Adrian Vizcaino became the first male wrestler in Central Valley High School history to qualify for the CIF State Meet.
The 182-pound senior punched his ticket to the prestigious competition after finishing fourth with a 6-2 record at the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Championships, held Feb. 28-March 1 at Stockton Arena.
The top seven placers in each weight class advanced.
Central Valley fielded its first-ever varsity wrestling team during the 2006-07 school year.
“There’s no doubt about what Adrian’s meant to our program,” head coach Rob Beckhart said. “We’ve always known he’s capable of doing it (qualifying for state). It wasn’t easy. He was up for the challenge. I’m extremely happy for him. He’s the one that went out there, put in the work and accomplished it.”
Vizcaino beat Mariposa’s Paydon Coats (pin, 5:23), Beyer’s Michael Miano (default), Franklin of Elk Grove’s Robby Nickerson (decision, 3-1), Central Catholic’s Reggie Bland (decision, 3-1), El Dorado’s Alex LeBaron (decision, 1-0) and Hilmar’s Antonio Melo (forfeit) at Masters.
Adrian lost to Placer’s Will Thornton (decision, 4-2) and Oak Ridge’s Bishane Sagal (decision, 5-4).
“I didn’t feel too much pressure,” Vizcaino said. “I was pretty comfortable. I’m really happy and excited because I made history. I’m the first state qualifier from Central Valley. It means a lot.”
Vizcaino’s season would have been cut short had he lost to Bland.
Adrian lost 6-5 in overtime to Reggie in the finals of the Divisionals tournament.
Vizcaino edged Bland 6-5 in overtime for the WAC title.
“In a way, he made me a better wrestler,” Adrian said. “I had to work harder and harder to beat him.
Added Beckhart: “We knew it could go either way. Reggie’s a great competitor.”
Vizcaino locked up a berth to state following his hard-fought win over LeBaron.
“He was typical Adrian,” Beckhart said. “He gave a little fist pump. Besides that, he didn’t show a lot of emotion. He was too tired to smile.”
Vizcaino added to his already-impressive resume.
Adrian, a three-time WAC champion and Masters participant, will be remembered as Central Valley’s all-time greatest wrester.
“I’ll be known for something,” Vizcaino said. “It feels great. I kind of surprised myself.”
“The hard part is motivating him to push himself,” Beckhart said. “He’s been the best wrestler in the room the last three years. He has tons of natural ability. He’s in a lot better shape than he’s been in the past.”
Hawk freshman Ethan Rotondo had a 2-2 mark at 106 pounds.
He beat Nevada Union’s Hap Roue (major decision, 11-2) and Cordova’s Angel Frost (major decision, 10-2).
Rotondo lost to Del Oro’s Isaac Blackburn (pin, 0:24) and Oak Ridge’s Josh Ploke (decision, 9-6).
Blackburn and Ploke placed third and eighth, respectively.
Rotondo fell two wins shy of qualifying for State.
“The 106-pound bracket was stacked,” Beckhart said. “We knew it wasn’t going to be easy. He (Rotondo) wrestled well. The sky’s the limit for him. He’s a future state medalist, maybe even early as next year.”
Senior Rick Brown won two of four matches at 170 pounds.
He beat Lincoln of Stockton’s Efren Flores (pin, 5:58) and Union Mine’s Hunter Cannon (decision, 9-4).
Brown lost to Grace Davis’ Bobby Posadas (decision, 4-0) and Escalon’s Austin Martinez (decision, 7-2).
Posadas placed eighth.
“I’m very happy with Rick’s performance,” Beckhart said. “He’s given us 110 percent all year long. The other kids all look up to him. He’s been instrumental to our success. Obviously, missing last year hurt him.”
Senior Cristian Garcia compiled a 1-2 record at 145 pounds.
Garcia beat Oakmont’s Ian Brown (decision, 7-4).
He lost to Vacaville’s Hayden Fry (pin, 0:45) and Turlock’s Andres Orozco (decision, 5-2).
Fry finished second.
“Cristian’s never had a varsity winning record until this year,” Beckhart said. “It’s been a remarkable turnaround. He was more confident and aggressive. He’s just a completely different wrestler.”