Wrestling: Salinas wins; 23 earn trip to Bakersfield

It was a good day for locals at the CIF-SS Masters Meet. Northview’s Steven Salinas led the way with the only individual title. But in all of our three zones, 23 local competitors punched their tickets to the CIF State championships in Bakersfield next week.
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TEMECULA — What a difference a week makes.
Steven Salinas survived to win what some viewed as a controversial
decision during last weekend’s CIF-Southern Section individual
divisional wrestling championships. But he left no doubt Saturday.
Salinas, getting two wins by fall and a major decision, cruised
through the 119-pound class, defeating Laguna Hills Bobby Morales in
the finals to score the area’s only title during the CIF-SS Masters
Meet at Temecula Valley High School.
The Northview senior was one of five local competitors to advance to
the finals and one of 23 area wrestlers who earned a trip to next
weekend’s CIF State championships in Bakersfield.
Other area finalists Saturday were Northview’s Anthony Jarmillo (125)
and Frank Martinez (130), California’s Matt Melendrez (145) and Santa
Fe’s Nikolai Crouch (189).
Also qualifying for the state meet were Northview’s Marty Le Gaspe
(145, ninth) and Matt Lopez (215, fourth); Santa Fe’s Kioni
Villalobos (103, eighth), Richard Rios (119, fifth), Joey Davis (125,
third), Dimitri Crouch (135, seventh) and Justin Irribarren (152,
sixth); South Hills’ Daniel Flores (103, seventh), Mike Ramos (152,
seventh) and Ty Olson (215, third); La Habra’s Aaron La Farge (third
at 112) and Bryan Barocio (152, ninth); Rosemead’s Matt Fregoso (119,
sixth); Schurr’s Johnny Marchena (130, fourth); Arroyo’s Noel Blanco
(145, seventh); La Puente’s Jesus Vargas (215, seventh); Azusa’s
Bernardo Delgado (heavyweight, third) and Glendora’s Justin Mathews
(Hwt., ninth).
Northview finished second in team points behind Sultana.
“I had to work a little harder (Saturday) because I felt I had a bad
week (last weekend),” Salinas said. “I was ready.”
He showed it, rolling into the finals after getting back-to-back wins
by fall during the first two rounds before winning 17-4 in the
quarterfinals and 20-4 in the semifinals, when he beat Fregoso.
Salinas then controlled Morales, taking a 7-1 lead by the middle of
the second period before settling for the 7-2 victory in the
“I know I just have to take every match like it’s for a state
championship and don’t take anyone for granted,” Salinas said. “I
know anybody can beat anybody, so I have to be ready.”
Crouch led Santa Fe’s group of six qualifiers with a tough 5-3 loss
to Corona Centennial’s J.T. Felix in the 189 final.
The senior appeared to take a 5-3 lead with 46 seconds left in the
match, but his takedown on the outer edge of the circle was ruled out
of bounds and nullified. He then got caught in a tough spot and
yielded a takedown for a 5-3 deficit with 18 seconds left in the
“It was a horrible call,” Santa Fe coach Sal Garcia said. “The ref
said (Felix’s) hand went (out of bounds) … it was a horrible
Garcia was pleased with the Chiefs’ effort during the weekend, which
produced six state qualifiers for the first time in school
“Overall, we had a very good weekend,” he said. “We got six guys to
qualify for state, which is the most we’ve ever had. It just would
have been nice to finish off the weekend with a win.”
Melendrez had a solid weekend for California. He scored two falls en
route to the 145 final, but decided to default in the championship
round and prepare for next weekend.
“It’s been a tough tournament,” Melendrez said. “I’m a little banged
up, so I thought it would be best to start getting ready for next
“I happy with the weekend I had. I’m a little sad I wasn’t able to
wrestle (for the championship), but it’s good.”
Jarmillo was also pleased, despite losing 11-3 to Sultana’s Ryan
Fillingame in the 125 final. He also lost to Fillingame last week.
“I’m pretty pleased with the whole weekend,” he said. “I know there
are some things I have to work on, but I will be fine for state.”
Delgado turned in a solid effort to earn his trip to Bakersfield. He
lost in the first round on Friday, but came back to win his final
seven matches to earn third place at heavyweight.<

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