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German, Garcia Two Wins Shy of Medals


STOCKTON — Will German and Ralph Garcia know they have a tough road ahead of them at the state wrestling tournament.

German, a 171-pounder from San Fernando High, and Garcia, a 189-pounder from Camarillo, need two victories today in consolation matches to place in the top eight and earn medals.

The state meet continues at 8 a.m. at University of the Pacific. They are the only wrestlers from the region who survived Friday's preliminary rounds.

"I want the hardware," said German, in his third state meet. "Every year I move up a weight class and every year it keeps getting a little bit tougher."

German beat Hughson's Keith Ille, 8-4, in the first round after building a 5-0 lead by throwing Ille on his back. Ille placed third in last year's state meet.

"If the throw is there, I'm going for it," said German, who was pinned at 5:04 by semifinalist Britt Mooney of East Bakersfield in the second round. This is the first time German has advanced to the second day.

Garcia won his first match, a second-round pin of Carl Seumanutafa of San Francisco McAteer, but fell, 4-1, to Sac-Joaquin Section champion Kurt Russell of Granite Bay.

He stopped Sultana's Mike Aguirre, 5-2, in a consolation match, but left the mat limping.

"I hurt my knee at Masters last week," Garcia said. "It's a little sore after every match, but I'll be fine. I just have to win at least two more."

His loss to Russell pained him more than the knee, it was still on his mind even after the consolation victory.

"I got ridden out in the second period of that match," Garcia said. "I needed that escape point. From now on, I think I'm going to start matches neutral."

Simi Valley heavyweight Dan Kunkes pinned San Pasqual's Mike Keller in his first match, then lost two. Canoga Park's Juan Alvarado (103) beat Riverbank's Manuel Nunez, 16-5, in the first round before dropping his next two.

Rio Mesa's Caleb Bautista (125) won a consolation match before bowing out, as did San Fernando's Victor Solano (119) and Ramon Perry (145) and Birmingham's Vlad Kochiev (135).

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