SACRAMENTO — Two El Dorado County wrestlers were champions at the close of the 19th annual two-day Tim Brown Memorial Tournament sponsored by Foothill High School this weekend.
The tournament, which attracts around 800 of the top wrestlers in Northern California, is generally considered the precursor to February’s post season tournaments as athletes battle for berths in the CIF State Wrestling Championships.
Union Mine’s Cody Tow, 130 pounds, a three-time state medalist and ranked second in the state, and the state’s No. 2 at 160 pounds, Oak Ridge’s Vince Waldhauser, both added to their lists of tournament victories this year.
Tow upped his record to 22-0 with a close 3-2 victory over Turlock’s Brandon Egleston. Battling a virus, Tow drew byes in his first two matches before winning the next three with a 19-3 technical fall, a 13-2 major decision and a third-period pin.
Egleston spent much of the match backing away from Tow’s attempts to take him down but Tow scored a takedown with 15 seconds left in the second period and escaped from the down position in the third to go up 3-0. Egleston reversed with six seconds left to get within one but couldn’t capitalize and settled for second.
“It was fun to win this. It’s kind of a fast forward to the playoffs,” said Tow, who took fourth as a freshman and third the last two seasons. “I wasn’t thinking about my cold; this was the best I’ve wrestled all year. I would have liked to open him up and score more points. He didn’t really do much — I wish I hadn’t given up the reversal but now I know what things I need to work on.”
“In my six years at Union Mine I’ve never had a wrestler in the finals,” Diamondback coach Tim Brown said. “This was a good tournament for us; almost everyone won a match and we had four make it to the second day — more kids going deeper in the tournament.”
Waldhauser, who took second at state last year, pinned his first two opponents, earned an 11-0 major decision, and pinned Drake Dorowski in the semis to meet the state’s No. 3-ranked wrestler, McNair’s James Wilson.
The championship match turned into a defensive battle of wills that remained scoreless until Waldhauser escaped from the down position with 30 seconds left in the third period.
The two locked up again and in the scramble Wilson nearly scored a takedown for the win but time ran out.
“I felt like I controlled him the whole match and I had a couple good shots in on him but I should have scored more points,” said Waldhauser, who erased the memories of a heartbreaking loss in the tournament last year. “But what he did was a good scramble technique — I’d go in on his legs and he’d grab my ankle and hold on until the refs called a stalemate. He was strong.”
Wrestlers who lose one match face a tough go, wrestling every round to either stay alive in a tournament or to determine what place they will end up going for. Ponderosa’s Eric Greybill (112) and Trojan Keaton Subjeck (145) both battled back from losses in the quarterfinals to take third.
Greybill, whose only loss was to a defending state champion, defeated Liberty High’s Austin Solari 4-1 in the finals, using a cradle to jump into the lead with a three-point near fall in the second period and escaping in the third.
Subjeck’s 9-2 quarterfinal loss was also against a returning champion. “It was closer than the score shows,” he said. “I had him in a double leg twice for takedowns but the refs ruled us out of bounds.”
Subjeck, who was sixth last year, dominated in the finals with a 10-1 major decision over Foothill’s Jonathan Poston.
“He’s a tough kid,” Oak Ridge coach Casey Rhyan said. “Keaton works hard, does morning workouts and it’s showing. He’s wrestling great.”
Six Bruins medaled. Along with Greybill, Tim Ditrich (125) took fourth, Allen Emmons (160) was fifth, and Christian Canepa (135) and Sean Melton (130) both finished eighth. Riley Nooner (285) pinned the state’s No. 1-ranked Gavin Andrews of Granite Bay, but dropped into consolation with a loss in the next round in which he injured his neck. He forfeited his last match to take sixth.
“The kids wrestled really well,” Ponderosa coach Tyson Escobar said. “We had six placers. I’m happy with how hard they worked and how we did.”
Union Mine’s Mitch Woods took seventh with a marathon quadruple overtime 4-3 win over Chester’s Westley Ruffer, who tied it with 69 seconds left in the match. After neither scored in a one-minute period and two 30 second periods, Woods chose down for the fourth sudden-death overtime period and escaped for the win.