Battling some injuries and with some wrestlers still getting down to weight, it was a smaller Cougar squad that competed Saturday at the prestigious Elk Grove Invitational.
“We had three placers,” said head coach Derek Scott, noting that the Cougars made some noise at the event.
At 126 pounds, Kyle Jimenez went 2-3 and took sixth place.
“He did great early, then had a real frustrating loss in his second to last match that he couldn’t bounce back from,” Scott said. “At 170 pounds, Cameron DuBois did great, it was the best he has looked, he went 3-2 and took fourth place.”
DuBois was wrestling two weights above what he will fill for the Cougars this season.
At heavyweight, giving up about 50 pounds, Daniel Gonzales had a tremendous day, coming home with second place honors.
“He has improved a ton and he lost in overtime to a two-time state qualifier,” explained Scott. “He has been working hard.”
Escalon’s girls and JV wrestlers, meanwhile, were busy at the Beyer Tournament and also found plenty of success.
Mikayla Vega went 3-0 and took first place at 106 pounds; Adela Ley-Han was second at 106, going 2-1. Tristin King was third at 121 pounds, going 2-1.
For the JV boys, third place finishers were Donnie Smith (132), Jose Vargas (170) and Eric Zambrano (220) with 2-1 marks and Zachary Freeseha (182) with a 2-2 showing.
Four JV grapplers brought home first place honors from the event. All compiled 3-0 records. Champions were Greg Artiaga at 145 pounds, Julian Gutierrez at 152; Hugo Alcala at 160 and Stephen Mendez at 195.
Scott said coaches were especially impressed with Alcala, wrestling for the first time and not losing a match.
“We were real happy,” Scott agreed. “We’re hoping these champions can be ready for varsity later this season.”
Coming up, all the wrestlers will head to Modesto High School on Saturday, Dec. 19 for a dual meet tournament.