The 37th Annual Newbury Park Invitational will play host to 27 teams from the Los Angeles, Central, Southern, and San Diego Section. The one-day event, which begins on Saturday, regularly ranks among the most competitive high school tournaments in the golden state.
Clovis, Poway, ML King, and San Marcos, will send wrestlers to Newbury Park High. Clovis finished fifth at the state tournament and are the No. 4 rank team in the state according to The California Wrestler. The San Diego area will be well represented with Poway, the No. 6 rank team in California.
As many of them prepare for a big early-season test, here’s a list of some of the top wrestlers competing in the tournament.
Justin Mouritsen, Clovis High, Junior
Mouritsen put together one of the most improbable state-championship runs last season, when he placed fourth at the CIF state tournament after finishing fourth at the central section tournament. Mouritesen was flying under the radar last season, but he won’t have that opportunity this season when everyone will know his name. He will look forward to claiming a second championship title as he was the champion last year at 113-pounds.
Carson Sauriol, Poway High, Senior
A section champion during the 2016-17 season for the Mean Green Machine of Poway, Sauriol is a highly ranked opponent who recently lost a 3-2 match to the top-rated wrestler in California, Antonio Lorenzo of St. John Bosco, a week ago. Now a senior, Sauriol is one of five returning state qualifiers for the always improving Poway wrestling team.
Brandon Paulson, Clovis High, Senior
Clovis High won its 13th state championship in program history in 2015. If the Cougars are to win No. 14 – which would make the most winningest team in the state – Paulson will help them lead the way. He is a returning state place winner as he was sixth in 2017 at 113-pounds. Paulson will be taking his talent next fall to southern California as he has signed to compete for Cal Baptist.
Jason Miranda, Poway High, Junior
Miranda had an excellent regular season that saw him defeated the No. 1 rated wrestler in California in consecutive weeks to earn him the No. 2 seed at the CIF state tournament. Despite not being a state finalist, Miranda was triumphant in placing fifth at the state tournament and being one of the top grapplers for the Titans this year. Miranda currently enters the 2018-19 season as the No. 3 wrestler in California and one of the favorites to win a Newbury Park Invitational championship at 126-pounds.
Giano Petrucelli, Clovis High, Junior
He had one of the most dramatic wins at the Doc Buchanan tournament as he earned the fall over the eventual state champion Max Renteria (Buchanan) in the semifinal round and then went on to defeat 2018 NHSCA Sophomore champion Tristan Lujan of Selma. Petrucelli is a CIF state placer and was the champion in this event in 2017 at 106-pounds.
Aaron Gandara, Poway High, Junior
Aaron Gandara breezed through the Arizona state tournament with a pair of falls, and two consecutive (10-0) major decision wins to become a state champion. The victory – which came one year after he finished second — reduced Gandara to tears afterward. For two years, he hunted a state title. Now that he’s on top, how will Gandara handle everyone gunning for him instead?
Max Anderson, Clovis High, Senior
The Cal Poly recruit will join former Cougar Wyatt Cornelison at San Luis Obispo next fall. He was triumphant last season in placing eight at the state tournament and helped Clovis High placed fifth as a team. Anderson is a two-time Newbury Park Invitational champion as he has won this event at 160-pounds.
Tyler Gianakopulos, Clovis High, Junior
One of Gianakopulos goals was to become a CIF state placer, a goal he achieved last season as he placed seventh at a stacked 171-pound weight class. Now up at 182, Gianakopulos is one of the favorites to claim a state title and become the 26th wrestler in the rich Clovis wrestling tradition to do so. He now has a target on his back as everyone will be gunning for him.
Jacob Good, Clovis High, Senior
The Arizona State recruit had a great month in October that saw him placed fourth at the rugged Super 32 Invitational. Due to his performance, Good, is currently the # 13 ranked wrestler in the country at 195-pounds by FloWrestling. Good is battle tested, and he is back competing at 195 this season, a weight class that he won at the 2017 Newbury Park Invitational.
Andrew Rasmussen, Faith Baptist, Senior
Rasmussen had a tremendous 2017-18 season that saw him placed seventh at the southern section masters meet and advancing to the CIF state tournament. At the state tournament, Rasmussen won three matches in the consolation bracket to finish the event shy of a medal. Rasmussen is a two-time Newbury Park place winner who will be in the hunt to winning the event for the first time this weekend.
Erich Osteen, Chaminade, Senior
Senior Eric Osteen will attempt to claim a Newbury Invitational title for the first time after having finished third at 220-pounds last year, before heading to Brentwood and play football for Chip Kelly and UCLA next fall. Last season, Osteen became the first Chaminade male wrestler to medal at the CIF state tournament as he finished in fifth place.
Andrew Johnson, Poway High, Junior
Only a junior for the Titans, Johnson was successful in claiming a San Diego section championship last year. He enters the 2018-19 season as the No. 4 rated heavyweight in California and a possible medalist for Poway. With Seth Nevills (Clovis) having graduated, Johnson should be the clear favorite to walk away from the Newbury Park gymnasium as the champion.