Mar 2, 2014 1:54 AM by Bill Halter
Pioneer Valley senior Mikey Ruiz lost in the 220 pound finals at the CIF Southern Section Masters Meet in Onatario on Saturday. Ruiz was the top seed in the bracket after winning a Central Division title last weekend.
In the finals, Ruiz was tied at 6 with David Vanweems from Centennial (Corona)in the third overtime. The sudden death session had Ruiz starting on top needing to prevent an escape for 30 seconds. Ruiz clutched Vanweems' legs but lost control of them as he lunged out of bounds with 15 seconds left. The referee awarded Vanweems the escape despite a protest from the Pioneer Valley coaches who argued he was out of bounds when he escaped. Vanweems hurt his leg on the escape and was unable to put any weight on it. Had he been ruled out of bounds it's unlikely he would have been able to continue the match and Ruiz would have won the championship.
The second place finish qualifies Ruiz for the State Tournament, he wrestled at State last season as well.
Also qualifying for the State Tournament next weekend in Backersfield were Atascadero 195 pounder, Karson Block. Block finished fifth. Righetti's Andrew Ibarra was fifth while Oscar Valesco from Santa Maria was eighth in the 113 pound weight class. Both qualify for State.
The Masters Meet combines all divisions into one, meaning wrestlers from big and small schools face off against each other. The State Tournament uses the same format.
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