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Hawks, Dawgs shine at Divisionals
Ceres High's Wesley Schwieger and Gabriel Balderas, and Central Valley's Jaime Tadeo, Jeffrey Phetsomphou, Jaime Lomeli and Josh Beckhart all finished in the top five in their respective weight classes while competing in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV wrestling tournament on Saturday at Union Mine High School.

"The kids are happy," Hawks head coach Rob Beckhart said. "They're all winning and working hard. It's exciting to see."

Added Bulldogs head coach Jon Nowicki: "They're definitely peaking right now."

Schwieger, Balderas, Tadeo, Phetsomphou, Lomeli and Beckhart secured individual berths to the Masters meet, to be held this Friday at Saturday at the Stockton Arena.

Wesley and Gabriel, Ceres High's team captains and second-year training partners, placed second and third, respectively, at Divisionals.

"They're both competing at a high level," Nowicki said. "They make each other better."

Schwieger compiled a 2-1 record at 119 pounds.

He lost by decision, 7-2, to Oakdale's Ronnie Stevens in the finals.

Wesley trailed 2-1 at the end of the first round.

"He didn't disappoint anybody," Nowicki said. "He wrestled a great match."

Balderas dominated three of four matches en route to a third-place finish at 112 pounds.

He won his final bout by major decision, 11-2, against Phetsomphou.

Gabriel also beat Galt's Anthony Toledo (pin, 3:51) and Cosumnes Oaks' Jared Bleckmen (major decision, 10-0).

He lost by decision (8-2) in the semifinals to Oakdale's Garrett Furtado.

"Gabe was focused," Nowicki said. "There was nobody who could compete with him except for Furtado."

Tadeo, Phetsomphou, Lomeli, Beckhart, Michael Manzur, Anthony Centeno and James Jackson helped lead Central Valley to a fifth-place finish in the team standings. Oakdale won the title at the 22-team event. Host Union Mine placed second.

Tadeo placed third overall in the 160-pound weight class.

"I wrestled the same kid that beat me by one point and pinned him," said Tadeo, who won four of his five matches during the two-day event. "I was a little more aggressive. I had a feel of how he wrestled."

Tadeo avenged a loss to Lathrop's Mark Maynard and upset the Sierra Valley Conference champion in the consolation round.

"That was a big surprise," Rob Beckhart said. "He wrestled a good tournament. He won when he needed to."

Phetsomphou finished fourth at 112 pounds. The first-year wrestler continues to succeed despite being slowed by a back injury.

"He comes out every week and performs," Beckhart said. "It says a lot about his tenacity and determination. He's incredibly strong and flexible. He keeps working and working."

Lomeli placed fourth at 152 pounds. He's had to deal with shoulder and neck injuries this year.

"He was icing down between matches," Beckhart said. "He's a tough kid."

Josh Beckhart, Central Valley's 189-pound wrestler, won the fifth-place match via pin. He battled back after losing to Oakdale's Hondo Arpokia and Sierra's Lucas Maestas.

"He pulled through," Rob Beckhart said. "He didn't care who he was wrestling. They weren't going to beat him."

Manzur (103s), Centeno (140s) and Jackson (285s) all finished in sixth place.

Central Valley's Vince Martinez (125s), Miguel Espinoza (130s) and Evan Elliott (171s), and Ceres High's Nick Moran (140s), Nick Serratos (171s), Joey Bettencourt (103s), Gabriel Solis (125s), Andrew Cefre (135s), Raj Singh (145s) and Dustin Palecek (152s) did not place at Divisionals.

Centeno eliminated Moran from the tournament. Anthony edged Nick by one point, 4-3. Centeno scored on a takedown as time expired.

"He's disappointed," Nowicki said. "He'll do better next year."

Serratos won by pin against Galt's Austin Whipfli (2:25). He lost by pin to River City's Tyler Stallings (1:22) and Sierra's Alex Nuanez (2:58)

"He should be proud of what he was able to do this season," Nowicki said. "This is his first year wrestling varsity. He was a league champion."

The Masters meet will be held at the Stockton Arena this Friday and Saturday. The top seven individuals in each weight class qualify for the CIF State Championships.

"Next week is a whole another monster," Nowicki said.