SHINGLE SPRINGS — Twenty-one El Dorado County wrestlers qualified for this weekend’s Sac-Joaquin Masters tournament after two days of Division I wrestling at Ponderosa High Friday and Saturday.
Oak Ridge’s Keaton Subjeck is the lone champion of the 21. He needed just 38 seconds to drop Franklin’s DJ Harper to his back and pin him in the 162-pound championship match Saturday afternoon.
Subjeck, who is ranked fifth in the state, extended his win streak against California wrestlers to 41. His only loss this year was against an Oregon grappler.
“I felt confident — I knew I could beat him but I didn’t expect to put him away like that,” Subjeck said. “I took him down with an arm bar and used a head and arm to pin him. This is what the season is all about. I love this time of year, the postseason.”
Along with a gold medal, Subjeck will have top seeding in the Masters, the final stop before the CIF State Tournament in Bakersfield. After a bye in the divisional’s first round, Subjeck ripped through his opponents with falls in each of his matches. He is one of 11 Trojans who qualified for the Masters.
“We’ve never taken 11 to Masters in Oak Ridge history,” Trojan coach Casey Rhyan said. “The kids have worked hard and are confident. They are fighting hard in every match.”
As a team Oak Ridge took fourth behind Vacaville, Elk Grove and Folsom. Ponderosa, which finished fifth, will send 10 to Stockton this weekend.
“We’re a young team this year so getting 10 to Masters is good for us,” Bruin coach Tyson Escobar said. “All the tournaments we’ve been to have prepared us and now we’ll work to get as many to state as we can. I’m excited.”
The Bruins had three wrestlers in the championship round; Oak Ridge had two. Trojan senior Taylor Ellerman (140) had a bye before pinning his first opponent. He won a 9-4 decision in the semifinal round but ran into Vacaville’s Zach Dawson and lost a 9-0 major decision to take second.
“Taylor did a great job this weekend,” Rhyan said. “He had a super tournament.”
Ponderosa senior Sean Melton (128) faced Folsom’s Connor Pollock in the championship final and lost to the Bulldog for the second time in a week, falling 7-2. Nick Troquato, a 172-pound junior, fought Elk Grove’s Scott Votino to a 0-0 tie after two periods. But with Votino up 3-1 in the third, Troquato reversed and tried to take Votino down with a high crotch. He couldn’t hold it and settled for second with a 3-2 decision.
Senior Jacob Richards (184) lost a 5-2 battle to Vacaville’s Chris Lai, scoring his two points with a reversal with 38 seconds left in their bout.
Bruins Jorden Marinelli (197) and Jeff Camilli (287) both won their last match of the tournament to finish third. Marinelli’s reversal and two-point near fall with 34 seconds left in the second period were all the points he would need to win. Up 4-2, Marinelli rode Elk Grove’s Ryan Ludwig for most of the third period before Ludwig managed a late escape.
In a defensive match from the opening whistle, Camilli clung to a slim 2-1 lead as time ran down in his match with Sheldon’s Sam Alnassiri. His late escape forced the match into overtime but Camilli ended it with a takedown.
“He tried to throw me and I haven’t been thrown since my last match last year at Masters,” Camilli said. “I wasn’t going to let that happen and I basically just fell on him.”
Two Oak Ridge wrestlers, Cameron Miller (134) and Zach Claiborne (184), qualified in fourth place. Trojans Trey Reese (128), Preston Dean (197) and Xavier Lopez (222), along with Bruin freshman Jacob Gonzales (115) and sophomore teammate Trae Providence (147), won their final bouts to take fifth.
Oak Ridge advanced three wrestlers in sixth: second-year wrestler, Andrew Gularte (122); freshman Josh Ploke (108), who gives up more than 10 pounds to his opponents; and Hugh Ellerman (172), who injured a knee last week and despite wrestling primarily on one leg, qualified for Masters.
Ponderosa sophomore Christian Canepa (134) went out a winner and will move on in seventh. Rounding out the list of medalists are Bruins Jacob Garcia (122) and Henry Sharoyan (222), along with Trojan Jacob Proul (287), who all took eighth.