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Bulldog wrestlers medal
McElwain, Letras & Nelson shine at Lovell Holiday Classic
Ceres Highs boys wrestling program had three individual medalists at the Pat Lovell Holiday Classic this past week in Aptos. Pictured from left to right: Daniel McElwain, Ethan Letras and Spencer Nelson. - photo by Contributed to the Courier

Ceres High varsity boys wrestling standout Daniel McElwain brought home a seventh-place medal and the quickest pin award from the Pat Lovell Holiday Classic, formerly named the California Coast Classic, this past week in Aptos.

"This was my first time wrestling in this tournament," he said. "I knew it was going to be tough. The competition is elite. It's comparable to Masters. I expected to medal. But I'm a little disappointed I didn't place higher."

McElwain compiled a 4-2 record while competing in the 220-pound weight class.

He won by injury default over College Park's Eric Karras for seventh place on Dec. 28.

Daniel also collected victories against Aptos High's Elijah Rodriguez (pin, 0:43), Lake Stevens' Wyatt Hall (pin, 0:10) and Lake Stevens' Justin Thompson (decision, 5-0).

McElwain lost to Whitney's Chris Cornes (pin, 1:47) and Soquel's Carlos Mercado (pin, 2:10).

Daniel missed the entire 2016-17 season.

"I feel confident going into league and our next tournament," he said. "The knee injury made me better. I was able to watch people for an entire year. I have a higher wrestling IQ now. I've met my goals so far. But the season isn't over yet. I plan to achieve a lot more goals."

Bulldog teammates Ethan Letras and Spencer Nelson also medaled.

Letras compiled a 5-2 record in the 160-pound bracket.

He won by second-round pin (2:30) over Everett Alvarez's Ernesto Portillo during the seventh-place match in the 160-pound bracket.

Ethan also collected victories against Pajaro Valley's Irepan Romero (pin, 3:33), Archibishop Riordan's Jake Angelo (pin, 0:37), Woodside's Luis Espino (pin, 2:03) and Petaluma's Anthony Vitali (pin, 0:50).

He lost to Leland's Nick Banas (pin, 2:40) and Bullard's Tracey Hunter (pin, 5:19).

Nelson compiled a 6-3 record at 195 pounds.

Spencer had to settle for eighth place after losing by major decision (13-3) to Cleveland's Dion Hunter.

He collected victories against Pitman's Brendan Tallent (injury default), Atascadero's Arik Machado (pin, 2:17), Santa Barbara's Jose Herrera (pin, 4:51), Golden Valley's Alberto Ramos (major decision, 9-1), American's Khaled Wahaba (decision, 5-3) and Gonzales' Victor Llamas (pin, 5:45).

Nelson also lost to Sutter's Max Gipson (pin, 1:45) and Tokay's Matt Cooper (major decision, 9-1).

Jaden Cooper, Brian Ayala, David Caravalho, Sonald Lal, Shanald Lal, Austin Hanshew, Edison Jimenez, Allen Thy, Argel Arroyo and Elias Saldana also represented Ceres High at the Lovell Classic.

Jaden posted a 3-2 record at 145 pounds.

He beat Golden Valley's David Lopez (pin, 2:38), Lincoln's Caleb Welsh (technical fall, 17-2) and Santa Teresa's Christopher Riggins (pin, 1:02).

Cooper lost to Monta Vista Christian's Amman Klair (decision, 12-6) and Petaluma's Colton Prieto (pin, 4:57).

Brian posted a 3-2 record at 126 pounds.

He beat Madera's Cristian Solorio (sudden victory, 4-2), Evergreen Valley's Matthew Regala (decision, 8-6) and Center's Julian Gonzales (decision, 4-2).

Ayala lost to Sutter's Billy Thornton (pin, 0:36) and Cleveland's Gabe Roybal (pin, 2:17).

David posted a 2-2 record at 182 pounds.

He beat Los Banos' Cyrus Hughes (pin, 4:33), and Tokay's Cameron Senner (decision, 7-5).

Caravalho lost to San Benito's Ricardo Gallardo (pin, 5:13) and Aptos' Keegan Dutton-Jones (pin, 1:54).

Sonald, Shanald and Austin posted 1-2 records at 106, 113 and 195 pounds, respectively.

Sonald beat Aptos' Elijah Galster by decision (11-5).

He lost to Whitney's Angel Chavez (pin, 5:10) and Enochs' Josh Pimentel (decision, 8-3).

Shanald beat Liberty Madero Rancho's Anthony Salas by pin (1:36).

He lost to Amador Valley's Donovan Lucente (pin, 0:41) and Alisal's Jovani Perras (pin, 1:32).

Austin beat Gonzales' Victor Llamas (pin, 1:28).

He lost to Center's Andrey Garbuzov (pin, 0:31) and Atascadero's Salvatore Derose (pin, 2:17).

Edison, Allen, Argel and Elias dropped both of their matches at 132, 170, 220 and 285 pounds, respectively.

Jimenez lost to Fremont's Elijah Clark (pin, 2:34) and Beyer's Austin Sengchanh (decision, 3-1).

Thy lost to Woodcreek's Speero Tannous (pin, 5:31) and Hilmar's Mark Labass (pin, 3:18).

Arroyo lost to College Park's Eric Karras (major decision, 12-1) and Pajaro Valley's Alejandro Vazquez (decision, 6-2).
Saldana lost to Aptos' Justin Torres (pin, 3:41) and Golden Valley's Aristeo Prado (pin, 1:43).

Ceres High placed 20th (77.5 points) at the 74-team tournament.

Lake Stevens (187), Cleveland (173.5) and Sutter (156) took first, second and third, respectively.

"I'm so proud of all my teammates," McElwain said.