With a two-point lead and less than one minute left in the third period, it looked like Valencia wrestling’s Chance Rich just about wrapped up his quarterfinal match in the CIF State tournament on Friday.
But when Rich (126 pounds) went for one last attack, Angelo Martinoni of Folsom slipped out of a throw and put Rich on his back.
The remainder of Rich’s effort was spent getting off his back, leading Martinoni to take the match 11-5.
“It was just one mistake,” Rich said. “I was winning the whole match. There was a minute left it was just one minute that cost the whole match.”
Rich isn’t out of the tournament just yet, however – he’ll compete in Day 2 of the tourney at Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield today.
In the best case scenario, he can win four matches for third place in the tournament. If he wins one, he’ll place eighth.
“It makes me really hungry,” said Rich. “I know I’m going to have some tough battles tomorrow. I’m just going to have to take it each match at a time.”
It’s the senior’s third appearance at the state tournament. This time, however, he had a teammate there with him. Nick Lopez was also representing Valencia wrestling at the state level.
Lopez (160) lost to second-seeded Joel Romero of Buchanan in the Round of 64 but was thrilled to compete in the tournament.
“(He) got some big-time competition experience and got to wrestle in the arena,” said coach Brian Peterson. “He’s watched it ever since junior high, he’s seen the state championships, but he finally got to wrestle and just to be a part of it is cool.”
Rich will take the mat for his first match at 10 a.m. today.