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CVs Saucedo punches ticket to state tourney
Senior wrestler places sixth at Masters Meet
Luis Saucedo made history this past week in Stockton by becoming just the second Hawk male wrestler to qualify for the CIF State Championships. - photo by EDDIE RUIZ/The Courier

Senior Luis Saucedo entered the record books on Saturday at Stockton Arena, becoming just the second boys wrestler from Central Valley High School to advance to the CIF State Meet.

Saucedo earned a berth to Bakersfield after finishing in the top six in the 113-pound weight bracket at the Feb. 26-27 Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Championships.

"This is something I've always wanted since I was younger," Luis said. "There was a lot of pressure. This was the last chance I had. I'm really proud of what I achieved. All the hard work I put in paid off."

Saucedo placed sixth with a 4-3 record at Masters.

"There are a lot of people that are happy for him," Hawks leader Rob Beckhart said. "I've only coached him for the last two years. This is something he's wanted his entire life. Being that he's a senior, and knowing there were no more second chances, he was a little more focused. The fact that he was able to make it says a lot about his determination and willingness to work for every point."

Luis won back-to-back matches on Saturday to assure himself a top-six finish.

He pinned Ripon's Donavan Fontillas 56 seconds into the first period.

Saucedo clinched a berth to State with a 6-1 victory over Franklin of Elk Grove's Edison Alanis in the consolation quarterfinals.

Saucedo edged Alanis 3-1 at the Tim Brown Invitational earlier this season.

"If he was nervous, he did a good job of hiding it," Beckhart said.

"A lot of pressure was lifted off me," Saucedo said. "I was super nervous before the match."

Luis won two of three matches at Masters on Friday.

He won by pin (1:14) over Modesto High's Christopher Alas and decision (2-1) over Central Catholic's Jared Nicholson.

Saucedo lost by decision (5-0) to Folsom's Angelo Martinoni.

Saucedo improved his overall record to 36-15.

He placed first at the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-IV and Western Athletic Conference tournaments.

Saucedo helped Central Valley's wrestling program accomplish several firsts this year, including winning titles at the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-IV Championships and Team Duals. The Hawks won their second straight WAC overall championship. Central Valley extended its unbeaten streak against conference-dual competition to 18 matches.

"I'm really proud of my team," Luis said. "We did amazing."

Saucedo went 33-15 during his junior year.

He dropped two of three matches while being eliminated on the first day of Masters.

Luis had to settle for runner-up honors at the Division-IV and WAC championships.

"I worked harder this season," he said. "I wanted to make a statement."

Saucedo spent his sophomore and freshman years at Modesto High.

Luis started wrestling at the age of seven.

"State's always been on my mind," he said. "Knowing I'm going there, it's an amazing feeling. Not many people in California get to go to the tournament. I'm going to do everything I can do better myself for this weekend."