Valencia gets four wrestlers to Masters Meet 

The Valencia High School wrestling team saw four advance to the CIF Southern Section Masters Meet. Courtesy photo.
The Valencia High School wrestling team saw four advance to the CIF Southern Section Masters Meet. Courtesy photo.
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Valencia High School wrestling got through another postseason tournament with multiple qualifiers. 

The Vikings had one champion and four wrestlers overall place in the top five at the CIF Southern Section Eastern Division championships, with the next step for them being the Southern Section Masters Meet. 

Freshman Slater Hicks dominated once again at 120 pounds, winning the tournament with three technical falls — matches are called once a wrestler is winning by at least 15 points — to start followed by a pin and a 6-0 decision in the final. 

Valencia head coach Brian Peterson said the plan was for Hicks to get as much work in as possible throughout the tournament when he realistically could have pinned most of his opponents rather quickly. 

“He wanted to finish up real quick, but we told him to get a workout,” Peterson said in a phone interview. 

Hicks had to beat Royal’s Mason Carrillo, a state medalist last year, for the second straight weekend in a final. 

“He looks really dominant,” Peterson said. “His finals match was dominant, even though the score didn’t reflect it … Carrillo was shoved out of bounds probably 10 times in the match.” 

Valencia also had Henry Egami (157 pounds) place fourth, Alex Lopez (175) take third and Jairdan Chopra (215) place fourth. Placing but not advancing was Dayle Cailles (113), who finished seventh. 

The Vikings finished sixth out 50 teams and third out of the five Coastal Canyon League teams with 127.5 points. 

“Sixth out of 50 teams, that was huge,” Peterson said. “I think that was pretty remarkable.” 

Trinity Classical Academy sophomore Hudson Sweitzer competed at the Southern Section Inland Division championships, crashing out in the consolation fourth round in sudden victory. 

Peterson is looking for Hicks and Lopez to continue their postseason success at the Masters Meet, scheduled for Friday at Palm Springs High School. The top 10 wrestlers in each weight class will qualify for the state tournament. 

“I think Slater and Alex are 100% ready to go,” Peterson said. 

Egami and Chopra are getting their first taste of the Masters Meet, bringing in the top wrestlers from throughout the section. Peterson isn’t quite as sure of their chances but knows that each of his four wrestlers will take advantage of the opportunity to wrestle some good competition. 

“I think they’re gonna enjoy wrestling among the best in the Southern Section and in the state,” Peterson said. “Our section is still, in my opinion, the toughest section in the state.” 

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