High School Wrestlers Hit Roadblock at State Finals

Times Staff Writer

Of 13 City Section wrestlers who qualified for last week's State finals in San Jose, 12 returned home without winning a match. Two Southern Section wrestlers who made the trip won three matches between them, but neither made it beyond the quarterfinals.

Brian McCarty (194 pounds) of Rio Mesa came closest to placing, dropping a third-round match by criteria to Aaron Cantell of Vacaville. McCarty, a Times All-Valley football player, defeated Don Vigeant of San Jose Leigh, 12-5, and Mike Clark of Ukiah, 9-2, in the first two rounds.

"The match was tied, 4-4, after regulation and, 1-1, after overtime," Rio Mesa Coach Todd Stoke said of McCarty's loss to Cantell. "They use a list of criteria to break a tie, and it went down to 9-B on their list, which was a takedown by Cantell in the first minute of the match.

"Brian missed placing in state by an incredibly small margin."

McCarty finished the season with a record of 40-5-1. All five losses were to wrestlers who placed in the state meet.

Said McCarty: "I expected to place, but that's the breaks. There were a couple times I should have taken Cantell down. I thought I had him down in the third period of overtime, but I didn't hold him there long enough. I had a good year, though. I can't complain."

Westlake's Steve Fuess (135) won his first match over John Raker of Corning, 6-2, then lost to Aaron Gustafson of Saratoga, 5-3, in the quarterfinals.

Jonas Robledo (101) of San Fernando won his first two matches, but dropped a quarterfinal match to Shane Rouselle of Poway, 4-2. Rouselle beat Robledo again in a match for fifth place, 5-2. Robledo beat Sean Salmeron of Atascadero, 9-4, and Sal Garcia of Madera, 3-2, before facing Rouselle.

San Fernando's Ronald Drake (129), who was named most outstanding wrestler at the City finals, dropped a first-round match to Don Garriot of West Torrance, 9-8.

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