ROCHESTER, Minn. — Statement made.
The Vacaville High wrestling team opened The Clash National Duals tournament with a 2-1 record in Bracket A and finished third, Friday, moving into Saturday’s championship bracket.
Only four teams advance to the finals bracket, assuring the Bulldogs of at least a fourth-place finish.
Vacaville opened the prestigious tournament with a convincing 41-24 win over Totino-Grace, of Fridley, Minn., the second ranked Minnesota team in Class 2A.
The Bulldogs opened a 25-0 lead behind pins by Anthony Hernandez (126 pounds), Bobby Ehman (132) and Hayden Fry (145), along with a 7-3 victory by Eric Udall (138) and a 13-3 major decision by Quintin Cardoza (152).
Jesse Johnson then lost a close 4-3 decision at 160 pounds before Cole Tiggert recorded a pin in 2 minutes, 57 seconds to up the lead to 31-3.
Vacaville lost the next four matches before Jordan Aquino (106) won a 12-0 major decision. The Bulldogs’ other victory in their team win was a 22-second pin by 2013 state runner-up Gionn Peralta (120).
One of the best matches was a Vacaville loss, where Jeremy Sweany (195), the No. 1 ranked wrestler in California, fell 7-4 to Totino-Grace’s Lance Benick, the No. 1 ranked wrestler in the country.
The Bulldogs then fell into the third-place match after a 49-19 loss to Bettendorf, the No. 1 ranked team in Iowa.
Vacaville fell behind 33-0 before Steven Gomez (195) won an 8-0 major decision before Sweany won his 220-pound match by forfeit. Bettendorf took the next two matches before the Bulldogs’ Peralta prevailed 6-4 and Hernandez won by fall in 1:20.
Bettendorf eventually fell to Oak Park-River Forest of Illinois 53-12 in the Bracket A championship.
Vacaville bounced back to claim the third-place dual with a 43-24 win over Mediapolis, a Top-25 ranked team from Iowa.
Mediapolis won four of the first six matches to grab a 21-7 lead, but the Bulldogs closed with six of the last seven victories – all pins – to seal the win and a spot in the championship bracket.
Winning by pin for Vacaville in the third-place match were Sweany (0:22), Mike McCauley (1:25), Aquino (1:57), Peralta (1:15), Hernandez (5:48) and Ehman (1:12).
Other winners in the final match of the day were Fry (6-1) and Tigert (16-7).