Clark, Johnson grind out victories on Day 1

first_img“That was my fourth six-minute match all year,” a winded Clark said after barely beating Bonita’s David Stubblebean. “I could have used a first match.” As a top seed, Clark only needed to wrestle once and win to stay in the winner’s bracket when competition resumed today. So did Diamond Bar senior Marcus Johnson, who like Clark had to ease in to his victory. RIALTO – The stakes were raised, and Alta Loma senior Alton Clark was on his back. He had just won his match all right, a 9-7 nailbiter, the first and only time Clark took the mat at the CIF-Southern Section Masters meet Friday. But considering his 43-1 record with 39 pins, considering he’d only been a 145-pounder (down from 171) for two weeks, considering his seven-hour down time from weigh-in to competition, Clark had earned a brief nap. Ultimately, Johnson’s season record stayed perfect at 42-0 with a 7-2 win over Ontario’s Oscar Navarette. “They’re gunning for me, it’s not me gunning for them. I’ve never had that before,” Johnson said. “It’s kinda nice having everyone want a piece of you.” Rancho Cucamonga senior Ryan Eagleson extended his undefeated season to 42-0, beating Orange Lutheran’s Danny Salazar by technical fall and pulling out a 14-9 win over Sunny Hills’ Joseph Park. The 130-pounder was leading Park 8-7 after two periods but, typical of his season, Cougars head coach Rangi Smart said, Eagleson simply had more strength than his opponent in the third. “He’s got a lot of offense,” Smart said of Eagleson. “He’s got the conditioning, and that only comes from working your butt off.” center_img Eagleson opens competition today against Dana Hills’ Bobby Scofield, who is ranked first in the state in the 130-pound class. Etiwanda heavyweight Marcus Austin provided one of the day’s more dramatic moments in his second-round match with Jason Fonzi of Quartz Hill. Locked in a bear hug early, Austin and Fonzi lost their balance and fell onto an adjacent mat, hurtling their combined 430-plus pounds into an unsuspecting referee. The ref fell down, took a minute to regain his composure, then continued to officiate his match. Up 2-0 in the third, Austin body-slammed Fonzi to the canvas – a one-point penalty – then immediately allowed a 1-point escape to tie the score. Only a takedown in the final seconds allowed Austin to avoid an upset and win, 4-2. Austin’s reward? A tangle today with Hesperia senior Ryan Hoover, the top-ranked heavyweight in the state. Victoria Anthony and Carter High were the other notable winners Friday. Anthony, a sophomore from Huntington Beach Marina, is the first female to compete in the CIF-SS Masters meet since its inception in 1983. After dropping her first match 13-0, she came back for a 22-10 win in the consolation bracket and will be back on the mat today. Carter, which supplanted Fountain Valley as tournament host this year, orchestrated a smooth day of competition that ended ahead of schedule. “I don’t think there were any drawbacks,” Sultana coach Rocky Humphrey said. “I like it better because it’s a lot closer to home, too.” Third-round competition begins at 9 a.m. today, and Carter athletic director Joe Paluba expects winners to be crowned by 7 p.m. Temecula Valley’s 44.5 points led the team standings. Behind second-place Sultana (36.5) and fifth-place Hesperia (30.5), ninth-place Barstow (20) was the only county school among the top 20. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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