The SCWAY Zone 2 & 3 Road to State Qualifying Tournament was held at Oakdale High School on Sunday, Feb. 21 with over 300 of the area’s youth wrestlers competing. The top six placers in each age group and weight class earned a berth in the SCWAY Grade State Championships to be held at Buchanan High School in Clovis on March 19 and 20. The Escalon Wrestling Club (EWC) had 28 kids compete with 21 of them medaling and earning a trip to Clovis.
In the 5-6 age group first year wrestler Noah Dooley took home one of the EWC’s two gold medals while Ramon Hinojosa grabbed the silver and Griffin Gerber picked up a bronze. In the 7-8 age group Alex Gutierrez steamrolled through his opponents on his way to becoming the EWC’s other Zone champion. Logan Dooley and Luca Cerasi each came back to place third while Preston Berhorst took fourth place in his first wrestling tournament. Xander Birakos rounded out the age group’s placers finishing fifth.
In the 9-10 age group Gideon Gerber continued to wrestle well with a second place finish as did Ryan Lewis, who wrestled up an age group due to his size. Christian Rowe also had an impressive showing with a silver medal. Zyler Moore earned his first trip to State with a bronze medal and returning state placer Jamin Miller also took third. In the 11-12 age group Sammy Hinojosa took second as did EJ Lewis, who avenged an early season loss on his way to the finals. Thomas Rowe was also a finalist in his first year of wrestling finishing second. Giovanni Ruiz took fourth and hopes to build on his strong showing at State last year. Josh Miller took fourth to earn his first trip to Clovis and Garrison Gerber finished fifth. Garrett Nash came back from an early loss to take third as the EWC’s lone representative in the 13-15 age group.
Next up for the Club is the prestigious Tournament of Champions (TOC) competition at Del Oro High School in Loomis on March 12, with several EWC junior high school age wrestlers qualifying for it at designated tournaments throughout the season.