Six head to state as Valley stands tall at Masters wrestling tournament
The Brawley Union High wrestling team finished second at the CIF Masters tournament Saturday in Chula Vista. Members of the team hold up a ¿b¿ to signify Brawley.
For the past three years Brawley wrestler Arthur Carmona has been a place away from making it to the state meet as he finished in fourth place as a freshman, sophomore and junior.
“Knowing this tournament is the last of your season and having to go home knowing you were a minute away from state is horrible,” the 18-year-old senior Carmona said. “I can’t explain it … it broke my heart for three years and I couldn’t let it happen this year.”
Carmona lost in the semifinals and again his state fate came down to the third and fourth place match setting up another make-or-break moment.
Carmona didn’t break.
The 122-pound senior pinned his opponent a minute into the first round guaranteeing him his first and last trip to the state meet.
“I pinned him.” Carmona said full of excitement. I went out like an animal with nothing to lose because for me I had nothing to lose.
“It felt so great I was so happy and then I started to cry I just can’t explain that feeling … I guess being patient pays off.”
Carmona will be joining his two teammates, Vinny Elizalde who took second at 108 and Lonzie Osuna who finished in third in the 128-pound class.
The Spartans had the only champion of the night as Micah Perez won his second consecutive Masters title, this year at 115.
“I never really look at being the best in the section I look at being the best in the state or in the nation. I set little goals that kind of serve as a pacemaker telling me I’m wrestling the way I should be at certain points of the season.” Perez said. “Tonight’s win just showed me that I’m where I need to be as I’m striving towards the bigger goal of being a state champion.”
Perez will be joined at state by his brother, Antonio Perez, who took second at 134 and Josh McFadden, who took second at 173.
The six mentioned are the only Imperial Valley wrestlers that will be traveling to compete at the state championships Friday in Bakersfield
However, the rest of the Valley was still represented well at Masters, with 13 placers.
“I think the Brawley kids turned it up this weekend from last weekend and wrestled hard all weekend. For that they were awarded second place behind Poway and I’ll take that.” Brawley head coach Tony Leon said. “We had a few kids from the Valley in the second day of competition and a couple that were able to place and it’s good to see that the local competition is getting better and that as a valley we matter in San Diego Section.”
Look in SCOREBOARD for all placers.