Pat Lovell Holiday Wrestling Classic, 2018: Aptos' Zacarias, Watsonville's Meyers stun seeded opponents in third place finishes


Aptos senior Alex Zacarias and Watsonville senior Luke Meyers entered the 50th annual Pat Lovell Holiday Wrestling Classic unseeded and fairly unknown.

That will not be the case going forward.

Each local wrestler knocked off a seeded opponent in their respective third-place match on Saturday — the second day of the 64-team, two-day tournament in Aptos.

Zacarias pinned No. 2 seed Nick Trave of Petaluma to take third at 106 pounds, while Meyers pinned No. 4 seed Isaiah Ontiveros of Pitman in the third-place match at 152 pounds.

Zacarias finished the weekend with a 4-1 record, and Meyers went 5-1. The former recorded all four of his wins by pin, and the latter also recorded four pins over the two days of wrestling.

Both wrestlers’ lone loss of the weekend came against the eventual champion of their respective bracket.

Aptos senior Tyler Slay was the only other local who earned a spot on the podium. He took fifth at 170 pounds after edging Diego Diaz of Bellarmine in a 6-5 decision.

Zacarias entered the tournament ranked 19th in the Central Coast Section at 113 pounds by ccsrank.com, but that will most likely change after his impressive weekend, which started with pins over Tyler Fouts of Lake Stevens, and Trave on Friday afternoon.

In Saturday morning’s semifinal round, Zacarias lost to No. 3 seed Justin Ramirez of Clovis, but bounced back in the consolation bracket with a win over Dylan Hidalgo of North Salinas, who is ranked seventh in the CCS at 106 pounds, and pinned Trave for the second time in two days to take third.

Ranked ninth in the CCS at 152 pounds, Meyers, too, will likely see a jump in his positioning when next week’s rankings are released. A CCS qualifier last season, Meyers knocked off No. 7 seed Jacob Barquet of Whitney via a 13-9 decision in his first action on Friday, and followed up that victory with a pair of dominant pins over Austin Niemi of Leland and No. 6 seed Nolan Lok of Pitman. 

Meyers lost in the semifinals to top-seeded Alfredo Mendoza of Salinas, who is ranked second in the CCS at 145 pounds, by a 9-1 decision in his first match on Saturday, but avenged his loss by scoring a pins over Barquet and Ontiveros.

Lake Stevens of Washington won the tournament’s team title with 256 points, Pitman finished runner-up with 217.5 and Clovis followed in third with 178.

Host Aptos was 14th (76). Watsonville tied for 30th (46). St. Francis (48th, 13.5) and Pajaro Valley (58th, 0) also competed at the tournament.

Nine wrestlers were still alive after Friday’s action. Seven of them had suffered their first loss during the first day and started Saturday’s wrestling in the consolation bracket. Only Slay was able to power his way through the consolation matches for a spot on the podium.

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