Oak Hills’ Marchese advances to national finals

Oak Hills junior wrestler Robert Marchese, competing at the NSCA National Wrestling Championship, Junior Division, in Virginia Beach, Virginia has advanced all the way to the finals.

Marchese, who was seventh at the state meet four weeks ago, had to win five matches in the 171-pound weight class to reach Friday’s final. The medal rounds for the juniors are scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. PDT today.

Marchese won his first two matches of the tournament 12-3 and 11-1, then won by fall. His last two were close: 9-7 and 3-1 to advance to the final where he’ll face California State champion Nikko Reyes of Fresno Clovis West. Marchese and Reyes did not meet in the state tournament.

Oak Hills freshman heavyweight Justin Gillham, competing in the Freshman division of nationals, advanced all the way to the semifinals, before losing 2-1 on Thursday. He’ll be competing in consolation today before wrestling for a medal.

The Senior Division gets underway Friday, including 135-pound state champion Chris Mecate of Redlands East Valley.