Northern 4A wrestling overview

Northern 4A Regional Tournament

Galena High School

Today: 4 p.m.

Saturday: 10 a.m., championship round is scheduled to start at 6 p.m.

At stake: The top five finishers in each weight class advance to the NIAA/U.S. Bank 4A State Tournament next weekend in Las Vegas.

103 pounds -- Rich Hartley of Sparks placed second as a 103-pounder at the Sierra Nevada Classic and was named outstanding lightweight as a 112-pounder at the Carson Valley Invitational. Carson sophomore Eric Aguilera, the Sierra League's No. 1 seed, was a champion at the Modoc and Lowry tournaments. Elko's Vern Gallegos, third in this weight class last year, is also part of a strong group that includes Galena freshman Joel Rivadeneyra, who won at the Carson Valley Lions tournament; Douglas sophomore Ryan Martinez, named Outstanding Lower Weight Wrestler at Alhambra High's Lawrence Miller Memorial in the Bay Area; and Jesse Tuttle of McQueen.

112 -- Fallon sophomore Rudy Maynez and Josh Wilson of Wooster look like the top two contenders here. A Northern 4A runner-up last year, Maynez has been solid this season, including the outstanding lightweight award at the Sparks Invitational. Wilson lost a narrow 10-6 decision to Hartley in the Carson Valley finals. Jason Thomas of Elko, Carson freshman Joe Neiman, Rusty Faulkner of South Tahoe and Mike Sanford of Galena are others to watch out for.

119 -- Elko senior Forrest Bogue, a two-time 4A state champion, has lost just twice this season (both to Idaho state place finishers). Galena junior J. Micah Parker, a top-10 finisher at the state cross country meet in November, is a threat to reach the finals again, having lost to Bogue in the regional 112-pound finals last year. There's a close pack of challengers, including McQueen sophomore Jim Hesterlee, fifth at state as a 103-pounder last year, John McIntosh of Wooster, Matt Yaquinto of Douglas, and Brian Thomas of Fallon.

125 -- This shapes up as a tossup. Jason Martinez of Sparks (132 career wins), was third at regionals at 125 pounds last year. Chris Hunton of Elko placed second at last year's regional and Reed's Jesse Woodruff was third in the 119-pound class. They've all been relatively close this season, too. Woodruff was third and Martinez fourth at the Sierra Nevada Classic. Martinez beat Woodruff in a rematch at the Sparks Invitational, and beat Douglas freshman Brad Johnson in the Carson Valley finals. Carson sophomore Tim Ellis is another one to watch, along with Doug Taliaferro of North Valleys.

130 -- Reno sophomore Mike Kummer placed fifth at state as a 112-pounder last year. Kummer was eighth at the Sierra Nevada Classic and defeated Scott Barnato of Spanish Springs in the Carson Valley finals. Barnato, a state 119-pound qualifier at Sparks High last year, also won a championship at the Sparks Invitational. Others to watch include Galena junior Kyle Knox, Carson junior Chris White, Cody Schroeder of Elko, Kyle Crouse of South Tahoe and Louie Gabriel of Douglas.

135 -- This class looks like another tossup. Galena senior Justin Ellmaker was a champion at the Sparks Invitational. Fallon's Reece Jones, who won the 2A state 135-pound title as a freshman at Eureka last year, placed fifth at the Sierra Nevada Classic. Jason Maguire of Reno was a state qualifier last year and defeated Ellmaker in the Carson Valley finals. Watch out for Douglas sophomore C.J. Keith, who has been impressive since he gained his eligibility at mid-season. Chandler Brown of Carson and Andrew Watts of North Valleys are others to watch.

140 -- Possibly the tournament's toughest bracket. Elko junior Dane Ashley, was a regional champion at 130 pounds last year and is among the top contenders here. Ashley and Galena junior David Kirn split two matches within a week. Kirn, who came up one win short of qualifying for state last year, won a title at Oakdale's James Riddle Classic. Carson junior Paul Carter has had a big year, including a runner-up finish at the Sparks Invitational, where he lost to Dan Seley of Fallon. Carter won gold at the Albany Tournament. Other contenders are Reed's Quinten Quiggle, a state veteran, Manuel Magana of Spanish Springs and Josh Martin of Hug.

145 -- Zach Lazzari of Wooster was a Northern 4A champion and state runner-up to Carson's Doug Brooks at 140 pounds last year. Lazzari is 36-5 this season, including a title at the Sierra Nevada Classic. Elko junior Matt Zander, fourth at state last year as a 140-pounder, placed second at the Buhl (Idaho) Invitational on Jan. 5. Others to watch include Kyle Vance of Spanish Springs, a runner-up at the Sparks Invitational, Joe Roman of Carson, Tommy Diaz of Fallon and Raymond Gabriel of Douglas.

152 -- Fallon senior Glenn Shaw is the man to watch here. Shaw was last year's regional 145-pound champion and has placed third at state in each of the last two years. D'Art Johnson of Douglas was a runner-up to Shaw at the Sparks Invitational and he won gold at the Alhambra tournament. Carson junior Chris Kotter and Chris Arrate of Wooster were state qualifiers last year. Scott Crapo of Elko and Galena junior Robert Turek are others to watch.

160 -- The best of this class are Travis Longobardo of Reno, a regional runner-up and third-place 4A state finisher at 160 last year for Sparks High, Douglas senior David Tingle, third at last year's regional as a 152-pounder, and Ed Perriera of Wooster, a state qualifier last year. Longobardo placed third at the Sierra Nevada Classic. Tingle won gold at the Sparks Invitational and silver at Alhambra. Carson sophomore Chris Ceccarelli and Dan Tresley of McQueen are two others to keep an eye out for.

171 -- Nathan Bennett of Douglas is the defending regional champion and silver medalist at state. Bennett (35-2) has won four tournament titles this season and recently was named Outstanding Upper Weight Wrestler at the Alhambra tournament, where his pin lifted the Tigers to a team championship by one-half point. Darrin Lewis of Fallon, Sloan Sommers of McQueen and Ryan Davis of South Tahoe are others to watch out for. So is Josh Aguilar, who placed third in this weight class at last year's regional, will be back for the first time since dislocating his elbow at the Lowry tournament on Dec. 15.

189 -- The man to beat here is Carson sophomore Nick Shine (19-2), who placed third at the Sierra Nevada Classic and won gold at the Albany Tournament. One of Shine's losses came at the hands of Wooster's undefeated Chad Espinoza, the other to a top-10 ranked California wrestler at the Sierra Nevada Classic. Others to watch include Ty Bader of Spanish Springs, a state qualifier for Sparks last year, Grant Hall of Douglas, Joe Sturgis of Reno, Ian McQueary of Elko, Jim Oldham of McQueen and Derek Vance of Spanish Springs.

215 -- Wooster junior Chad Espinoza is ranked No. 1 in the nation in this weight class by USA Wrestling magazine. Espinoza is 41-0 this season -- 133-8 for his career, with all eight of those losses coming in his freshman season -- including gold medals at the Reno TOC, Sierra Nevada Classic and at the prestigious Five Counties Tournament in Southern California on Jan. 18-19 (where he was named Most Valuable Heavyweight Wrestler). Top challengers include Fallon freshman Josh Mauga, a champion at the Sparks Invitational, Austin Augare of Elko, Allen Wooldridge of Carson, Dan Molina of Douglas and Jim McFarland of Sparks.

275 -- Sparks senior Kelly Anundson is the defending regional heavyweight champion and a state runner-up last year. Galena junior Jeremiah Jones was a silver medalist at regionals last year and will be looking for another shot at Anundson. Jeff Prinz of Fallon was a state qualifier last year, but has been hindered by a shoulder injury this season. South Tahoe's David Vasquez is 32-9 this season, including a 12-6 win over Prinz last week. Eric Klug of Carson, Rich Cothrun of Elko and Joe Immers of Douglas are medal contenders.

Michael Holen, assistant tournament director and Nevada State Editor for Wrestling USA Magazine, contributed to this story.


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