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Rangel qualifies for California state wrestling meet
221 Rangel
Standing on the podium, wrestler Matt Rangel of Escalon was the fifth place finisher at the Masters Meet in Stockton at 144 pounds. He brought home a medal and qualified for the State Meet in Bakersfield. Photo Contributed

One wrestler from Escalon is heading to the State Meet in Bakersfield; Matt Rangel earned his way to the state event with a fifth-place finish at the Masters Meet hosted in Stockton on Feb. 16 and 17.

“Matt, at 144 pounds, went 4-2 for fifth place to become a CIF state qualifier,” said head coach Derek Scott.

Though Rangel has had times where he has struggled a bit during the season, Scott added, he ultimately has put together an outstanding campaign. He defeated Kolin DeLaFuente of River Valley 5-2 in his final match of the Masters to get to the state meet.

“His two losses were to the guys who finished first and third,” Scott pointed out.

The Escalon varsity boys, as a team, finished in 18th place overall. And though Scott said it’s usually a goal to finish in the top 10 at Masters, he was pleased with the effort as they had seven wrestlers competing and most got at least one win on the mats.

At 113 pounds, Houston Sizuela went 1-2 and Luca Cerasi went 3-2 at 120 pounds.

“He made it to the second day, we were happy for Luca,” noted Scott.

At 126 pounds, Christian Cruz went 2-2 and at 150 pounds, Talan Reider went 1-2.

“He just kind of ran out of gas,” Scott said of Reider. “He had been pinning most of the guys he wrestled and it was hard for him to go three rounds.”

John Konradi had a tough bracket at 175 pounds; he went 0-2. Frank Rodriguez went 2-2 at heavyweight.

For the Escalon girls, they had several wrestlers take the mats at Masters as well. Isabella Alcala went 1-2, Sophia Duran was 1-2 and Dani Roybal went 0-2. Helena Arroyo was 1-2 in her matches and, going 3-3, turning in the best performance for the girls over the weekend, was Violette Kent at 135 pounds.

“She went 3-3 and took eighth, she forfeited her last match,” Scott said, noting that Kent had an injury that prompted the forfeit. “She did a great job all year; she worked hard.”

The state meet, with wrestling scheduled Thursday, Feb. 22 through Saturday, Feb. 24, will see Rangel facing off with the best in the state, looking for a solid showing.