The Mad Dawg Wrestling Club had seven Folsom High wrestlers go down this past weekend to the toughest preseason tournament in California, the World Challenge at Clovis West High School.
This event features state placers and state champions from all over the west coast including California, Nevada, Idaho, and Oregon. It was a great experience for all who competed and every wrestler who went finished at least in the top-12 for their weight class, and four of the seven finished in the top-six to bring back a medal. Mad Dawg was well represented with two placers in the varsity division and first and a third in the elite division.
Angelo Martinoni led the way, as he won the championship in a stacked 133-pound varsity elite bracket. Martinoni came in as the third seed, but beat another fellow state qualifier in the quarterfinals, a state placer in the semifinals, and another wrestler who had upset a national champion earlier in the day in the finals.
Martinoni claimed the title in dramatic fashion, as he was down 4-0 with about 30 seconds left and then put together a flurry of points at the end of the match to come away with the 6-4 win.
Kyle Richards also placed in the varsity elite bracket. Richards ended up in third place behind two other California state placers. Richards took the bronze in the 220-pound bracket, despite only weighing a little over 200 pounds.
Evan Taylor ended up in the top-12 at 108 pounds in another tough bracket in which the defending state champion did not even win it. Both of Taylor's losses were one-point matches, including one on a questionable locking hands call in triple overtime.
A pair of freshman had a nice showing and turned some heads, as Daniel Lopez was top-eight in the varsity division at 101, and Diesel Duncan was also top-eight, but in the varsity elite division at 115.
David Lopez (122) and Caiden Cohen (155) got the most bang for their buck, as they went both divisions and got a ton of matches and mat experience on the day. Both wrestlers had similar paths in the varsity division, losing their opening match close but then battling back to finish in the medal rounds.
Lopez got the pin in his fifth-place match, and Cohen was able to take sixth place. They also entered the elite division to get more experience. Cohen was able to wrestle eight matches on the day, while Lopez finished with 10 matches.