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Bulldogs compete at Lovell Classic
• Saldana takes sixth in heavyweight class
Elias Saldana 3
Heavyweight grappler Elias Saldana (pictured with head coach Casey Paulino) brought home a sixth-place medal from the Pat Lovell Holiday Classic this past month in Aptos.

Five members of Ceres High’s boys wrestling program competed at the Dec. 27-28 Pat Lovell Holiday Classic at Aptos High School.

“We only took our core group,” head coach Casey Paulino said. “We wanted to reward the varsity wrestlers for working hard and earning their spots. We enjoyed the whole area of Monterey. Everybody had a good time.”

The Bulldogs totaled 25 points while finishing 38th overall in the team standings.

Pitman (271), Clovis (192) and Central (165.5) took first, second and third, respectively.

“There were a lot of great wrestlers and programs out there,” Paulino said.

Ceres High’s six grapplers had a combined 5-11 record at the Lovell Classic.

“Everybody that competed felt pressure,” Paulino said. “When you get to this level, it tests you mentally, physically and technically. The competition is elite.”

Elias Saldana took sixth in the 285-pound bracket.

He posted a 3-3 record.

Saldana defeated Madera South’s Mathew Bolanos (pin, 3:05), Summerville’s Warren Goldstein (pin, 0:23) and Central’s Isa Watson (pin, 0:48).

“I placed higher than I did last year. I improved.”
Elias Saldana

“I placed higher than I did last year,” said Saldana, who took seventh as a junior. “I improved.”

“He actually wrestled really well,” Paulino said. “He still has a lot of work to do to get ready for the next tournament.”

Saldana lost to Half Moon Bay’s Caspian Grabowski (pin, 3:36), Pitman’s Emilio Gutierrez (decision, 9-2) and Freedom’s Caleb Hunter (pin, 0:58).

Nicholas Angulo (195s, 0-2) took eighth.

He lost to Central’s Luis Angulio (pin, 1:05) and Granada’s Nathan Lloyd (pin, 1:00).

Angel Figueroa (182s, 1-2), Edison Jimenez (152s, 1-2) and Diego Armas (145s, 0-2) did not place.

Figueroa defeated Whitney’s Matthew Sherer (decision, 8-3).

He lost to Half Moon Bay’s Eddy Lopez (pin, 2:43) and Bellarmine Prep’s Diego Diaz (pin, 1:49).

Jimenez defeated Tokay’s A.J. Galvan (pin, 2:02).

He lost to Alisal’s Justice Jones (major decision, 9-1) and Daniel Gorshkov (technical fall, 17-1).

Armas lost to Madera South’s Joseph Munoz (pin, 2:37) and Lynbrook’s Isaac Yoon (pin, 2:43).

“There are a lot of things we need to fix before the Tim Brown (Memorial Invitational Tournament),” Paulino said.