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PREP WRESTLING / SOUTHERN SECTION MASTERS

This Grueling Test Is Just Getting Started

February 26, 2000|ERIK HAMILTON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Santa Ana Coach Scott Glabb calls it a test of the mind.

El Modena Coach Alan Clinton said the Southern Section Masters wrestling meet can only be described as brutal.

In any event, the state qualifying tournament started Friday with wrestlers from 128 schools vying for a first- through eighth-place finish in their respective weight classes to advance to the state meet next week.

Thirty-seven wrestlers from Orange County advanced Friday to today's quarterfinal rounds, with Calvary Chapel leading the field with seven.

Loara was next with five quarterfinalists, including brothers Orlando (103 pounds) and Josh Galvan (112), and Jeremy (189) and Joe Ellis (215). Irvine and Villa Park each have four in the quarterfinals.

Calvary Chapel's Adam Bones, the section Division I champion at 145 pounds, won his match against Buena Park's Gonzalo Meza, 15-0, to advance.

"In many ways, I think this tournament can be tougher than state," Bones said. "You can't take any match lightly."

Which is what Bones' teammate, Frank Gill, found out in his second-round 130-pound match.

Leading 8-2 in the second period, Gill, also a Division I champion, attempted a shoulder takedown against Lewis Williams of Culver City. But Lewis was able to catch Gill's leg and take him down to the mat for the pin.

"He has to take the hard way," said Gary Garcia, a Calvary Chapel assistant coach. "It's tough. He has to win his next two consolation matches or he's out."

The county's two top heavyweights, David Liti of Foothill and James Benton of Villa Park, also advanced to the quarterfinals. However, Josh Worthington of Irvine, who won the Division II title last week, was eliminated. The senior had to forfeit his matches because of a shoulder separation he suffered last week at the division finals.

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