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Santibanez in top 12 at Reno wrestling tourney
Dawgs take 72nd
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Twelve members of Ceres High School's varsity wrestling program competed at the Reno Tournament of Champions last month.

Nick Santibanez, Abel Morales, Cameron Thatcher and Daniel Raya helped lead the Bulldogs to 72nd-place at the 110-team event, staged Dec. 20-21 at the Reno Events Center.

Ceres High earned 25 points.

California's Poway High School (211 points), Utah's Pleasant Grove (196.5) and Idaho's Centennial (174) finished first, second and third, respectively.

"It's one of the toughest tournaments in the nation," Bulldogs head coach Steve Festa said. "We competed with the best."

Santibanez posted a 4-2 record en route to a top-12 finish in the 120-pound division.

Nick accounted for 12 of the Bulldogs' team points.

He beat Idaho Falls' Brody Hardy (pin, 3:25), Wasatch's Caden Clyde (decision, 8-4), Cibola's Joshua Olson (pin, 3:45) and Basha's Christia Masters (decision, 9-4).

Santibanez lost to South Anchor's Gavin Alvarado (major decision, 14-2) and Centennial's Jaron Chavez (decision, 7-6).

"He wrestled real tough," Festa said. "All of his matches were competitive. He was beating guys from all over the nation. He came really close to medaling. I'm proud of him."

Morales (seven points) won two of his four matches at 195 pounds.

Abel beat Fernley's CJ Kilbride (pin, 3:50) and Chandler's Charlie Castillo (pin, 0:39).

He lost to Yukon's Josh Bedell (decision, 8-4) and Herriman's Wade French (decision, 14-7).

Thatcher (four points) and Raya (two points) both won one of their three matches while competing at 145 and 132 pounds, respectively.

Cameron earned a forfeit victory against Fernley's Logan Distefino.

He lost to Chugiak's Colten Jury (pin, 0:58) and Grandview's Kerby Colgan (pin, 2:23).

Raya beat Ponderosa's Tristan Dowell (decision, 11-6).

Daniel lost to Yukon's Kalanie Gradle (decision, 9-3) and Phillipsburg's Stephen Friedman (pin, 0:49).

Ceres High's Benzell Williams, Luis Camarillo, Bruno De La Torre, John Alba, Jorge Sandoval, Diego Diaz, Felix Feliciano and Rudy Gonzales also gained valuable experience.

Williams (106s, 0-2), Camarillo (113s, 0-2), De La Torre (126s, 0-2), Alba (138s, 0-2), Sandoval (152s, 0-2), Diaz (160s, 0-2), Feliciano (220s, 0-2) and Gonzales (285s, 0-2) compiled identical records in their respective weight classes.

Williams lost to Green Valley's Wallace Zernich (pin, 1:13) and Poway's Kai Middlebrook (pin, 0:47).

Camarillo lost to Easton's Colin Crowell (decision, 11-7) and Crook County's Trey Shores (pin, 2:07).

De La Torre lost to Green Valley's Josh Temple (pin, 1:24) and Crook County's Brent Bannon (major decision, 14-0).

Alba lost to Lowry's Eric Brooks (pin, 3:59) and Cheyenne East's Dylan Trujillo (pin, 5:00).

Sandoval lost to Nampa's Tyler Cobb (pin, 1:40) and Redwood's Daniel Villafana (pin, 2:37).

Diaz lost to Kotzebue's Devon Phillips (pin, 0:47) and Fernley's Brennan Gatlin (pin, 1:31).

Feliciano lost to Dillingham's Thomas Hoseth (pin, 1:11) and Pine Creek's Taylor White (pin, 0:35).

Gonzales lost to Spring Creek's Jake Roumanos (pin, 0:49) and Nampa's Victor Andrae (major decision, 15-5).

"I'm going to keep pushing my team," Festa said. "We're not cutting any corners. We'll get better."

Ceres High (4-3) will begin the Western Athletic Conference dual-meet portion of its schedule this Thursday.

The Bulldogs will face host Pacheco at 7 p.m.