Council Bluffs, Iowa. – Team California participated this weekend at the always tough Heartland USA National Duals this weekend, for the possibility to be called national champions. A total of 33 teams from across the country competed in the Elementary Division.
During the first day of competition, Team California was positioned in Pool “F” along with teams from Indiana, Idaho, Texas, and Kansas. In the round-robin contest, Team California was flawless as they finished the day with a 4-0 record.
In the first round, they defeated Team Idaho (57-15), followed with an (88-0) trouncing of Kansas Rustlers, then (82-9) over Team Texas Blue, before ending the day with a (51-25) win over Indiana Gold.
Due to their outstanding performance on day one, they were placed in the Diamond bracket along with eight other teams mostly made up from the Mid-West. In the quarterfinal round, Team California routed Team Minnesota Thunder (56-15). The golden state got to the final round after besting Team PA Gold, the runner-up in this event last season, 47-28.
The finals was a seesaw battle with Minnesota Storm as both teams had great grapplers that wrestled well in the 17 contested matches. With one remaining bout in the dual, and down 30-29, Diego Costa became the hero as he pinned Will Sather in 4:16 of their match to seal the victory for Team California; Costa was up 10-3 prior to the fall.
Isaiah Cortez (70), Aden Valencia (80), Jason Mora (90), Thomas Thongseng (112), and Diego Costa (160), wound up undefeated throughout the competition.