Tough day on the mat for Carson wrestlers | NevadaAppeal.com
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Tough day on the mat for Carson wrestlers

Justin Lawson

Although Justin Steele had seen all 13 of his teammates eliminated from championship contention, he paced the side of the mat patiently, as if he had nothing to lose.

But Steele’s patience was countered immediately by Dakota Lawson of East Valley (Wash.).

The Carson High wrestler lasted just 1:22 in the third round of the 189-pound championship bracket Monday at the 34th annual Asics Sierra Nevada Classic at the Reno Livestock Events Center.

“I don’t know, he’s just a beast,” said Steele, who was eliminated in the consolation bracket. “He was good, strong, fast.”

The loss dashed the Senators’ hopes of attaining a championship and left just one wrestler behind for the second day of competition. Doors open at 8 a.m. today, with matches beginning at 9 a.m.

“We started out pretty slow today where we lost quite a few matches that we could have won,” McCarthy said. “We came on good in the middle of the tournament. The later it gets, you’re going to find the tougher kids.”

Carson sits in 32nd place with 55 points after the first day of action. Flathead, Mont., leads the competition with 125.5, followed by Snohomish, Wash., (107.5), Central Catholic of California (105) and Las Vegas’ Bonanza (82.5). Spring Creek had the best first day off all Nothern Nevada schools, finishing 10th (74).

Carson lost nine of 12 matches at one point, but picked up as the rounds went on. Riccardo Ugarte had perhaps the best first day of any Senator, as the 119-pounder went 4-1 after losing his second match of the day.

Ugarte scored a 3-2 win in the waning seconds of his final match of the day. He was down 2-0 going into the third period before scoring his first point on an escape, something he wasn’t able to do in the previous two periods.

“I just knew I needed to get something and I started noticing he was a little tired,” Ugarte said. “I just kept pushing and pushing.”

He scored the final two points on a takedown with just seven seconds remaining. The win helped keep him alive and sent him to the second day. He would have wrestled one more match Monday, but he was held back because the tournament limits contestants to five matches per day.

“He’s wrestling as good as he as all year,” McCarthy said. “He hung on to get a 1-point win. He looked great today.

“Especially in these later rounds, kids’ skill level difference isn’t all that much so a lot of it is just heart and hustle and definitely in that last match he beat the kid on that.”

Although Douglas is ahead of Carson in the team standings (17th), Junior Valleredes picked up a 19-4 win over the Tigers’ Tyler Cook.

The Senators entered the tournament 6-1 in dual meets, but had yet to see the level of competition they have in this tournament. The results haven’t been what McCarthy was hoping for and he said the team still needs some work.

“Some of it’s luck, but some of it’s if they’re ready to go and warmed up right and in the right frame of mind,” McCarthy said. “It’s a big tournament so sometimes you’re not mentally prepared as you want to be.

“It’s an excuse. Everybody’s got them.”