Tehachapi Valley Wrestling Club recently traveled to Tulare to compete at one of the toughest valley tournaments, the 10th Annual California Republic.

The tournament was a two-day event with middle school divisions competing Saturday. TVWC top placer was runner-up Jovonni Martinez in the Novice Division 155-pound class.

“This was Martinez’s first completion, which he missed some opportunities to win the tournament, but showed up and competed hard,” Coach Curtis Nelson said.

Reese Hart wrestled the Girls Only Division at 112 and finished with a third place medal out of seven competitors. Levi Hart battled six rounds of matches at 106 pounds to earn his fourth- place medal.

“Both Levi and Reese are two of the toughest mddle school wrestlers and wrestle in two of the most competitive weights in the state," Nelson said.

Evan Lutgen had a tough day in the 77-pound class and finished the day with sixth.

The second day had the kindergarten to 5th graders hitting the mats. TVWC had 10 wrestlers competing on six mats, which kept the coaching staff of Marcus Coates, Eric Parker and Nelson busy.

Jake Brown earned another first-place finish for the year at the 44-pound, 2-3 grade division. Phillip Coates lost in the finals of his 16-man bracket of the K-1st division at 44 pounds and had to wrestle the third-place wrestler in a “true second” match and pinned him to keep his second place medal.

Drake Lightner also wrestled in the K-1-44 pound division and placed fourth. Tehachapi wrestlers in the K-1 fivision not able to place in their 32-man bracket of the 48-pound class were Noe Mesa, Liam Parker and Marcus Coates. Noe was one match away from placing. Garick MacLachlan ended up injuring, defaulting in the K-1, 40-pound division.

Both Gabriel Mesa and Maddox MacLachlan were one match away from placing in the 2-3 grade 53-pound division. Kayden Gonzales also was one match from placing in his 4-5 grade 77-pounds division.

“We are proud of Jake being champion and seeing our wrestlers placing at this tournament and we almost had four other placers, so that is a good day of wrestling," Nelson said.

TVWC will hold an all-you-can-eat spaghetti fundraiser from 5 to 8 p.m Wednesday, Jan. 15 at the VFW. Tickets can be purchased in advance or at the door for $10 for adults and $5 for kids. Come meet the coaches and wrestlers. For more information, call Nelson at 557-1366.

Curtis Nelson is head coach of the Tehachapi Valley Wrestling Club.