Ceres High varsity boys heavyweight wrestler Elias Saldana fell short of his goal while competing at the Mike Tamana Invitational, Dec. 20-21, at Modesto Junior College.
Saldana had to settle for runner-up honors after losing by first-round pin (1:57) to Golden Valley’s Aristeo Prado in the finals.
Saldana placed first last season.
“It’s disappointing,” said Saldana, whose strategy backfired during the championship match this year. “I tried something that was there and messed up. Now I know you shouldn’t be going for double overhooks against a guy that’s taller than you.”
Saldana won three of four matches.
He beat Johansen’s Attila Sides (pin 2:41), Escalon’s Sean Vassallo (pin, 1:10) and Central Valley’s Uriel Barajas (pin, 1:02).
Bulldog teammates Edison Jimenez, Brian Ayala, Nicholas Angulo and Angel Figueroa also claimed medals at the Tamana tournament.
Jimenez (152s, 5-1) finished third.
He beat Hughson’s Isaac Harkrader twice.
Jimenez prevailed by pin in the second round (3:51) and consolation round (1:37).
He also collected wins against Atwater’s Ian Woodruff (decision, 6-5), Livingston’s Andres Garcia (injury default) and Modesto High’s Hector Bolainez (pin, 0:54).
Jimenez lost to Golden Valley’s Enzo Hormozi (pin, 3:16).
Ayala (138s, 2-2) and Angulo (195s, 2-3) both finished sixth.
Ayala collected wins against Hughson’s Gabe Bargas (decision, 4-1) and Mariposa’s Ty Holt (decision, 5-2).
He lost to Bret Harte’s Dakota Stephens (decision, 4-0) and Modesto High’s Ernesto Escobar (injury default).
Angulo collected wins against Big Valley Christian’s Marcus Lema (pin, 2:19) and Waterford’s Payton Kline (pin, 0:23).
He lost to and Lema (pin, 3:05), Grace Davis’ Carson Struve (pin, 1:36) and Central Valley’s Giancarlo Pena (pin, 1:31).
Figueroa finished (182s, 3-2) seventh.
He collected wins against Livingston’s Angel Maldonado (pin, 0:25), Central Valley’s Juan Lezama (pin, 3:00) and Enochs’ Cameron Gray (pin, 4:20).
Figueroa lost to Atwater’s Meliton Gutierrez (decision, 7-2) and Mariposa’s Lane Holt (pin, 3:19).
Ceres High’s Diego Armas didn’t place.
Armas (145s, 1-2) collected his lone victory against Waterford’s Micheal Carmen (pin, 0:11).
He lost to Golden Valley’s Wille Ward-Williams (pin, 1:39) and Central Valley’s Eric Rivera (pin, 2:16).
Saldana, Jimenez, Ayala, Angulo, Figueroa and Armas all contributed to the Bulldogs’ point total.
Ceres High (87) placed 12th in the team standings.
Golden Valley (205), Grace Davis (187) and Redwood of Visalia (165.5) took first, second and third, respectively.
Crosstown-rival Central Valley (119) was sixth.