Mater Dei’s Beristain overcomes adversity and gains a wrestling scholarship to Cal Poly


Since his first competition during his youth days, Uriel Beristain coaches knew he was going to be special as he displayed courage and excellent mat awareness on the mats. During his freshman season, Beristain qualified to the CIF state tournament after placing second at the San Diego Masters Meet tournament at 170-pounds for Olympian High.

Beristain, at last, had made his dream of advancing to the CIF state tournament a reality. However, he knew that for him to become an elite level wrestler, he must begin training in a better more suitable room with wrestlers of the same level as him, or even better.

That’s when he decided to transfer to Mater Dei Catholic and join UTB (Unleash The Beast), a newly formed club coached by Brett Sanchez and Justin Martin. Beristain’s decision to move to Mater Dei Catholic came with controversy as many coaches opposed his move. Many discontented coaches protested, and the San Diego CIF office ruled the move athletically motivated. Beristain wasn’t granted access to compete during the 2015-16 season and missed his entire sophomore year.

During the off-season, he competed in various in-state and national tournaments to keep fit and stay on top of his game. During his junior campaign, he won an SD-Division IV and Masters Meet championship to advance to his second CIF state tournament. The outcome wasn’t what he was expecting. Nevertheless, it let the rest of the state known that he was a man on a mission ready to do some severe damage during his senior season.

He was having a tremendous senior season, as he won El Cajon Invitational and placed sixth at the always tough Doc Buchanan tournament. However, during the Battle for the Belt tournament at Temecula Valley High, in January, Beristain injured his knee that cost him not just defaulting from the competition, but also from the rest of the season.

His dream of becoming a CIF state champion was gone with the wind. Nevertheless, his reputation was already made, and the Cal Poly coaches took notice of it as they recently offered him a wrestling scholarship which Beristain accepted during the weekend. He is projected to take over the 174-pound role once he gets to put on a Mustang uniform.

But more than anything, the work ethic he possesses have set him apart and continues to be an example for the rest of a rising team.

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