By Steve Ramirez
BAKERSFIELD - Northview High School assistant wrestling coach Bobby Bellamy felt sophomore Bryan Salinas left a little bit on the table after finishing second during last week’s CIF-Southern Section Masters Meet.
The 145-pound competitor didn’t make the same mistake Friday.
Salinas used a steady effort to march his way to the semifinals to lead area competitors during the first day of the CIF State championships at Rabobank Arena.
The sophomore is one of three locals still in position to earn a top-eight medal and the only one alive for a title. The Chino Hills’ duo of Christian Martin (113) and Brody Goens (182) lost in the quarterfinals and both must win morning matches to advance to the medal rounds.
Northview, which qualified a school-record seven competitors to this event, is just left with Salinas. The Vikings, whose best team finish was fifth in 2006, is ninth after one day with 36 points. Traditional state power Clovis, which has seven in the semifinals, leads with 164.5.
Northview’s Vincent Parra (106), Eric Ochoa (113), Daniel Valles (138), Javier Arellano (152), Steven Lopez (160) and Eddie Bernal (182); Diamond Bar’s Nathan Pike (113); Walnut’s Michael Sill (132); Rosemead’s Alberto Flores (145); South Hills’ Trevor Behr (152) and West Covina’s Brad Ojala (170) lost in consolation and didn’t advance.
The meet concludes today with the consolation fifth round scheduled for 9 a.m. The semifinals are slated to begin at 9:30 am., with the finals at 7:15 p.m.
“It really hasn’t hit me that I’m in the state semifinals,” Salinas said. “I just tried to listen to my coaches and concentrate on each match. It feels good. But I have a big day (today).”
He had a big day Friday.
The sophomore, who didn’t place here last season, was steady. He beat Oakland Castlemont’s Caleb Lottie-Hill by fall (1:11) in the second round before earning a 3-0 decision over Modesto Central Catholic’s Ray Lomas in the third round.
Salinas then capped the day with a 7-4 victory over Healdsburg’s Adam Hendrickson in the quarterfinals. He used a takedown for a 3-1 lead with 1:11 left in the second period, then after Hendrickson closed to within 5-3, Salinas used a takedown with 23 seconds left in the third period to clinch the match.
“The coaches told me to watch out when he takes his shot,” Salinas said. “I saw him take his shot and I was able to counter with my double (move).”
Martin followed up last week’s Masters title with a steady path to the quarterfinals before losing to Central Union’s Micah Perez, 13-4.
“He’s really good,” Martin said. “He did a really good job. He’s shorter than me and that gave him a lower center of gravity. I had to set too low, and didn’t feel very comfortable.”
Perez, ranked No. 3 in the state, led 4-1 after the first period before pushing the advantage to 9-1 after the second period. Martin did get an opening in the third, getting a reverse to cut the deficit to 9-3. But Perez countered the move with his own reverse for an 11-3 lead.
“He was able to slip out and get the reverse,” Martin said. “I just had to stick him there. It was either stick him, or lose on points.”
Martin, ranked No. 6 in the state, advanced to the quarterfinals with decisions over Buchanan’s Jason De La Cruz (5-3) and Amador Valley’s Tommy Yozzo (6-4).
“I really wasn’t pleased with the way I wrestled today,” Martin said. “I don’t think I pushed the pace enough. I have to do that (today).
“This is a lot different than last year. Last year, I was just happy to be here. Now, I have to place.”
Goens must do the same after losing 18-5 to Trevor Smith of Ripon in a 182-pound quarterfinal bout. He had advanced with wins over Carlsbad’s Danny Knox (6-1) and A.B. Miller’s Raymond Sanchez (5-2).
By Steve Ramirez