RENO — Two wrestlers placed in the top three as the Greenwave came in 21st on Wednesday in the two-day Sierra Nevada Classic at the Reno Livestock Events Center.
Trae Workman (152 pounds) dropped a close 5-3 decision in the championship, while teammate Sam Goings (160) fell in the semifinals but battled through the back end of the consolation bracket to take third.
“Sam and Trae have been dominate all year,” first-year coach Trevor de Braga said. “No matter how well you wrestle, there’s always someone out there that is tougher.”
Although Fallon finished 106.5 points behind the champion, Servite (Calif.), the Greenwave placed sixth among Nevada schools, including second in the Division I-A field. Carson finished with 125.5 points for ninth place overall while Spring Creek was 12th with 115. Fallon scored 89.5 points while powerhouse Lowry came in 27th with 83.
“One thing we have to do as a team is finish and win those tough, close matches,” said de Braga, who brought on three younger wrestlers from junior varsity. “We’re right there with the tough kids but we have to get over that little hump to pull out that big W.”
The Greenwave will be back on the mat almost immediately when they travel to Sparks for the Sparks Invitational on Saturday. Fallon will travel to Douglas next week before journeying northeast to Spring Creek Jan. 15-16.
Workman won by either pinfall or technical fall in his first five bouts to reach the championship bracket’s semifinal where he found himself in a three-period battle with Grant Pass’ Trajan Hurd. Workman outlasted Hurd with a 4-2 win to put him into the title bout against Vista Murrieta’s (Calif.) Anthony Orozco.
Workman opened the tournament on Tuesday with a first-period pin over Terra Linda’s Evan Gabbard and then took down Lassen’s Isaiah Lopez with a pin at the 2-minute, 31-second mark. Workman proceeded to defeat Wooster’s Christian Hanly by technical fall (18-1) and then pinned Division I-A foe Giovanni Piroddi of Fernley with a pin in the second period.
Goings, like Workman, opened the tournament strong but ran into a tough stretch that began in the quarterfinals. Nevertheless, Goings battled through the consolation bracket to score a 13-8 win over Servite’s Angel Cordova to take third.
Goings defeated Oakdale’s (Calif.) Colbey Harlan in sudden death (5-3) of the championship quarterfinals but was pinned one minute into the semifinal match against Marshfield’s (Ore.) Travis Wittlake. Goings, though, bounced back with a pin over Folsom’s (Calif.) Jason Bergguist in the consolation semifinal. Goings opened Tuesday’s action with pins over Ukiah’s (Calif.) Francisco Noriega and Rancho Bernardo’s (Calif.) Alex Florey before a major decision (13-0) victory over Hanford’s Colbey Harlan.
“We won a bunch of tough matches but the ones we lost, we have to find a way to win,” de Braga said. “When time gets close to an end, we have to get that fire in our eyes and push harder past that exhaustion and win the match.”
Matt Goings (160) picked up four wins in the tournament and came one win away from reaching the consolation semifinals. Goings opened with a pin in the preliminary round before being dropped to the consolation bracket when Buhach County’s (Calif.) Ben Moran scored a 1-0 decision. Goings, though, won three straight decisions over Braeden Silvers (Capital City, Idaho), Hunter Lucas (West Salem, Ore.) and Ted Sutters (Grants Pass). Spanish Springs’ Jacob Dye ended Goings’ run with a second-period pin.
Dylan McAfee (126) finished with a 3-2 record after opening the tournament with a pin over Grace Davis’ Julian Galvan in the second period. Bellarmine Prep’s (Calif.) Isaiah Palomino’s pin over McAfee sent the Fallon wrestler into the consolation bracket before he was able to win two straight bouts. McAfee pinned Yerington’s Scott Spurlock and Servite’s Brent Reed but lost to Spanish Springs’ Reece Masset to end his tournament run.
Sean McCormick (132) also finished 3-2 in the tournament after defeating Carson’s Nathan Mersino on Tuesday. McCormick, though, was pinned in his next match but pinned Douglas’ Mason Melhus and Hanford’s (Calif.) Jeronimo Cardoso in the consolation bracket. The freshman wrestler was shut out in a 4-0 decision to end his day.
Jack Swisher (145) came one win away from reaching the championship quarterfinal after being bounced by Shadow Ridge’s (Nev.) Jamison Rand, 14-9. Swisher, who pinned his first two opponents, pinned McNary’s (Ore.) Wyatt Kesler with four seconds left in the first period. Swisher, though, lost a heartbreaker, 4-3, to Pitman’s (Calif.) Isaiah Perez.
“It was good to see those kids wrestling better and better each tournament,“ de Braga said of Matt Goings, Swisher and McAfee.
Blane Aicher (138) opened Tuesday’s preliminary round with a 17-3 major decision over Mazama’s (Ore.) Caleb Shadley but lost his next two bouts, both by pinfall. Bryson Abe (170) and Kobe Abe (285) each finished 1-2 with both loses coming by pin for Bryson Abe. Kobe Abe was pinned in the championship second round before dropping a 6-0 decision to Pitman’s Julien Barrera in the consolation.
Leo Aicher (145) lost both of his matches against Tempe and Spanish Springs. Kendall Rodgers (152) lost his only two bouts to Escalon (Calif.) and Pitman.
“We have a lot of time to improve and take a bunch to state and compete for a team state title,” de Braga said. “All these matches leading to regionals and state is just mat time to make us better for those two end-of-the-year tournaments.”