No. 10 Poway dominant on way to championship of the 10th annual Battle for the Belt

In a field of almost 80 schools, including four ranked among the InterMat Fab50 top high school teams, it was No. 10 Poway that dominated the proceedings at Temecula Valley (Calif.) High School this weekend. The Titans put a tournament high ten weight classes on the podium, including three champions, to amass 291.5 points.

Those winning gold for Poway were Jacob Allen (120), Dominic Mata (152), and Nathan Tausch (182). Allen upset No. 6 Nico Aguilar (Gilroy) 5-3 in overtime the semifinal round before beating fellow returning state medalist Cole Reyes (Bakersfield Frontier) 5-3 in the final. Mata upended fellow top 30 overall sophomore Aaron Gandara (Cibola, Ariz.) 4-2 in his finals bout. Tausch earned a 22-10 major decision in his final over 2016 state champion Garrett Niel (Pine Creek, Colo.)

Two other wrestlers reached the final, No. 12 Chase Zollman (132) and Jason Miranda (113); it should be noted that Miranda is the Poway backup to returning state placer Carson Saurol, who placed fifth in this bracket.

Finishing second in the standings was No. 17 Gilroy with 245.5 points on the back of seven placers, all of whom were within the top three, including weight class champions Jayden Gomez (106) and No. 16 Alex Felix (138). A pair finished as runners-up, Chase Saldate (126) and No. 12 Tony Andrade. In addition to the three that took bronze, there was an eighth medalist, backup 126 pound wrestler Victor Jacinto finishing in fifth.

Third place in the tournament standings went to No. 20 Oakdale, who had seven placers of their own but just 209.5 points. Their lone champion was No. 6 Colbey Harlan (195), who beat Andrdade 5-1 in the final. Ricky Torres (138) was the lone runner-up.

The fourth ranked team in the field, No. 44 St. John Bosco, finished fourth with 147 points and also seven placers. A pair of Braves won titles, No. 8 Antonio Lorenzo (113) and No. 18 Cleveland Belton (126). Absent from their lineup was No. 7 Isaac Salas (106), though his backup placed sixth, along with Super 32 placer Christian Nunez (120) and state qualifier David Aranda (220).

Santiago Corona had a pair of champions in No. 4 Jesse Vasquez (132) and No. 18 (at 152) Joshua Kim (160). Vasquez beat No. 12 Chase Zollman 9-3 in the final, while Kim had five pins and a technical fall in his six matches this tournament.

Two additional nationally ranked wrestlers won titles, No. 18 Joey Mazzara (Bishop Gorman, Nev.) at 170 pounds and No. 15 Victor Jacquez (Bellarmine Prep) at 220, while the tournament's other two champions each beat a nationally ranked wrestler in their championship match; Peyton Omania (de la Salle) knocked off No. 16 Lawrence Saenz (Vacaville) 6-4 at 145, while Tommy Mommer (Cibola, Ariz.) beat No. 9 Jake Levengood (Vacaville) 4-0 at 285.


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