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Beach Blog 2022: California State Championship on April 3

by Rusty Davidson, Special to TheMat.com

Photo courtesy of Rusty Davidson.


On Sunday, April 3rd, California USA Wrestling hosted the state’s first-ever Beach Championship. Drawing over 100 entries, ages eight to 50, the event was hosted by Pacifica Parks, Beaches and Recreation Department at Linda Mar Beach. I had the good fortune to be there.


Beach Wrestling is gaining traction in the United States. Since the first National-level Championship was held in Carlsbad, New Mexico, in 2005, that event has moved to Ft Lauderdale and Jacksonville, Fla., Rochester, N.Y., and its current home in Carolina Beach, N.C.


Participation in local, state, regional events has soared nationwide in recent years.


CA-USA Director of Cultural Exchange and USWOA Board Member Tod Blank, is one of the leaders of the Officials’ Association’s recently formed Developing Styles Officiating Committee. Tod, along with his wife Michelle, spearheaded the efforts to bring Beach Wrestling to the beautiful backdrop of Northern California.


Working collectively with California State Chairperson Duane Morgan and Secretary – Treasurer Rob Valerio, Blank initiated efforts to secure permits for Linda Mar. Rebecca Collier, Recreation Specialist for the City of Pacifica, fascinated with the potential Beach Wrestling brings to her venues, helped guide and steamline the process.


Several local volunteers spent Saturday afternoon grooming Linda Mar and preparing the competition area. Special Thanks are due to Oceana High School Coach Manny Borrego, along with four of Oceana’s athletes; Michelle Blank; Eva Davidson; and Bob James.


Thanks is also due to CA-USA Pairers, Tiffany Diaz and Kristine Hamel, along with seven California referees who stepped in beside Tod. Those referees include Ronnie Caughran. Ken Hamel, Pablo Ortiz, Jim Bennett, Tate Miller, Anthony Early; David Klapperich.


The list of entries featured several high school stand-outs from North Central California. Stanford 197-pounder Nick Stemmet was notable among Senior-level Competitors. Stemmet was a 2021 NCAA qualifier.


Successful athletes, in this and other championship events, add their names to the pool of potential U.S. representatives in the 2022 World Series of Beach Wrestling. The World Series includes five Senior-level events, beginning in Sarigerme, Turkey, May 28-29. Events in Spain, France and Greece follow in late June and July. The Series culminates with its Finals, in Constanta, Romania, the first weekend of September.


Constanta will also host the World Championship for Cadet and Junior athletes, in Beach Wrestling. Many more Americans will add their names to the American roster, May 19 – 20, at the U.S. Beach National Championship, Carolina Beach, NC.


I offer up this blog, like all, for Gary Abbott, Communications Director for USA Wrestlling. I know it’s Gary’s goal to cover everything. “Everything” is a daunting task. I enjoy helping out.


I’ll leave you with the Quote of the Day, heard by many from one of the California referees: “I didn’t get sun burned because I put a lot of sun screen on my entire body. But, overall, this was honestly the most fun wrestling tournament I’ve ever been to in my entire life !”


Well-said!


RD

Event champions


10U

Lorenzo Choto, Gilroy Hawks

Samuel Briggs, Delta


12U

Juelz-king Brewick, Livermore Elite


14U

Richard Mujagic, Dynasty Wrestling

Samuel Perez, Manteca Cobras


16U Men

Tanner Bartonico, Delta Wrestling

Arthur Parra

Christopher Acuna, CYC

Christian Diaz, Delta Wrestling

Emmanuel Schultz, Albany Wrestling


16U Women

Lauren Nguyen, Livermore Elite

Abbi Cooper, NorCal Queens

Danica Sauseda, Mountain House

Yessenia Covarrubias, Half Moon Bay

Hailey Kagle

Myia Weiler, Falcons

Luiza Nogueira, Birmingham Comm

Abby Siecienski, Albany Wrestling

Valentina Ortega, G.A.A.L.T. Wres


Jr Men

Colter Seidensp

Jayson Victoria

Marcos Bautista, Half Moon Bay

Gino Andrini

Xavier Bruening

Chris Gonzales, Ugly Eagles

Daniel Shaharuddin

Sam Vigienzone

Nick Stemmet
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