The Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Wrestling Championships, the premier wrestling event each year in the valley, breaks down to 14 separate competitions.
It's 32 qualifiers in each of the 14 weight classes, all with the same goal — place in the top seven and advance to the State Championships next week at Bakersfield.
Action begins at 9 a.m. both today at Saturday at Stockton Arena, with the all-important finals kicking in Saturday at about 3:30.
Here's a bracket-by-bracket breakdown:
103 — Underclassmen outnumber the upperclassmen, which is no surprise here. Connor Pollock of Folsom, a sophomore, is ranked No. 1 in the section, but freshman Kasey Klaus of Vacaville, ranked No. 2, comes from a talented wrestling family. Garrett Fortado of Turlock and Kendal Klette of Los Banos will figure seriously. The X-factor: Beyer's Jake Congleton was ranked No. 1 in the section until he left the team earlier this month.
112 — This is the class Turlock's Brandon Egleston vacated. Martin Ramirez of Elk Grove, who has dropped from 119 this season, pinned No. 2-ranked Wyatt Casey of Oakdale in last year's Masters quarterfinals. The X-factor: West's Justin Martin Del Campo, who defeated Golden Valley's Ben Weber 12-4 in the Division 1 South finals.
119 — Fabian Garcia of Turlock, the defending Masters champion, leads the bracket with the most ranked wrestlers. Garcia is No. 4 in the state, senior Isaiah Hurtado of Sheldon is No. 7 and Jacob Purdy of Nevada Union is No. 8. The X-factor: The season-long rivalry between Escalon's Christian Franks and Central Catholic's Tanner Feuerstein. Franks won last week at the Division 5 finals.
125 — Cody Tow of Union Mine won the section title as a freshman two years ago at 125 and was third last year. Oakdale's Shane Tate beat Tow in last year's Masters semifinals. Egleston (35-2) has jumped two weight classes and has performed brilliantly in Garcia's shadow. Derreck Avila of Pitman upset Jose Gloria of Stagg last week. Beware of two experienced seniors: Steven Widmer of Central Catholic and Marco Castaneda of East Union. The X-factor: Ceres senior Curtis Hulstine, who's lost only three times, all three to top-tier wrestlers.
130 — Tate beat Central Catholic's David Ferry and Tow back-to-back to win the 125-pound section title in 2009. Aaron Ceballos of McNair, ranked second in the section behind Tate, edged No. 3 Dalton Metivier of Lincoln 6-5 in the most competitive Division 1 South final last week. The X-factor: Sierra Foothill League trio Jake Elliott of Oakmont, Dylan Jankovich of Roseville and Austin Branum of Del Oro.
135 — Ferry is ranked No. 1 in the section and No. 4 in the state, but the section's No. 3-ranked Andrew Perez of Pitman is a former teammate of Ferry's at Central Catholic. Both won their respective section divisionals last week. Nazier Razooli of Whitney and Perez could meet in the semifinals. The X-factor: Jennifer Page of Bella Vista, the only girl in the tournament.
140 — Jake Briggs of Bella Vista, a senior, tops both section and state rankings. The North dominates this class. Central Catholic senior Kris Zizzo finished third last week at Hilmar, thus guaranteeing him a tough draw. He runs into Jesse Routsong of Ponderosa in the first round and, potentially, Briggs in the second. The X-factor: Sonora senior Adam Hammerbeck, ranked eighth but a winner last week at Division 4.
145 — Tyler Johnson of Vacaville and Briggs are the competition's only wrestlers ranked No. 1 in the state. Greg Hartman of Los Banos and Johnson could collide in the semifinals. A healthy contingent of locals, including Hartman, Carson Gracia of Summerville and Tony Spinella of Ceres could threaten. The X-factor:
No. 2-ranked Tyler Brown of Calaveras, who beat Gracia at the Division 5 finals 4-2.
152 — Jesse Stafford of Del Oro, a senior ranked No. 2 in the state, placed fourth last year in a loaded 140s bracket. Go figure: Oakdale's Trent Noon is ranked higher in the section (No. 2) but No. 3 Jim Wilson of McNair is ranked higher in the state. Noon and Wilson are possible semifinal combatants. The X-factor: Central Catholic's Ben Martinez, who could face Stafford in the semifinals.
160 — Vince Waldhauser of Oak Ridge, No. 1 in the section, is No. 5 in the state. Keep an eye on Kevin Butler of Oakdale and senior Gabe Gonzalez of Grace Davis, who won their respective divisionals and are finishing strong. The X-factor: Waterford senior Erick Gomez, a small-schools talent who could run into Gonzalez in the quarterfinals.
171 — Hudson Buck of Vacaville, a sophomore, and A.C. Brown of Oakdale, a junior, appear to be the bracket's best. Buck was second in the section last year at 171, while Brown was fourth at 160. Brown beat No. 3 Austin Wilson of Mesa Verde at the Division 4 final. Alex Nuanez of Sierra placed third last week at Division 4. The X-factor: No. 6 Dillon Fader of Folsom, who placed fifth at the Division 1 North despite a flu bug.
189 — Adam Delagarza of Vacaville, the 160s section champion and third in the state a year ago, is unbeaten, but he's ranked No. 2 in the section behind football star Lyndell Scarr of Ponderosa. Josh Lewis of Benicia is a logical third behind these standouts, but will Dahlton Brown of Argonaut and Pitman senior Gustavo Verver join the other four qualifiers? The X-factor: Brandon Williams of Escalon, whose draw is difficult after a third place last week at Division 5.
215 — Top-ranked Charlie Gilstrap of Oakdale and No. 2 Ben Holmes of Vacaville are there for a reason. Gilstrap is fifth in the state and Holmes is sixth. Gilstrap won the section last year while Holmes was fourth. The X-factor: Grace Davis senior Jacob Hill, who missed some of the season due to injuries, must slog uphill after a fourth place last week at Lincoln. He could meet Division 5 champion Gary Gellerman of Calaveras in the second round.
275 — Peter Anguiano of Franklin of Elk Grove, No. 4 in the state, tops a list dominated by the North. The best from the South is No. 6-ranked Chris Serna of Argonaut. Anguiano and No. 3 Lefi Letuigasenoa of Elk Grove have waged a healthy Delta Valley Conference rivalry. Daniel Gusev of Center is No. 2 in the section and No. 5 in the state. The X-factor: Pitman senior Pablo Guerrero, the Division 1 South champion, is ticketed for a second-round match against Andrew Fuimaonoa of Armjio.
Bee staff writer Ron Agostini can be reached at 578-2302 or email@example.com.