BAKERSFIELD — Capping an impressive end to his sophomore season, Oak Ridge High’s Keaton Subjeck was declared the state’s eighth best 145-pounder after his two-day showing at the CIF State Wrestling Championships at Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield.
The medal earned Subjeck the distinction as the eighth Trojan wrestler in school history to place at the state level. It’s also the third time two or more Oak Ridge wrestlers brought home medals in the same year. Grant Barnes and Matt Diaz were the first pair in 2001, and Vince Waldhauser, Nick Rohrer and Ka’von Tillotson all medaled in 2009.
Subjeck’s medal-winning performance comes a week after a hugh pin of returning state champion David Ferry of Oakdale in the semifinals of the Masters Meet and a day after bouncing Bakersfield’s Coleman Hammond 6-4, who held the state’s top ranking for most of the year. As a state qualifier last year as a freshman, Subjeck was 0-2. Subjeck went 3-2 at Rabobank.
“Last year I was really intimidated so I definitely wanted to return and get a medal,” Subjeck said. “I realized at the Doc B (Buchanan) I could beat anyone if I put my mind to it. Those two wins (Ferry, Hammond) were my two biggest upsets this year. This was my best tournament and I’m really glad I placed.”
Subjeck beat everyone in his early matches Friday, pinning Granada Hills’ Wilber Solares with 16 seconds left in the first period and decisioning Oxnard’s Andrew Gonzalez 7-4. A 6-2 setback to Buchanan’s Damien Arredona stopped his run and forced him to return Saturday in a win-and-place/lose-and-go-home consolation bout.
Against Hammond, ironically the younger brother of Bryce Hammond who defeated Waldhauser for the 160 championship, Subjeck scored a takedown and a three-point near fall in the first period for five big points.
Hammond rallied and almost put Subject to his back but couldn’t turn the Trojan as time ran out. Knowing he had qualified to wrestle in the medal round, Subjeck shot to his feet in excitement.
“I was trying to get up but not let him turn me. I’d been called for stalling earlier so with 10 seconds left and up two (points) — another point (for Hammond) and I’d still win,” Subjeck said.
Subjeck almost won his next bout. Trailing 1-0, he had Edison’s Brenton Visnoski to his back with his coaches anticipating the full near fall points. Instead, Subjeck was only given two for the takedown to take a brief 2-1 lead before Visnoski rolled Subjeck for a reversal with seconds left to get the 3-2 win.
Subjeck lost to Edison’s Devin Poindexter 6-2 in the match for seventh place, scoring his only points with 12 seconds left. Poindexter’s length and style frustrated Subjeck, who couldn’t find a way score on the Edison wrestler.
Overall, Subjeck went 3-3 at Rabobank.
“Keaton had a great tournament — every match was close. He’s had a great run these last two weeks,” Oak Ridge coach Casey Rhyan said. ‘We were trying to stay on our feet and catch him (Poindexter) on his back but he’s a smart wrestler who stayed low and waited for Keaton to shoot to hook the ankle.”