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Senior wrestler improves career record to 101-22 with Hawks
Senior Ruben Valenzuela
Senior Ruben Valenzuela had a career record of 101-22 with Central Valley’s boys wrestling program as of last Friday.

A standout on Central Valley High School’s varsity boys wrestling team since the ninth grade, Ruben Valenzuela reached a major milestone this past week.

The 182-pound senior annexed his 100th career victory during the Hawks’ 51-27 win at El Capitan on Thursday.

Valenzuela couldn’t be reached for comment.

“He’s a little superstitious and doesn’t want to talk about it (his success),” Central Valley coach Rob Beckhart said. “It’s a big deal to get 100 varsity wins. Nobody else has been able to do that. I’m happy for him.”

Valenzuela won twice by pin last week to improve his overall record to 23-4.

“It was business as usual,” Beckhart said.

Valenzuela placed first for the third time at the Ceres Invitational earlier this season. He would have most likely been a four-time champion but the tournament was canceled last school year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Valenzuela brought home a championship belt buckle from the James Riddle Memorial Tournament on Dec. 11 at Oakdale High School.

He took second at the Asics Southern California Challenge, staged Dec. 29-30 at Santa Ana High School.

Valenzuela currently ranks 20th in the state in his weight class.

He climbed to as high as No. 6 in December.

Valenzuela has been slowed by a shoulder injury in recent weeks.

“I’ve known Ruben since he was a little kid,” Beckhart said. “Wrestling is his lifestyle. He’s always been committed to getting better. He wants to be everything that we haven’t had. He wants to be a state placer. I hope he can be 100 percent toward the end of the season.”

Valenzuela had a career record of 101-22 as of Friday.

He won all 12 of his matches during the 2020-21 COVID-shortenend season.

Valenzuela qualified for the CIF State Meet sophomore year. He amassed a 35-7 record on the season. Valenzuela placed at seven tournaments. He was sixth at the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Championships. He took first at the Division-III, Central California Conference and Mike Tamana tournaments. He finished second at the James Riddle Classic and fifth at the Tim Brown Memorial.

Valenzuela finished 31-11 as a freshman.

“In my opinion, Ruben is without a doubt the best wrestler we’ve ever had in our room."
Coach Rob Beckhart

“In my opinion, Ruben is without a doubt the best wrestler we’ve ever had in our room,” Beckhart said. “He’s athletic. He’s super strong. He has tremendous ability. You can’t place anyone in his category. His overall mental preparation helps him get ready to compete. He’s the only kid we’ve let wrestle varsity all four years.”

Adrian Vizcaino, a 2014 Central Valley grad, had 96 varsity wins in three seasons.

Vizcaino made history senior year by becoming the Hawks’ first-ever state qualifier in boys wrestling. He won 34 of 50 matches at 182 pounds. Vizcaino claimed his third consecutive Western Athletic Conference title. He placed fourth at Masters and second at Divisionals.

“There are tons of similarities,” Beckhart said while comparing Valenzuela to Vizcaino. “They’re fun to be around. They’re great kids.”

When asked if Valenzuela’s accomplishments would ever be surpassed by another CV wrestler, Beckhart said: “Records are meant to be broken. It’s going to take a special kid to do it.”