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MV's Nicoloff leads Metro matsters at Battle by the Beach tourney Phillip Brents | Fri, Dec 09 2011 03:37 PM

The high school wrestling season has faced off and the goal for all competitors remains the same as every year: qualify for March’s state championship meet.

Mar Vista senior Jon Nicoloff edged a bit closer to that goal by capturing his 195-pound weight class at last Saturday’s 10th annual Battle by the Beach tournament in Imperial Beach.

“I’ve been active in offseason tournaments and lifting weights, and I’ve attended some personalized clinics,” Nicoloff said. “My last pin came as a result of moves I learned at the clinics.”

Nicoloff, who captured his weight class at last season’s San Diego Section Division III championship finals,recorded three pins in as many matches at the 23-team Mar Vista tournament to earn outstanding upper weight honors. He pinned Brawley’s Joseph Guler in 3:41 in the championship match to go with earlier pins against Grossmont’s Matt Carpenter (6:00 in the semifinals) and Central Union’s Esteban Antondo (2:37 in the quarterfinals).

The Mariner mat warrior was the lone Metro Conference entrant in the championship round that was otherwise dominated by grapplers from team champion Brawley (six finalists), runner-up Rancho Bernardo (five finalists), third place Central Union (five finalists) and fourth place Monte Vista (four finalists).

Nicoloff qualified for the second day of last season’s San Diego Masters state qualifying tournament and wishes to take it a couple of steps farther this season.

“I want to place at state,” he said.

The challenge is on.

Matt attack
Hilltop notched the highest place-finish among Metro teams at sixth (five points behind fifth place Steele Canyon). The Lancers netted five medalists: Cruz Jaime (third, 106), Jordan Griffin (third, 113), Albert Navarro (third, 145), Raul Romo (third, 220) and Tyler Kekic (fifth, 182).

Hilltop assistant coach Juan Miranda called Romo’s third-place showing the “surprise” of the tournament after Romo had not competed for two years.

Tourney host Mar Vista finished 11th in the team standings, followed by San Ysidro (13th), Olympian (14th), Bonita Vista (16th) and Mater Dei Catholic (19th).

San Ysidro had four medal-winners: Miguel Flores (fifth, 113), Missael Rodriguez (fifth, 160), Ivan Gill (fifth, 220) and Jonathan Bastien (third, 285).

Olympian had a pair of third-place two medalists: Jose Gonzalez (120) and Joey Schaeffer (138). Schaeffer finished 10-0 in preseason competition.

Jesse Terminel (fifth, 120) and Jerzey Barbato (fifth, 132) joined Nicoloff as Mar Vista’s three medalists.

Also securing medals were Bonita Vista’s Zach Ayala (third, 220) and Mater Dei’s Alejandro Rivera (fifth, 145).

Individual award-winners included Central Union 113-pounder Micah Perez (outstanding lower weight) and Steele Canyon 160-pounder Brady Beamon (outstanding middle weight). Perez recorded the tourney’s fastest pin in eight seconds while Beamon earned the most pins award (in least time) with three falls in 2:59.

Grossmont’s Todd Bell received the coveted Larry Borden memorial coaches award.

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