Claesson earns first loss
The mighty Buck Claesson, last year’s state champion in the 112-pound weight class, finally suffered a loss this season, and then he suffered another.
Claesson, who moved up to the 125-pound weight class this season, was seeded first this weekend in tournament play at Sparks High School. Claesson had entered the tournament with an intimidating record of 18-0.
Claesson’s first match was against Nathan Tate, from Caldwell High School in Idaho. Claesson was handling Tate easily by a score of 12-0, when he was thrown in a move that he couldn’t get out of and was subsequently pinned, leading to his first loss of season.
But things would only get more challenging for Claesson in his second match. The No. 2 seed, Joel Rivadeneyra of Galena High School, lost his second round match. Because of cross-bracketing, a tournament procedure in running tournaments, the showdown was set between Claesson and Rivadeneyra.
The two already had a long history before this weekend, making matters more interesting and adding drama to the match. They have wrestled each other several times, dating back to their youth program days, with the pair basically splitting their wins and losses against each other. Rivadeneyra beat Claesson last year in tournament play at Fernley.
Claesson started strong on his feet against Rivadeneyra, scoring three takedowns and a two-point near fall, while letting Rivadeneyra up on his feet twice. Claesson took a commanding 7-2 lead into the last period of the match. As Claesson began to tire, Rivadeneyra put Claesson into a cradle pinning combination.
He would have won because of his lead in points, but he failed in his attempt to fight off the pin. Claesson’s record is now 18-2 for the season.
Assistant coach Ron Curtis cited a lack of mental preparation and an underestimation of the competition that plagued some Truckee High School wrestlers, including Claesson, this weekend.
“There were some rude awakenings, learning experiences, surprises and disappointments,” said Curtis.
The rude awakening for Truckee was that some kids were not prepared mentally for the toughness of this tournament.
Tim Curtis, who entered the tournament 15-4, lost his first two matches and was eliminated from tournament play. If there is any consolation for Curtis, his first loss came against the No. 1 seed in the 135-pound weight class.
Some of the other younger and less experienced wrestlers had similar results in Sparks.
“I think everyone wrestling learned something from the tournament,” said Ron Curtis. “Some learned they were not in shape like they thought they were. Others did not prepare themselves mentally or prepare themselves physically for matches. Others probably realized they need to work on execution of moves a bit more seriously at practice.”
A great breakout story for the Wolverines was Scott Rice, a junior and a first-year wrestler. Wrestling in the 140-pound weight class, Rice went 2-2. He was a mere win away from placing at the tournament.
“He has been learning a lot all season and he really works hard at practice,” Curtis said. “He’s been improving each time he goes out there and wrestles. He’s doing a great job on his feet (in maneuvering) takedowns.”
Shane Wright, wrestling at 171 pounds, went 2-2. Wright was seeded No. 2, but he was pinned by Reed High School’s Dan Barraga in the championship bracket. He then lost a close double overtime match in the consolation bracket.
In a weekend with few positives, Marcus Waters placed fourth overall in the tournament in the 152-pound weight class. Waters won his first two matches before losing to two-time state champion Jarin Prokasky of Lowry High School. Waters bounced back to win two more matches in the consolation bracket before losing to Mike Brooks of Pershing County High School.
“Marcus beat two really good wrestlers, one from Spanish Springs High School and another from Fernley High School in an overtime victory,” Curtis said.
The Wolverines will travel to Tonapah, Nev. for a two-day tournament starting Friday.
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