CORNING – Saturday’s 39th Annual Corning Invitational featured 360 wrestlers from 47 different teams, two states and four categories in California. For the first time in the history of the tournament, multiple matches were held outside.
Corning held several matches on a mat outside on Saturday to help out the abundance of wrestlers present. Ponderosa’s Caiden Martinez beat Upper Lake’s Donovan Fernandez with a pin in 60-degree outdoor weather in the 122-pound division.
Saturday’s tournament was the first since 2020 after the tournament was canceled in 2021 due to the pandemic. 2021 was just the second time it had to be canceled since the tournament’s inception in 1982. In 2011 the tournament was held at Red Bluff and was called the Tehama County Shootout.
Ponderosa High School won the team title in Saturday’s tournament and Durham were crowned champions of the smaller schools. Dylan High School of Henley High School, which competes in the 116-pound division, was named Outstanding Lightweight of the Tournament. Gerard Marshall of Hoopa High School was named Outstanding Heavyweight.
In the 155-pound division, three wrestlers from the northern section entered as No. 1, 2 and 3 seeds. Orland’s Brayden Schuman entered as the No. 1 seed, Chico High sophomore Ryan Clink entered as the No. 2 seed, and Durham’s Noah Pettit ranked No. 3. All three advanced to the semi-finals. Clink defeated Petit by decision and Schuman entered the final by pin. In the final, Clink defeated Senior Schumann by decision to be named champion in the 155th Division.
Durham’s Aaron Hernandez, who finished first in his weight category at the Joe Rios Memorial on January 8, was the No. 1 seed in the 163-pound division. Hernández won all five of his matches by pin and was once again named champion of his division.
At the age of 185, Bradley Shaw of Chico High entered as the No. 1 seed and won his first three matches by pin. Shaw entered the final against Liam Roberts of Ponderosa and defeated Roberts to be named the 185-pound champion.
Another champion, Abram Hood, of the Joe Rios Memorial from Chico High, wrestled at 155 pounds on January 8, but competed at 141 pounds on Saturday. Hood entered as the No. 3 seed behind the No. 1 seed from Las Plumas, Emanuele Medrano. Hood and Medrano won their first two matches by pins and big decisions. The Hood lost their second match by major decision, and Medrano won their last four matches by pin and were named champions.
In the 129-pound weight category, Orland’s Liam Nelson entered as the No. 1 seed, and Chico High’s Cody Rogers entered the No. 2 seed. Rogers won his first match by decision and his second and third by pin. In the semi-finals, Rogers lost to Kaden Martinez of Ponderosa. Nelson won his first three matches by major decision and defeated Vincent Tyrell of Ukia in the semi-finals by decision to advance to the final. In the final, Nelson defeated Martinez by a major decision to be named the 129-pound champion.
In the 148-pound division, Gavin Smith of Chico High, who missed the Joe Rios Memorial Tournament at Chico High due to injury, entered as the No. 1 seed. Smith won his first three matches by pin, winning his fourth by major decision before losing to Ethan Boyd of Del Campo in the final.
At 123, Orland’s Jonathan Garcia entered as the No. 1 seed and reached the final after two wins by decision and two wins by pin. In the final, Garcia was pinned by Windsor High School No. 2 seed Austin Frederickson.
At age 116, Paradise’s Richard Halvorson entered as the No. 6 seed and reached the final, before losing to Henley High School’s No. 1 seed Dylan Clarke by major decision. Halverson won his first two matches by pin, and his third and fourth by decision.
Chico High’s Tad Harvey (198) entered as the No. 4 seed and won his first match by pin after a first-round bye. Harvey then faced No. 3 seed Miguel Mirola and won by decision, before losing to 198-pound champion Andrew Cheney by default.
AJ Fonseca of Orland, who finished second at the Joe Rios Memorial at Chico High on January 8 and entered as the No. 3 ranked heavyweight (288), was pinned by Shiloh Nicholson of Eureka High School in the second round. . , Nicholson made an unseeded entry into Saturday’s tournament and lost to Marshall in his third round match.
The teams will play a dual match ahead of the Eastern Athletic League Championship starting on 5 February.