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Miracle claims Chukchansi title

Tyler Takeda/The Madera Tribune

Madera South’s Dylan Miracle works his finals opponent for more points Saturday to win the Chukchansi Invitational 170-pound championship.


After three years of wrestling at the Chukchansi Invitational wrestling tournament, Madera South wrestler Dylan Miracle wanted to capture a title at his home tournament.

Miracle defeated Bullard-Fresno’s David Vardanyan 5-2 to help the Stallions place fifth overall at the tournament that drew more than 50 teams to Madera South.

“It went really well,” Stallions wrestling coach Sal Gonzalez said. “We didn’t get any negative feedback. We had a slight hiccup with starting the finals an hour late. From here on out, it will be a 5 p.m. start time.”

Miracle was joined in the Chukchansi Invitational finals by Augustin Garcia, at 162 pounds, and Carlos Posas, at 106 pounds.

Also placing for the Stallions were Florencio Hernandez, sixth at 134 pounds and Nathan Chavez, fourth at 197 pounds.

“We did pretty good,” Gonzalez said. “We started the day in 17th place and ended in fifth place. We’ve been faced with some adversity the last couple of weeks. Our 115 pound starter broke his finger. Without three that would have placed, we did pretty well to place fifth.”

The Madera Coyotes were just 10.5 points behind Madera South in sixth place.

Abraham Del Toro led the Coyotes with a finals run at 140 pounds.

Also placing for the Coyotes were Mario Moreno, fifth at 122 pounds; Moses Contreras, third at 147 pounds; Jorge Gonzalez, sixth at 154 pounds and Nathan Alvarado, seventh at 154 pounds.

Meanwhile, the Liberty Hawks were led by heavyweight Javier Lopez, who was the only Hawks wrestler to place (eighth).

On the road to the championship rounds, Posas recorded a 9-8 victory over Manuel Bermudez of Mission Oak-Tulare. Posas led 8-5 after the second period. He allowed an early reversal, but got an escape to get a three-point lead and held on for the victory.

In the finals, Posas faced Pitman-Turlock’s Isriel Tubera. In club season, Posas was pinned by Tubera and saught a measure of revenge. Posas took the lead with a takedown 38 seconds into the match. However, he fell for a reversal and a near fall at the end of the period and trailed 4-2.

After a scoreless second, Tubera recorded an escape and a takedown for a 7-2 victory.

“For Carlos, it was a matter of going to the finals,” Gonzalez said. “He faced the No. 10 wrestler in the state in the finals. He was satisfied with his performance.”

At 162 pounds, Garcia came as one of the favorites. He recorded two pins on his way to the semifinals. After taking a 2-0 lead in the first period against Mission Oak’s Gabriel Salcedo, Garcia recorded an escape and a reversal in the second period. He capped his semifinal win with a reversal and a 3-point near fall for a 10-0 major victory.

Garcia faced top seed Jonathan Garcia from Frontier-Bakersfield in the championship match. He fell quickly to a takedown and a near fall and couldn’t get out of the first period when Garcia pinned him with 37 seconds left in the period.

“Auggie ran into a horse,” Gonzalez said. “His opponent defeated Dylan in the finals last year.”

Miracle made the most of his last Chukchansi Invitational. He pinned his first two opponents to reach the semifinals. After a scoreless first period against Mariposa County’s Antonio Hernandez, Miracle got an escape 15 seconds into the period and recorded a takedown. Hernandez got an escape early in the third period, but Miracle was able to stay away from a takedown for a 3-1 win.

Miracle faced County/Metro Athletic Conference rival Vardanyan and picked up an early takedown when he pulled Vardanyan back into the circle to complete a pin with 31 seconds left in the first period.

Miracle then got an escape early in the second period, but Vardanyan got an escape in the third period for a 3-1 Miracle lead. Miracle then recorded a takedown for a 5-1 lead before Vardanyan recorded an escape with 26 second left in the match for a 5-1 Miracle win.

“Dylan Miracle did phenomenal this year,” Gonzalez said.

Del Toro was the top seed at 140 pounds and recorded three pins heading into his semifinal match against Buchanan-Clovis’ Trenton Stuart. After the first period, the two wrestlers were tied at three.

After Stuart scored two points, Del Toro tied it again with a takedown with 25 seconds left in the period. Del Toro recorded a reversal 38 seconds into the third period, but Stuart got an escape with 34 seconds left. However, Del Toro clinched the match with a takedown with 12 seconds left in the match for a 9-6 win.

In the finals, Del Toro was hit with an early illegal hold penalty for a point and then got into a near fall for three more points and couldn’t score any against Buchanan’s Wyatt Peverill for a 4-0 loss.

Liberty’s Lopez recorded two pins on the first day of the competition to head to the quarterfinals on Saturday.

He lost by pin to eventual champion, Armando Barcenos of Hanford.

In the seventh place match, Lopez lost in sudden death overtime, 3-2, to Pitman’s Julian Barrera.

Before the finals, Gonzalez honored former Madera and Fresno City College wrestling coach Robert Arballo and named an award after him for the toughest wrestler in the finals. For the first award, Arballo gave it to 134-pound champion Isaiah Perez of Dinuba.


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