CHULA VISTA — A grand total of forty-three Imperial Valley wrestlers—culled from the ranks of Brawley Union, Calexico, Central Union, Holtville, Imperial and Southwest highs—passed through the fire of CIF to qualify for Friday’s Masters championships at Eastlake High.
The two-day competition continues and concludes today and will feature 24 grapplers who survived the first round.
Southwest High, unfortunately, was the only local school that failed to qualify for the second day.
Brawley Union is currently sitting at third place behind Poway High and La Costa Canyon of Carlsbad and has the highest number of wrestlers proceeding to the semifinals—six to Central and Holtville’s two.
Brawley’s Vincent Elizalde, a junior who wrestles at 108 pounds and has made the Masters grade for the past three years, is confident going forward.
“I think I’m in the perfect place right now,” he stated. “(My opponent and I) know each other and how we wrestle. I just have to go after him.”
Jose Sandoval, a 222-pounder who has had a dominant senior season for the Vikings thus far, said, “(Friday) went well. I’m gonna have a rematch in the semis. I lost to this guy (from Costa Canyon High) earlier in the year and lost to him by one point, so it’s gonna be a good match. I’ve been training really hard, my coaches have been whipping my butt every day, so I’m ready to wrestle.”
The consolation round is scheduled to begin at 10 this morning, with the semis at 11:30.
State championships are slated for the weekend of March 1-2 at the Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield.