Antioch welcomed more than 350 top amateur wrestlers last Saturday, March 22, as wrestlers flocked to Deer Valley High School for this year's installment of the Golden State Wrestling Invitational.
Wrestlers traveled from as far away as Fresno and Redding to participate in the event, which organizer Rich Madrigal estimates drew the event's largest turnout since the invitational moved across town from Antioch High School to Deer Valley in 2000.
Several prominent wrestling clubs made the trip, including Castro Valley Wrestling Club, Fairfield Wrestling Club, Middle Town Wrestling Club, Redding Amateur Wrestling Club and Mad Dawg Wrestling Club from Folsom, but the locals from Golden State Wrestling stole the show.
Jonathon Farmer, who attends Antioch's Jack London Elementary School, finished the day with a perfect 6-0 record and first-place finishes in both the Novice Freestyle and Novice Folkstyle divisions.
He's doing real good, said Madrigal. He's taken first the last three weeks, and in our league it's pretty tough to do. In this tournament it was particularly tough because there were about 75 kids competing in each division. He's one of the better kids coming through the system, and he puts a lot into it. He puts a lot into practice he's there all the time and he's one of my little leaders,' helping out with the younger kids.
Jimmy Nguyen, a junior at Deer Valley, turned in an impressive performance on his home turf, compiling a 3-0 record on the day and taking home a first-place finish in the Junior Freestyle division.
He's coming right along, said Madrigal, who coached Nguyen on the Deer Valley JV team. He works out hard and he wants to keep improving himself for next season at Deer Valley. His style was lacking throws as a JV wrestler last year, and that got him into trouble. He'll keep improving if he sticks with it.
Golden State dominated the action, as 10 of the 14 grapplers who took the mat placed in the top three in their respective eight-wrestler brackets. Four GSW wrestlers placed third in the Novice Division (Justin Zapanta, Sebastien Prevot, Kimiko Zapanta and Jiro Turner), two finished third in the Cadet Division (Erik Dwyer and Pierre Prevot, who took third in both Freestyle and Folkstyle) and two more placed third in the Junior Division (Mykel-Lynn Malone and Daniel Estrada).