TEMECULA — For the past three years, Bradley Beaudette has improved as a wrestler. The Newport Harbor High senior's progression led to a huge breakthrough during his final year as a Sailor.
Beaudette, a 189-pounder, placed eighth at the CIF Southern Section Masters Meet Saturday at Temecula Valley High and qualified for next week's CIF State Championship Meet.
Beaudette, who was one match away for qualifying for Masters last year, won the CIF Southern Section Inland Division and Sunset League titles this season.
After going 1-1 on the first day at Masters Friday, Beaudette knew he needed a victory Saturday morning to clinch a spot to state.
Beaudette beat Francisco Bernal of Temecula Valley, 5-1, to secure the spot to the state finals, which begin Friday at Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield.
Beaudette then lost to Paul Yoo of Cypress, 16-4, and then to Simi Valley's William Gockel-Figge, 13-8, in the seventh-place match.
"It's been my goal all season so it's nice to reach that goal," Beaudette said of reaching the state finals. "Now that I'm in it I want to place."
Beaudette became the third wrestler to qualify for state in Dominic Bulone's 12 years at Newport Harbor coach. Beaudette's older brother, Brian, made it in 2007 as a heavyweight and Josh George qualified at 140 pounds in 2008.
Bulone has seen Beaudette improve each year, making a big jump from last year when he finished 22-16 as a 189-pounder. He's 34-11 as he heads to state.
"I've been really impressed," Bulone said of Beaudette's progression. "He's got confidence. He makes good decisions. He's motivated. He has just taken care of business."
Bulone was also impressed with Beaudette's ability to reach state in such a tough weight class. Bulone said four of the nine who placed at Masters are ranked in the state's top eight by The California Wrestler.
Beaudette beat Great Oak senior Ryan Rees, 4-3, Friday to reach the quarterfinals. Rees is ranked No. 18 in the state. He finished sixth at Masters.
Morgan McIntosh, from Calvary Chapel of Santa Ana, won the 189-pound title.
Beaudette is unranked, for now, Bulone said.
"He might be ranked at the end of next week," Bulone said. "Josh surprised everybody when he finished eighth at state, and there's no reason Bradley can't surprise everybody."
— From staff reports