Carson wrestling has solid first day
Todd Banko, Martin Azzam, Junior Valadarez and Garrett Truesdale are all still alive as they led a solid effort for the Carson High wrestling team at the high-powered Las Vegas Holiday Invitational on Friday.
Banko went 3-0 at 125 pounds to advance to the quarterfinals and is still alive to take the title. Azzam (152), Valadarez (160) and Truesdale (215) all went 3-1 and are still alive for third.
There are 72 teams from across the West Coast in the tournament. The event also features a school from Pennsylvania and a school from Alaska.
Buchanan High of Clovis, Calif., is in first place while Carson, with 10 wrestlers, finished in the top 25 after the first day. “It’s a very solid tournament,” Carson coach Tyson Thivierge said.
Carson will look to have a much better effort today in the final day of the event after struggling on the final day of last week’s Zinkin Invitational in Clovis, Calif. The Senators went 0-10 on the second day of that event.
But Thivierge said his team looks much better than it did last weekend. “The kids have been very intense down here, back to the style of wrestling we had last year,” said Thivierge, commenting on last season’s team that won the Northern 4A title.
Thivierge said that all four of his wrestlers who are still alive look outstanding. He also said Banko looks determined to rebound from what happened last weekend when he settled for sixth after making the semifinals.
“Todd’s looking incredible right now,” Thivierge said. “He stepped up since last weekend.”
Two other wrestlers also nearly made it to the second day. Nick Schlager went 3-2 at 112, losing a close match in his final match on Friday to be eliminated.
Trent Simpson went 2-2, losing his final match 1-0 to be eliminated. Ricky Urgarte, who is wrestling up from 112 at 119, wrestled tough against bigger opponents, Thivierge said, going 2-2.
Adam Welch went 1-2 at 130. Carson’s other two wrestlers, Patrick Craugh at 103 and Caleb Jeffers at 171, both received brutal draws and went 0-2. Both wrestlers will receive three matches in the hard luck tournament today.
Carson was also without one of its top wrestlers in Aaron Jolcover. Thivierge said Jolcover is sitting out with a minor illness, but will be ready to go next week at 135 in the Sierra Nevada Classic.