Eight grapplers begin state title bid
LONG BEACH – All the miles run, all the weights lifted, all the sleep missed and all the tasty meals denied have led to this weekend for eight area wrestlers. At 9 a.m. today at Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield, the CIF State Wrestling Championships begin. Among the hundreds of grapplers from around the state will be Glenn High’s Isaias Gastelo (171 pounds), Matt Granillo (215) and Juan Enriquez (285), Cerritos’ Andy Yu (119), Richard Alarcon of Mayfair (119), Downey Calvary Chapel’s Caleb Gerl (189), St. John Bosco’s Robert Ortiz (215) and Panos Papadopoulos from Los Alamitos (285). Yu, the Suburban League champ who finished seventh at last weekend’s Masters Meet, faces Mike Hernandez of Poway, the No. 1 seed from the San Diego Section. Alarcon, a two-time state qualifier who finished fifth at Masters, opens against Andre Gonzalez from Silver Creek, the No. 1 seed from the Central Coast Section. Gastelo, eighth at Masters, wrestles Chris Hubbard of Ferndale (North Coast Section) in the first round. The winner of that match faces Paradise Vaovasa of San Francisco Balboa. Gerl, the first Downey Calvary Chapel wrestler to ever get to state, drew Robin Peak, the San Diego Section’s No. 1 seed from Mountain Empire High. “He has to wrestle with his head,” DCC coach Steve Clark said. “We’ve been working on that this week. “He’s a little nervous, of course,” Clark continued, “but he’s looking forward to the experience.” Ortiz, who took eighth at Masters, is making his second state appearance. He’ll open against Jordan Taghvai from Carlsbad, the No. 1 seed from San Diego. “He’s in a good spot, a good side of the bracket,” said St. John Bosco coach Omar Delgado. “He’s feeling good, feeling strong. … Robert always seems to do well under pressure.” Granillo, the CIF Coastal Division champ and fourth- place finisher at Masters, faces Lake Terrell from North, seeded fifth from the Central Section. Enriquez, seventh at Masters last week after winning the Coastal Division title, opens against Joey Nigos of Oak Grove, the Central Coast Section’s top seed. Papadopoulos, third at Masters, is on the same side of the bracket as Hesperia’s Ryan Hoover and Clayton Jack of Vacaville, two very good wrestlers. “He got a real tough draw,” said Torres. “The draw could have been better but you’ve got to beat somebody (tough) to be a state champ.” David Felton can be reached at email@example.com or (562) 499-1318. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!