Sonoma Valley High junior Tyler Winslow finished out of the medals this past weekend at the California Interscholastic Federation Wrestling Championships in Bakersfield.
Winslow, who was wrestling in the 220-pound class, finished with a 2-2 record.
Coach Nico Saldana said Winslow lost his first match to the wrestler who ended up finishing fifth in the 42-person class. Winslow won his next two matches before falling to a wrestler from St. John Bosco High School in Los Angeles County.
“California is one of only two states that doesn’t have divisions,” Saldana said. “The other is New Jersey.”
“More than 900 high schools have wrestling in California,” he continued. “Besides the numbers, the competitors who qualify for the state tournament have their own gauntlet to traverse, so by the time they reach Bakersfield they are all battle-tested and no push-overs.”
Saldana said each of Winslow’s matches were decided by two points or less.
“In his final match, Tyler lost 1-0. The difference between this last match and his two wins was he was able to convert the only takedowns in each match,” The coach said. “Size also played a factor, but Tyler would never use that as an excuse.”
“As Tyler walked off the mat disappointed, he said ‘I should have finished that takedown.’”
Saldana said the coaches don’t understand his disappointment.
“He proved he belonged with the state’s best, and he left every ounce of himself on those mats. Win or lose, that’s all you can ask for,” Saldana added.