Schenectady, NY – A slew of California wrestlers made the 2,915-mile trip to Schenectady, New York, to compete in the always tough Journeymen Wrestling Classic inside the Union College Memorial Field House.
After a rugged day of competition during the weekend, California earned six medals as Jaden Le (Rancho Bernardo) and Cael Valencia of Sunkist Kids Monster Garage claim individual titles in the event.
Despite the season being weeks away, these wrestlers that competed and earn a spot on the podium, seem to be poised and ready to challenge for individual state titles during the 2019-20 season.
Le, a senior, won the 145-pound bracket by defeating Pennsylvania wrestler Jackson Gray 10-3 in the championship finals. The lone California representative in the bracket, Le won Pool I by going 5-0 with his closest match being an 8-5 win over two-time New Jersey state qualifier Tyler Zimmerman. It was Le’s second attempt at winning the Journeyman Wrestling Classic championship as he was the runner-up last year at 140-pounds.
Cale Valencia, a Junior at St. John Bosco, won the 160-weight class by defeating two-time Pennsylvania state champion Thayne Lawrence 7-2. Valencia completed the event with a 6-0 record and outscoring the opposition 37-7. A California state runner-up, Valencia is becoming one of the top wrestlers in the country as he has been ranked as high as top 10 throughout several respective wrestling rankings.
The last finalists for California were Timothy Levine of Sunkist Kids Monster Garage at 130-pounds. Levine looked good during pool competition as he claimed three victories with his closest one being a 6-3 defeat over New York state qualifier George Oroudjov. In the semifinal round, Levine was successful in defeating two-time Pennsylvania state place winner Matt Sarbo 5-1 to advance to the championship round. The finals weren’t too kind to Levine as he lost via a 12-2 major decision by two-time Pennsylvania state qualifier Patrick Noonan.
Incoming St. John Bosco freshman Nicco Ruiz had a good run in the event as he placed third in a rugged bracket at 125-pounds that included Fargo and state place winners. He won his pool by edging New Jersey state place winner Nico Nardone 3-1. In the semifinal round, Ruiz was given his first defeat on the day as he lost 16-6 by Three-time Illinois state champion Dylan Ragusin. Ruiz was awarded the third-place medal after his opponent Jordan Titus forfeited their third-place match.
Other medalists for California included
Maximus Martinez (Sunkist Kids Monster Garage) 113 5th place
Nicco Ruiz (Sunkist Kids Monster Garage) 125 3rd place
Timothy Levine (Sunkist Kids Monster Garage) 130 2nd place
Isaac Salas (Sunkist Kids Monster Garage) 140 5th place