HOLTVILLE — Holtville high opened its doors for its 57th annual Holtville Rotary Tournament Saturday, February 1, as wrestlers from 41 different schools from the Valley and San Diego put their skills on display in the Imperial Valley.
Number 9 ranked team in the California state rankings, Rancho Bernardo led all teams in team points with 349.5 points, with Olympian (205.5 points) and Kofa (159 points) following them. They finished with five champions overall, including two wrestlers who won their weight division for the fourth time in four tries.
Seniors Tyler Badgett and Jaden Le each took home the gold and were awarded with honorary plaques as they became only the fourth and fifth Holtville tournament four-time champs in the tournament’s history. Both are ranked third in weight classes in the state of California so far this year.
Brawley finished highest in team point total in the Valley with 158.5 points narrowly missing a third-place finish.
Imperial brought home two titles as Junior Paul Ortiz repeated as Holtville Champion, winning the 162-pound division, this time as the number one seed after last year’s championship run as a sophomore. Sophomore Wolfgang Horner also earned a Holtville Rotary first place finish at heavyweight after finishing in fifth last year as a freshman.
“It’s a long season and everybody’s battling sickness, injury, and everything else so to come into this, a tough tournament that gets tougher every year, and bring back two championships is awesome,” said imperial Head Wrestling Coach Mark Benedict.
Up next, the wrestling focus will turn toward the CIF divisional in two weeks Saturday, February 15, with Brawley hosting the Division III tournament. Tournament placers will move on to the San Diego Masters tournament the following weekend at Southwest High.
Imperial Valley Placers and Champions
122 Anthony Maldonado 4th place
128 Joey Navarro 5th place
147 JJ Gutierrez 4th place
162 Stephen Solis 5th place
172 Alan Carrillo 2nd place
287 Javier Martinez 2nd place
197 Jamison Ainge 6th place
154 Omar Rosas 2nd place
222 Andrew Castillo 3rd place
108 Donovan Johnston 3rd place
134 Payten Iten 4th place
140 Richard Garcia 3rd place
287 Ricardo Mendez 6th place
162 Paul Ortiz 1st place
197 Marcos Andrade 5th place
287 Wolfgang Horner 1st place
184 Benji Alvarez 2nd place