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Hawk grapplers experience success
Central Valley High boys place at Turlock tournament
Lexy Cordova placed eighth at the Napa Valley Girls Wrestling Classic. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

The members of Central Valley High School's varsity wrestling program didn't disappoint while participating in Turlock's Bulldog Classic for the first time on Jan. 4.

Cristian Garcia, Christian Oliver, Adrian Vizcaino, Michael Manzur and Jason Beckhart all finished in the top six in their respective weight classes en route to leading the Hawks to a tie for eighth place with Patterson.

The two teams racked up 81 points. Turlock (202), El Diamante (119.5) and Buhach Colony (115.5) took first, second and third, respectively.

"Overall, it was a good showing," Central Valley head coach Rob Beckhart said. "We only took seven kids there because of the match-count rule. We did better than expected. It was a tough tournament."

Garcia managed to claim the 147-pound title despite competing with a shoulder injury.

Cristian won all four of his matches.

Garcia edged Waterford's Caleb Conner, 4-3, in the finals.

"He fought through it and worked hard," Beckhart said. "He was being aggressive. He was going for takedowns. Sometimes, he has a tendency to go out and wrestle defensive."

Oliver finished second overall in the 115-pound division.

He compiled a 3-1 record.

Christian lost by pin (0:26) to De La Salle's Jake Lilenstein in the finals.

Oliver had to compete at 121 pounds prior to the Turlock tournament due to a California Interscholastic Federation program that encourages safe weight loss.

"I'm very excited for Christian," Beckhart said. "That was the first time he's been able to compete at the weight he wants to wrestle at. You're only allowed to lose so much body fat each week."

Vizcaino posted a 2-2 record on his way to a fourth-place finish at 184 pounds. Adrian had to settle for fourth after losing 3-2 to Oak Ridge's James Portilla.

"He faced some tough competition," Beckhart said.

Manzur (128s, 3-2) and Beckhart (197s, 1-3) both placed sixth.

Jason collected his first varsity medal.

"He showed a lot of improvement," coach Beckhart said.

Sev Vazquez (134s, 1-2) and Jose Castillo (140s, 0-2) did not place.

Five of Central Valley's seven grapplers brought home medals from Turlock.

"Other coaches commented on how our kids are doing," Rob Beckhart said. "We're not going to sneak up on anybody now. There's a lot of excitement. Our main focus is to stay healthy and finish strong."

Cordova takes 8th
at Napa Classic
Staged last Friday and Saturday at Vintage High School, the 16th Annual Napa Valley Girls Wrestling Classic featured more than 400 wrestlers from 105 different teams.

Central Valley High School's Lexy Cordova was one of the participants.

The 131-pound senior grappler compiled a 3-3 record on her way to an eighth-place finish.

"It was a good experience for her," coach Beckhart said. "Now, she knows what to expect. I think she'll qualify for state this year if she stays healthy."

Cordova fell one win shy of claiming a medal last week.

Lexy compiled a 2-0 record on Friday.

She won by pin against Lynbrook's Esther Ho and Jackie Verdugo.

Cordova won one of four matches on Saturday.

She won by pin against Pittsburg's Melanie Torres.

She lost by pin to Albany's Erica Sotelo, Folsom's Nonie Reyes-Small and Pacheco's Taryn Michell.

Michell defeated Cordova for seventh place.

Sotelo and Reyes-Small placed second and sixth, respectively. "She should have placed a little higher," Beckhart said. "She was winning her last match, made a mistake and got pinned. It's still a big deal for her to place. She was two rounds away from placing last year."

Lexy improved her overall record to 18-7. She won titles at Central Valley and Atwater, and finished second at Bear Creek and Pacheco.

"She set goals for herself," Beckhart said. "She's working a lot harder this year. She knows this is her last chance to go to state. She's a lot more confident. She's aggressive. She used to be a defensive wrestler."

Cordova will compete in Enochs High School's Lady Eagles Tournament this weekend. "I expect her to finish in the top two," Beckhart said.