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By Jamie Stewart
The Shafter Press 

Wrestling tournament draws 160 competitors

 

Last updated 12/8/2022 at 8:19am | View PDF

Jamie Stewart | The Shafter Press

Natalie Salinas scores a takedown in her match.

The Shafter Mennonite Brethren Church held their annual Takedown Tournament recently, drawing 160 competitors, the largest field in the tournament's history.

Pastor Pat Coyle, along with a team of volunteers, put on the tournament, the season-opening event for most of the wrestlers. The tournament is affiliated with the Kern County Youth Wrestling Association, helping it draw wrestlers from all over the county and the Central Valley.

Wrestlers came from as far as Selma, Fresno and Clovis, as well as most of Kern County.

The local youth wrestling team, the Shafter Spartans, had 13 wrestlers competing in the event, with several placing in the top five in their weight divisions.

According to Pastor Coyle, the tournament is especially good for novice wrestlers, helping them get accustomed to a tournament atmosphere and what to expect as the tournament season progresses.

Coyle runs a wrestling camp every summer, attracting a large number of beginning wrestlers, teaching them basic technique and moves. Coyle sees a lot of the kids that go through his camp competing later in tournaments, which gives him great satisfaction.

The Shafter wrestlers that finished in the top five were:

Natalie Salinas – 1st place

Jamie Stewart | The Shafter Press

Nehemiah Salcido won this match on his way to first place in the tournament.

Nehemiah Salcido – 1st place

Matthew Cortes – 1st place

Brianna Jimenez – 1st place

Angel Leon – 1st place

Jayleen Jimenez – 1st place

Aleena Leon – 3rd place

Navian Jimenez – 3rd place

Eliana Gonzalez– 3rd place

Skylar Smith finished in 6th place and Jayleen Ibarra finished in 9 th place.

Medals were awarded for the top finishers.

 

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