Ruben Valenzuela’s performance at the Mike Tamana Invitational was so impressive he took home two major awards.
The Central Valley varsity boys wrestler claimed the 182-pound championship belt.
He was also named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Upper-Weight grappler.
The Tamana tourney was staged, Dec. 20-21, at Modesto Junior College.
“It’s a good feeling,” he said. “The whole team is excited for me. I’m satisfied but there’s always room for improvement.”
Hawk teammates Thomas Carillo, Natanael Lezama, Davian Lemus, Giancarlo Pena and Eric Rivera also enjoyed productive outings at the Tamana Classic.
Valenzuela pinned all three of his opponents.
He beat Mariposa’s Lane Holt (3:04), Golden Valley’s Travon Moore (0:56) and Beyer’s Tyler Gallant (1:16).
“This is the first time we’ve competed there,” he said. “My goal was to win the belt. I really wanted it.”
Valenzuela was seeded first in his weight bracket.
“You always have to put in the work to hold the position,” he said.
Valenzuela improved his overall record to 14-1.
He’s placed first twice and second once this season.
“All of my coaches have been pushing me to my limits,” he said. “There’s still more I can improve on. I’m going to keep working as hard as I can to get myself better.”
A repeat winner at the Ceres Invitational on Dec. 7, Valenzuela was awarded another championship ring.
He added a title belt to his collection on Dec. 21.
“It’s one of the biggest things I’ve won so far,” he said.
Lezama (220 pounds, 3-1 record) and Lemus (120s, 3-1) both took second in their respective weight classes.
Lezama beat Golden Valley’s Clint Ward (pin, 4:44), Livingston’s Juan Peralta (forfeit) and Hughson’s Carson Hatch (decision, 7-6).
He lost to Beyer’s Raul Garcia (pin, 3:50).
Lemus beat Livingston’s Abrahm Ornelas (pin, 3:29), Mariposa’s Mac Hunter (pin, 3:10) and Atwater’s Nathan Thao (pin, 2:17).
He lost to Grace Davis’ John Valdez (pin, 1:00).
Carrillo (195s, 4-1) took third.
He beat Grace Davis’ Carson Struve (pin, 1:27), Central Valley teammate Giancarlo Pena (pin, 0:14), Mariposa’s Seth Goodman (pin, 0:58) and Mariposa’s Jason Rubalcava (forfeit).
Carrillo lost to Hughson’s Garret Hicks (pin, 1:58).
Pena (195s, 3-2) placed fifth.
He beat Rubalcava (pin, 3:18), Waterford’s Payton Kline (pin, 3:20) and Ceres High’s Nicholas Angulo (pin, 1:31).
He lost to Carrillo and Golden Valley’s Josh Hickman (pin, 2:47).
Rivera (145s, 3-3) took sixth.
He beat Waterford’s Micheal Carmen (pin, 4:46), Ceres High’s Diego Armas (pin, 2:16) and Mariposa’s Joe Williams (major decision, 14-5).
Rivera lost to Beyer’s Jack Lawrence (pin, 3:22), Livingston’s Matthew Cisneros (decision, 8-4) and Gregori’s Cameron Sablowski (decision, 10-7).
Central Valley’s Uriel Barajas (285s, 1-2), Roman Vargas (285s, 1-2), Juan Lezama (182s, 1-2), Enrique Gonzalez (138s, 1-2), Jose Alamo (138s, 0-2), Alex Vargas (132s, 0-2), Eric Andrade (120s, 0-2) and Nic Genasci (113s, 0-2) did not place at the Tamana Tournament.
The Hawks totaled 119 points while finishing sixth in the team standings.
Golden Valley (205), Grace Davis (187) and Redwood of Visalia (165.5) placed first, second and third, respectively.
The crosstown-rival Ceres High Bulldogs (87) were 12th.