AKRON, Ohio. – Eight wrestlers from the golden state advanced to the semifinal round at the prestigious Walsh Jesuit Ironman tournament. Rancho Bernardo’s Jaden Abas (145), Poway’s Aaron Gandara (152), Blair Academy’s Domonic Mata (160), the dual from Gilroy High Ryan Reyes (195) and Nicholas Villareal (285), and Richard Figueroa (113), Jace Luchau (160), and Christian Rodriguez (170) out of Selma High.
The eight wrestlers navigated through the first day of the nation’s toughest high school tournament to reach the final four in their weight class.
Top-seeded Figueroa pinned No. 5 Colton Drousias (Mt. Carmel, Ill) in 3:10 of their quarterfinal match to advance to the semifinal where he will take on Troy Spratley (Wyoming Seminary, PA). A win by Figueroa will send him to the finals for the opportunity to become the first Selma wrestler to win such a prestigious event.
Third-seeded Abas had an easy time in the quarterfinal round as he was able to obtain a couple of takedowns versus the Ohio state champion Christopher Donathan (Mason) with ease to win 5-1. Abas will take on No. 2 Bryce Andonian (St. Edward, OH) first thing tomorrow morning.
Gandara earned a 9-1 decision over unseeded wrestler Enrique Munguia (Elyria, OH) to advanced to the semifinal round and helped Poway High sit in 11th place. His opponent for tomorrow’s session is top-seeded Brevin Balcemeda (South Dade, FL).
Mata teched his way into the semifinal round as he defeated Tyler Stoltzfus (Saint Joseph`s Catholic, MD) 15-0. Last season, Mata won a CIF state title for Poway High at 152-pounds. His opponent for tomorrow will be Jace Luchau of Selma.
Luchau has elevated his wrestling skills to another level this season, and that was shown today as he defeated Kai Bele (Lake Highland Prep, FL) 4-2.
Teammate Rodriguez was able to advance to the semifinal round as the fifth-seed after knocking out No. 4 Jake Stefanowicz (Wyoming Seminary, PA) 5-3. He will now take on the No. 1 ranked wrestler in the country at 170-pounds in Carson Karchla (Olentangy Liberty, OH). Karchla has not allowed a single point in his three matches and has outscored the competition 45-0.
Reyes defeated National Prep runner-up Mike Doggett (Wyoming Seminary, PA) 3-1 to advance to the semifinal round. His opponent for tomorrow will be Illinois state champion Pete Christensen (Montini Catholic).
His teammate Nicholas Villareal needed the ultimate tie-breaker to get past Johnny Shafer (Graham, OH) in the quarterfinals. The third-seeded Villareal will now take and second-seeded Jonathan Birchmeier, (Broad Run, VA) in the semifinal round.
Poway and St. John Bosco are currently tied in 11th place with 48 points. Selma is in 15th place with 43 points, while Gilroy has 41 points and sits in 17th place.