The Valencia wrestling team continued its push to the postseason at the Thunderclap Varsity Tournament on Saturday at Thousand Oaks High School.
The Vikings brought nine wrestlers to compete in the tournament including Lucas Paschia and Kyle Roth, who took first place in their respective weight classes.
“It’s good practice,” Paschia said. “It gets your confidence up because it’s almost postseason. It’s a good confidence booster before postseason. It also lets me try out new moves so I can get more used to them.”
Paschia took the top podium spot in the 126-pound weight class after going undefeated in the tournament. He defeated each of his opponents by way of pinning them. Going undefeated is impressive, considering he made the decision to wrestle up a weight class for Thunderclap.
“I usually cut down, but since it was easier, I wanted to wrestle heavier kids to get more experience and wrestle harder people,” he said. “I feel more confident now knowing I can wrestle heavier people if I need to.”
Despite wrestling in a heavier class, Paschia still plans to cut weight and wrestle in the 120-pound class for the postseason.
“It was a really good experience to learn and perfect my moves for postseason,” he said.
Roth had a stellar day, as well. He won all four of his matches, but with more variety than Paschia. He had two pins, won another by major decision and another by a technical fall.
“That match was good experience,” Roth said of his technical fall. “I feel like it was a good experience just to try all my moves. He was very motivated to score. I was even more motivated to use my technique in order to dominate him.”
Roth, who wrestles in the 156-pound weight class, had a harder path to the podium. One of his opponents was not so easy to dominate and the match ended up going the full six minutes.
“Those hard matches that go all the way to the end, those are what make or break you and what truly reflect who you are as a wrestler,” he said.
Other standouts for the Vikings were Druid Altura (138) and Shane Nepomuceno (126). Despite a rough start in their weight classes, they were able to bounce back and make something positive of their days.
Altura finished in fifth with a. 3-1 record including a pin, a major decision and a decision. Nepomuceno finished in sixth with a 2-2 record. Both of his wins came by way of pin.
“I enjoyed being with my team,” Roth said. “A lot of them were newer. It was good to see them getting out on the mat and enjoy wrestling.”