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Fifteen Cougar Wrestlers Place In Tournament At MJC
Gutierrez pix
Shown in action earlier this season on the home mats, Escalons Julian Gutierrez took fifth place honors at the tournament hosted at Modesto Junior College, going 3-1 at 170 pounds. Marg Jackson/The Times

Nineteen wrestlers made the trip to a tournament hosted this past week at Modesto Junior College and 15 of them came home with medals.

“As a team overall, we were very, very happy with how the kids did,” said head coach Derek Scott.

Three of the Cougars made it all the way to the finals before taking a loss to finish in second place.

Braiden Vega, at 106 pounds, went 2-1 for his second place medal. In his first action of the season, Rhys Panero wrestled up and took second place in the 145-pound bracket, also going 2-1. Jake Lawrence went 2-1 at 195 pounds, taking down second place honors.

“We do need to do a little better in closing the deal in close matches,” Scott said.

Still, having three wrestlers battle for championships in the tough tournament was a bonus.

Escalon had third place finishers in Alex Jimenez, 3-1 at 132 pounds; Brad Hagglund, 3-1, 152; David Ryan, 4-1, 160; and Stephen Mendez, 3-1, 195 pounds.

Picking up fourth place medals for Escalon were Livius Seung, 2-2, 138 pounds; Alfredo Zarate, 2-2, 170 and freshman Luke Anderson, 3-2, 182.

Ethan Krieger battled to a fifth place medal at 152 pounds, going 3-2 while Julian Gutierrez was fifth with a 3-1 mark at 170 pounds, Zac Freeseha was 3-2 for fifth place at 220.

Garrett Nash, in his first action of the season, took seventh place honors with a 3-1 record at 132 pounds and Aidan Krieger, in his first varsity competition, went 2-2 for an eighth place showing at 126 pounds.

This week, the Cougars will take several varsity wrestlers to the Sierra Nevada Classic Tournament in Reno on Thursday and Friday, Dec. 28 and 29. They will take on Hughson to start Trans-Valley League action Wednesday, Jan. 3 and then host the annual Lloyd C. Engel Tournament on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 5 and 6.