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Ceres Highs Santibanez, Morales capture WAC titles
Bulldogs advance to Divisional meet
Freshman Diego Diaz (left) and five other members of Ceres High Schools varsity wrestling program placed in the top four in their respective weight classes at the Western Athletic Conference Championships. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Ceres High varsity wrestlers Nick Santibanez and Abel Morales won individual titles at the Western Athletic Conference Championships in front of their home fans on Saturday.

"I expected those results from those two," head coach Steve Festa said. "They were focused and prepared."

Bulldog teammates Alexis Zuniga, Louis Camarillo, Diego Diaz and Jose Arita all placed in the top four in their respective weight divisions and will join Santibanez and Morales at Divisionals this week.

John Alba and Daniel Raya are alternates.

Brian Quintanilla and Jorge Sandoval had their seasons cut short.
"I would have liked to qualify more," Festa said. "It shows how tough our league is. I'm not disappointed. They gave their best effort."

Ceres High (132 points) finished fifth in the team standings behind Central Catholic (220), Los Banos (214.50), Central Valley (207) and Patterson (203).

Pacheco (126) and Livingston (110) placed sixth and seventh, respectively.

Santibanez bested all three of his opponents while competing in the 128-pound class.

Nick collected wins against Los Banos' Victor Neal (decision, 7-6), Pacheco's Christian Grijalva (decision, 9-0) and Livingston's Jose Sanchez (pin).

Santibanez took third at 134 pounds a year ago.

Morales, a 197-pound junior, won twice.

Abel posted victories against Central Valley's Adrian Badillo (pin) and Los Banos' Daniel Fernandez (decision, 8-6).

Morales placed second at 184 pounds last season.

Zuniga compiled a 3-1 record en route to a third-place finish at 108 pounds.

Alexis beat Central Catholic's Jared Nicholson twice (6-4, 11-5) and Los Banos' Jeremiah Diaz once (pin).

He lost to Patterson's Adrian Luna (pin).

Camarillo compiled a 2-2 record on his way to a fourth-place showing at 115 pounds.

Louis topped Central Valley's Ricardo Briseno (pin) and won by forfeit versus Pacheco.

He lost to eventual-champion Tyler Felix (pin) and Livingston's Rainier Colina (major decision, 10-0).

Diaz (162s, 2-2) and Arita (285s, 2-2) also took fourth.

Diego beat Los Banos' Paul Reyes (decision, 10-7) and Pacheco's Joseph Reinbold (pin).

He lost to eventual-champion Miguel Hernandez of Central Catholic (pin) and Central Valley's Eddy Nunes (pin).

Arita beat Patterson's Darrius Hunt (pin) and collected a forfeit win versus Central Catholic.

He lost to Pacheco's Joseph Coronado (pin) and Central Valley's Jose Medina (decision, 5-1).

Alba (147s, 2-2) and Raya (140s, 1-2) both placed fifth.

Alba beat Livingston's Edgar Pimentel (pin) and split with Pacheco's Gerardo Sanchez (pin, 14-2).

He lost to Los Banos' Fernando Mendoza (decision, 5-0).

Raya beat Central Valley's Severo Vazquez (decision, 4-3).

He lost to Los Banos' Jesus Valdez (fall) and Central Catholic's Roman Dias (pin).

Quintanilla (174s, 1-3) and Sandoval (154s, 0-3) were sixth.

Brian won by forfeit against Livingston.

He lost to Patterson's Jerry Arrendondo (pin), Pacheco's Johnny Del Rio (pin) and Los Banos' Antonio Rubio (pin).

Sandoval lost to Central Valley's Luis Torres (pin), Los Banos' Dalton Brooks (pin) and Patterson's Daniel Linares (pin).