A crazy first day of postseason wrestling, featuring five boys divisional tournaments and a pair of area girls events, is in the books.
And with that, several local wrestlers have positioned themselves to move on the the next step in what they hope will end with a state title in two weeks.
Here’s a breakdown of who did what and where heading into Saturday’s Day 2 action:
Boys Division 1
The seedings played out just about as expected at Lemoore High. Five of the six local wrestlers expected to reach the semifinals did so, with Bakersfield High leading the way with four in the Final Four.
As expected, top-seed Justin Darter and Josiah Hill (287) from BHS cruised through their opening matches, with teammates Jaden Sanchez (162) Jarad Priest (172) closing out the Drillers’ three-prong attack.
No. 3 seed Cade Lucio was upset in the 140-pound quarterfinal.
Darter received a first-round bye and then Madera’s Hulise Santiago in a technical fall, outscoring him 16-1. Hill pinned Santa Maria-Righetti’s Josh Brown in 4:21 in his lone match.
Hill will square off against No. 4 seed Javier Martinez from Dinuba in the semis, with Darter matching up against fourth-seeded Noah Duran from Clovis North.
Priest, the No. 3 seed, pinned both of his opponents on Friday and will wrestle No. 2 seed Joseph Martin from Clovis-Buchanan in the semifinals. Sanchez, also seeded third, won his only match of the day with a 12-5 decision of Clovis' Wyatt Merkord.
All 14 wrestlers from Bakersfield High reached the quarterfinals.
Second-seeded Garrett Fletcher from Frontier also posted a pair of dominant victories to reach the semifinals at 147.
The Titans had eight wrestlers reach the quarterfinals, but only Fletcher advanced to the next round.
Fletcher pinned his only opponent of the day, Kingsburg’s Xsavier Jimenez at the 1:50 mark of the first period.
He will meet No. 3 seeded Logan Avina-Barajas of Clovis in the semis.
Bakersfield is currently fifth in the team standings, with all 14 wrestlers still in the hunt to qualify for next week’s Central Section Masters Championships.
The 10 top finishers in each weight class advance. Frontier is tied for seventh and will still have 12 wrestlers in action on Saturday.
Boys Division 2
A baker’s dozen, which includes five wrestlers from Golden Valley and four from Foothill advanced to Saturday’s semifinals at Madera South High.
The Bulldogs’ Devin Saldana (128 pounds), Everardo Rueda (134), Rafael Saldana (140), Rudy Guerrero (154) and Dominick Leon (160) are just two wins from a divisional title. The Trojans’ Shane Corona (122), Angel Ochoa (140), Luis Amaya (147) and Isaiah Elisea (222) are also in the hunt.
Liberty’s Jacob Nagatani (108) and Sonny Garcia (197), and Kennedy’s Zavior Encisco (172) and Juan Alonso (184) will also compete in their respective semifinals.
Rafael Saldana and Ochoa are on opposite sides of the bracket, but could meet for the title at 140 if they win their semifinal matches.
Golden Valley is currently tied for fifth place overall as a team with nine wrestlers still alive. Foothill has six in the consolation and is tied for 10th. Liberty is in 14th, with Kennedy in 15th after the first day of action.
The top eight finishers in each weight class advance to next week’s Masters tournament.
North High and Centennial each advanced seven wrestlers to the semifinals, and finished the day 1-2 in the team standings.
The Stars lead the team standings after the opening day with 152 points, followed closely by the Golden Hawks (144.5). South is seventh (110), with Wasco (107) and Chavez (100) eighth and ninth, respectively.
North’s Daniel Ornelaz (113), Kalob Lopez (120), Anthony Ornelaz (126), Martin Yelland (132), Javier Ocampo (145), Alejandro Marquez (182) and Zion Chuca (195) will all compete in Saturday’s semis along with Centennial’s Ashton Onsurez (113), Lucas Olejnik (160), Keenan Sullivan (170), Alex Valle (182), Justin Vecere (195), Joshua Garcia (220) and Jacob West (285).
The top seven wrestlers in each weight class advance to next week’s Masters tournament.
Chavez also had a big day with five semi finalists: Daniel Bartolome (106), Jimmy Macias (120), Anthony Bartolome (126), Elijah Guzman (132) and Daniel Gonzalez (182).
Shafter’s Abelino Rivera (106) and Christian Garza (120), South’s Anthony Ruvalcalba (132) and Richard Garcia (152) and Wasco’s Jose Navarro (152) also earned a slot in the semifinals.
Highland is in second place in the team standings after Day 1, 23 points behind Liberty Madera Ranchos. Garces is ninth, and Kern Valley and Stockdale are tied for 11th.
Girls Southeast Area
Local wrestlers dominated the action, with Golden Valley, Foothill and Ridgeview combined to advance 19 wrestlers into Saturday’s semifinal round at Tulare-Mission Oak.
The Bulldogs lead the team standings after Day 1 with 110 points, just ahead of the Trojans (98) and fourth-place Ridgeview (81). South (64) is fifth, with Bakersfield High and Mira Monte tied for ninth with 48 points.
Foothill will have seven wrestlers in the semis, with the Bulldogs and Wolf Pack sending six apiece.
The Trojans’ semifinalists are: Kendra Juarez (108), Tatiana Sajic (113), Ariana Juarez (118), Jessica Manriquez (139), Estella Rodriguez (145), Sirena Lopez (162) and Myles Medrano (172).
Golden Valley’s’ Vanessa Nebre (123), Celeste Cubillo (133), Aliana Lefotu (139), Audrey Chavez (145) and Naomi Roby (191) reached the semifinals along with Ridgeview’s Mariah Armendariz (103), Alize Garcia (108), Genesis Quirarte (113), Camilla Caggianelli (162), Maliya Castillo (172) and Monique Bravo (237).
Other girls to reach the semifinals include: Bakersfield’s Orianna Morales (145) and Jocelyn Fernandez (152), Centennial’s Gracie Lane (191), East’s Kirsten Banales (123) and Galiilea Chavez (237), Frontier’s Jacqueli Hernandez (103) and Alyssa Valdivia (108), Highland’s Gabby Machado (133) and Destiny Juarez (237), Kennedy’s Daisy Valdez (152) and Desirae Alejandro (191), Kern Valley’s Makenzie Christensen, Liberty’s Kendall Braswell (172), Mira Monte’s Katarina Alvara (103), Hosana Saucedo (113) and Yazmine Perez (128), North’s Yasmine Scherer (128), South’s Monserra Lupian (103), Lilmary Cobbins (123) and Sbeydi Hernandez (152), Stockdale’s Ehireme Ohens (162), Tehachapi’s Elizabet Partridge (139) and West’s Estella Magallanes (133) and Maritza Martinez (145).