NAPA — Modesto High freshman Isreal Saavedra already had earned his status as one of the Sac-Joaquin Section's top lightweight wrestlers.
He validated that status Saturday.
Saavedra dominated the 113-pound class en route to the title at the Sac-Joaquin Section Division 1AA Tournament at Vintage High. He went 4-0 thus: Second-round pin, technical fall, first-round pin and a 17-2 tech-fall in the final over Anthony Hernandez of team champion Vacaville.
The top eight in each bracket advanced to the Section Masters next Friday and Saturday in Stockton.
Gregori, the Modesto Metro Conference champion, advanced eight to the Masters and tied for fourth overall. Two Jaguars placed second senior Latrell Benjamin at 152 and sophomore Cadence Mitchell at 126.
Grace Davis senior Levi Kemple also earned runner-up honors at 145. He parlayed a reversal with 10 seconds left to edge Anthony Caito of Gregori 7-6 in a bloody semifinal, but was forced to injury-default the title match to Hayden Fry of Vacaville.
Dean Duivenvoorden (195), slowed by back spasms, injury-defaulted out of his third-place match. That result cost Gregori third place to Rodriguez, and the Jaguars eventually tied for fourth with Will C. Wood.
Downey senior Leo Bracamonte reached the 220-pound final, where he was beaten 4-1 by Josh Winters of Wood.
Placing third were McCoy Kent of Enochs (138), Paul Fagbamilla of Beyer (132) and Jorge Estrada of Beyer (285). Kent, beaten 8-5 in the semifinals by top-ranked Johnny Callas of Nevada Union (a dominant winner in the finals), easily won his final two matches for third.
Division 1A at Pitman
Jason Valdovinos likes the way he's wrestling heading into the biggest tournaments of the season.
The Turlock High senior was one of three Stanislaus District wrestlers to win titles at the Section Division 1A Tournament at Pitman. The top eight advanced to the Masters from the 1A.
Valdovinos defeated Folsom's Carlos Alvarez 4-1 in the 115-pound final.
"This should help get a good seed, which will make it easier at Masters next week," Valdovinos said. "You want to qualify for state. I'm feeling pretty good. I want to go far at Masters."
Valdovinos went into his match against Alvarez blind, having never faced him. However, he overcame some early nerves by building a 4-0 lead with a first-round takedown and a reversal in the second round.
Meanwhile, Merced's Mark Taijeron and Turlock's Isaac Bertalotto went into their 134-pound final well acquainted with each other after squaring off at last week's Central California Conference Championship. The two met for the fourth time this season and it was Taijeron winning 16-8 to improve his record against Bertalotto to 2-2.
"I wanted to prove last week wasn't a fluke," Taijeron said. "It was important for me to show I can compete against state qualifiers."
In another CCC rematch, Turlock's Ricardo Garcia edged Pitman's Nick Roditis 6-5 in the 222-pound final.
Ponderosa campaigned to the team title with 282 points. Turlock took third with 209½.
Division 4 at Los Banos
Oakdale rolled to its seventh straight divisional title with 290 team points, far ahead of runner-up Central Catholic with 158.
The Mustangs advanced all 14 wrestlers and notched seven individual champions Nico Colunga at 106 pounds, Ronnie Stevens at 120, Max Stevens at 126, Tyler Noon at 145, Hondo Arpoika at 195, Zach Fallentine at 220 and Eric Barrigan at heavyweight.
The top four in each division will continue their season next week at the Masters.
"We obviously want to be one of the top teams in our Masters tournament, so we basically need everybody to go through," Oakdale coach Brian Stevens said. "We lost some matches we probably shouldn't have lost, and wrestled some good matches, so we're trying to work hard and peak at the end of the season."
Central Catholic, which had three individual champions at last week's Western Athletic Conference tournament, again put three on top of the medal podium Joey Abbate at 138, Ray Lomas at 160 and Reggie Bland at 182, while advancing six total to the Masters.
Host Los Banos didn't have any individual champions, but moved six wrestlers on to the Masters.
Division 5 at Lindhurst
Escalon vaulted six into the D5 finals, featuring winners Tyler Lawrence (132) and Johnathon Costa (170), but was topped by Calaveras for team honors.
The top four in each bracket qualified for the Masters.
Calaveras was led by champions Justin Brown (160), Noah Shelgren (220) and Jarred Kirk (285). Shelgren outlasted Escalon's Dominic Freesha in four overtimes.
Costa romped over Mat LaBass of Hilmar 15-1 for his title, while Lawrence pinned Wyatt Moreno of Amador in the third round.
Other impressive title-winners included Caleb Storey of Bret Harte (113), Giovanni Murillo of Bret Harte (138), Andrew Patrick of Hughson (145) and Antonio Melo of Hilmar (182).
In an anticipated match of State Meet qualifiers, Trevor Smith of Ripon scored an impressive 11-0 win over Luke Brewer of Bret Harte in the 195-pound final.
Shawn Jansen of the Merced Sun-Star and David Witte of the Los Banos Enterprise contributed to this report.