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Local mat men compete at Jason White Tournament
23 schools converge on Lindhurst High
After finishing a close second at a pair of tournaments already this season, Lindhurst High sophomore Edgar Rivera was ready to finish things off and finally hang that gold medal around his neck the third time around.
As it turns out, all he needed was a little home cooking .
Wrestling at home in front of his family and friends on Saturday afternoon, Rivera went a perfect 3-0 to take first place in the 163-pound division at the 14th annual Jason White Memorial in Olivehurst.
The tournament championship was a long time coming for Rivera, whom Blazer coach Rob Taylor jokingly called a "bridesmaid" after coming up just short twice earlier this year.
This time, he wouldn't be denied.
"My finals at the other two tournaments were close," Rivera said. "The home advantage definitely worked for me today because my dad was here. It was the first time he's seen me wrestle all year."
Along with Rivera, three other Mid-Valley competitors took first at the highly-competitive, 23-team tournament.
Putting in one of the more dominant performances of the day was Wheatland 173-pounder Kalan Hastey, who rolled to a perfect 4-0 record with four pins en route to a first-place finish.
Like Rivera, Hastey's tournament title was his first of the year, and he made it look rather easy in the process.
"I felt great today. I was on fire early and just kept it going," Hastey said. "I didn't realize it, but I never went to the third round all day. I either pinned them in the first or second round, so it feels great."
Also helping the cause for the Pirates was Andrew Gonzales, who went 3-0 with three pins to win the 223-pound bracket.
"I've got to thank my coaches for pushing me," said Gonzales, who placed second at the Christopher Savedra Memorial in Wheatland last month. "We've been pushing each other hard at practice and today it paid off."
Wheatland went on to finish second as a team behind Vacaville. Austin Shinn (141) lost a narrow decision in the finals to take second, Mikey Hawkins (155) took third and Ryan Franken (123) placed fourth for the Pirates.
The other local grappler to take first was Lindhurst junior Thongsai Thanadabouth, who compiled a 4-0 mark with three pins at 109 pounds.
Thanadabouth took an 8-3 lead into the third period in the finals, and although he suffered a busted lip midway through the round, he was able to finish off his opponent with a pin to claim the victory.
"I just kept wrestling. There's no quit, especially with a little scratch like this," Thanadabouth said, pointing to his bloody lip. "When you wrestle, you don't let a little boo-boo stop you. You just keep going."
Jesus Yanez (135) tied for third, Justin Martinez (288) took fourth and Jessie Ramirez (148) placed seventh for the Blazers, who went on to finish sixth as a team.
Also turning in strong performances were Yuba City freshman Mansoor Ahmadi (116) and junior Westley McMahon (185), both of whom took second to lead the Honkers to an eighth-place finish at the tournament.
Sophomore Isaac Bishop (123) and junior Thomas Bishop (141) both placed fifth, junior Chandler Wilkerson (163) was sixth and junior Cody McMahon (173) took seventh for Yuba City.
River Valley standout Jordan Davis cruised to three straight victories before dropping a close decision in the 185-pound final to finish second.
Logan Morace (170) placed fourth, Carlos Robles (115) was fifth and Austin Potts finish eighth to round out the top performers for the Falcons.
David Wright took fifth in the 198-pound bracket for Marysville.