County wrestlers excel at Nationals

Five county wrestlers excelled at the NHSCA Wrestling Nationals last weekend. Leading the way was Oak Hills 171-pounder Robert Marchese, who finished second in the junior division. Redlands East Valley senior Chris Mecate, the state champions in the 135-pound division, finished in third in the senior division at nationals, losing in the semifinals to eventual champion Terrel Wilbourn of St. Charles, Mo. 6-4. Mecate defeated Bakersfield’s Timmy Box — who he defeated in the state semifinals — 7-4 in the third-place match.

Oak Hills had two other wrestlers place in their respective divisions, with Ray Delgado placing fifth at 112 pounds in the senior division and Justin Gilliam placing third in the heavyweight division in the freshman division. Rim of the World junior Christian Smith also finished sixth in the junior division.

Mecate advances to finals

Redlands East Valley senior Chris Mecate is his school’s first-ever state finalist in wrestling after downing Timmy Box of Bakersfield 11-5 in the 135 pound semifinals at the CIF State Championships in Bakersfield Saturday morning.

Mecate entered the tournament ranked No. 1, while Box was ranked No. 3
Mecate, who has fifth and sixth-place medals from his junior and freshman years, respectively, will face No. 2- ranked Shane Yacuta of Porterville in the championship match tonight.

A total of seven county wrestlers made it to Day 2. Mecate and Oak Hills’ Ray Delgado (119) were the lone semifinalists. Delgado, ranked sixth, was pinned in his semifinal by second-ranked Daniel Gaytan of Clovis in 51 seconds. Delgado will wrestle in consolation.
Delgado had two teammates make it to Saturday. Robert Marchese (171), an eighth-place finisher last year, clinched a spot in the top eight. Gerardo Aguirre (215) lost in consolation and is out.
Bloomington’s Juan Alvarado (152) won his first match Saturday 5-1 to earn a spot in the top 8. Etiwanda’s J.J. Everard (215) and Los Osos’ Jon Solano (160) were eliminated Saturday morning.

Mecate wins gold at Super 32

Redlands East Valley junior wrestler Chris Mecate won first place in the 119-pound class at the Super 32 high school wrestling tournament in Greensboro, N.C. Saturday. Mecate was the best of a field of 145 wrestlers in the 119-pound class from all over the country. According to Mecate’s father Perry, Chris defeated two All-Americans, two state champions and three other state placers en route to the title. The 119-pound class included eight All-Americans, 23 state champions, 57 state placers and 68 regional placers, respectively.