solis (2-2, 132s), Garcia (2-2, 138s) and Gomez (1-2, 152s) did not place.

Three of Central Valley's nine grapplers took home medals, including sophomores Rick Brown, Michael Manzur and Adrian Vizcaino.

"It says a lot about our program and where we're headed," Hawks head coach Rob Beckhart said.

Brown, Central Valley's 170-pounder, finished in second place with a 3-1 mark.

He lost by decision, 10-5, to Hughson's Taryn Huber.

Rick pinned Sunyside's Jose Avila (5:55), Rocklin's Grayson Gonzalez (1:22) and Downey's Herman Harris (3:56).

Manzur won two of his three matches in the 113-pound class.

He lost by major decision, 11-2, to Buhach Colony's Ehkhmandak Delgermurun.

Michael pinned Livermore's Tyler Macasocol (3:05) and Beyer's Alex Banta (5:15).

Vizcaino (2-2, 182 pounds) finished in fourth place.

He beat Livermore's Cody McNaney (technical fall, 17-2), Modesto High's Cody Hyatt (decision, 13-8) and Waterford's Jose Flores (decision, 2-1).

He lost to Wyatt (major decision, 11-2) and Waterford's Jose Flores (decision, 2-1).

Adrian was slowed by the flu.

"He showed a lot of heart," Beckhart said. "I got no complaints."

Hawk teammates Edward Nunez (1-2, 152s), Cristian Garcia (1-2, 145s), Isaiah Gonzales (1-2, 106s), Marcus Rodriguez (0-1, 285s), Jordan Sales (0-1, 220s) and Louis Gonzales (0-2, 132s) had a combined record of 3-10.

"We're young," Beckhart said. "By the time league starts, the kids will be where they need to be."

Central Valley and Ceres High will both compete at the Bear Creek Invitational this Friday and Saturday.