Rosemead High School’s Adrian Marquez collected a championship at the Masters wrestling meet.
Above: Rosemead’s Adrian Marquez, top, tackles Irvine High’s Scott Chene, bottom, in the 130 lb. weight class of the CIF Southern Section Masters Wrestling Tournament in Rialto February 23, 2008. (GABRIEL LUIS ACOSTA/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER.)
By Steve Ramirez, Staff Writer
RIALTO – Area wrestlers proved to be the masters of the mat Saturday – the CIF-Southern Section Masters Meet to be more specific.
Defending CIF State champion Thomas Williams of South Hills High School led a group of five local competitors to secure individual titles in their respective weight classes at the CIF-SS Masters Meet at Carter High School in Rialto.
Northview’s Steven Salinas (112 pounds), San Dimas’ Angel Garcia (125) and Adrian Marquez (130) and Schurr’s Julian (215) also won titles.
Williams, reigning state champion at 112, won Saturday at 119.
The area had six finalists – Santa Fe’s Nikolai Crouch lost to Temecula Valley’s Jake Merideth in the 171 final – and will send 21 to next weekend’s state meet.
Williams was the only area competitor to win a state title last year and is a good bet to repeat after a solid performance this weekend, which he capped with a 1-0 victory over Mayfair’s Richard Alarcon in the 119 final.
“This is huge to me because this will set me up for a better draw at state,” Williams said. “I wrestled a lot of tough guys to win here, so I’m really ready for next week.”
But Marquez also made a statement by winning Saturday since he wasn’t ranked coming into the tournament.
“It’s a good feeling,” said Marquez, who defeated Irvine’s Scott Chene in the 130 final. “Last year, I was two and out. It was great to come back this year and win.”
Garcia, meanwhile, continued the solid performances. He won Masters after being the first area wrestler to win four divisional titles, accomplishing that feat last week.
“It’s nice to win divisional titles,” said Garcia, who beat Hesperia’s Daniel Gudino, 11-7. “But now, I’m the best of the Southern Section.”
Salinas, who beat Santa Ana Calvary Chapel’s Zane O’Bourke 11-5, also is pointed toward next weekend.
“This is not my goal,” he said. “State is. I’m glad I won, but this really doesn’t mean anything to me.”
It’s the same for Zuniga, who fought back for a 6-4 victory in the 215 final.
“This is just a step,” he said. “I’m more concerned about next week.”
Other qualifiers for the state championships included West Covina’s Jeremy Dizon (119); Northview’s Jacob Delgado (103), Frank Martinez (130), Jesse Cruz (145), Matt Lopez (189) and Robert Alcantar (215); South Hills’ Joel Camacho (130) and Josh Pearson (171); Bishop Amat’s Andrew Ortega (125) and Julian Silva (215); Bonita’s David Stupplebean (145); Santa Fe’s Marcus Orona (119), Daniel Couts (145) and Crouch (171); California’s Matt Melendrez (140); and La Habra’s Aaron La Farge (103).