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Published February 20th, 2019
Lamorinda wrestlers converge at the Diablo Athletic League Tournament
Steven Williams, Acalanes Photos Gint Federas

Thirteen high schools came together at Campolindo High School Feb. 9 to compete in the Diablo Athletic League Tournament to qualify for the upcoming North Coast sectionals where they will compete for a position in the state wrestling tournament. The top five finishers in each weight class go on to the North Coast Section tournament and the top three wrestlers from the NCS will compete in the state championships.
The high school teams that competed were Acalanes, Campolindo, Miramonte, Alhambra, Benicia, Berean Christian, Clayton Valley, College Park, Concord, Las Lomas, Mt. Diablo, Northgate and Ygnacio Valley.
When the tournament concluded, Acalanes, Campolindo and Miramonte all had at least one wrestler who earned a spot at the NCS tournament: (Acalanes) James Trainer-120 5th place, Youssef Qteishat-170 5th place, Tony Correa-220 2nd place and Steven Williams-160 1st place; (Campolindo) Noah Hamann-113 2nd place, Adrian Bautista-120 4th place, Jack Gruen-170 3rd place and Nick Shaw-182 5th place; and (Miramonte) Dylan Welch-113 5th place.
Leading the boys and girls for Acalanes' head coach Micah Canestaro were captain Steven Williams "our top wrestler" and Abeagail Dunsmore, who "was tough all year. She was 2-2 fighting through an injury. She was helped with her background in martial arts and showed great strength and tenaciousness," Canestaro said.?
Lucas Haase was a first-time wrestler who came over from the track team and had to be convinced by Canestaro to see the benefits of wrestling when Haase asked: "Why should I learn how to wrestle someone that I can always outrun?" Canestaro obviously came up with the right answer because "Lucas turned out to be a top prospect for the future, obviously bringing very good cardio with him."
Matt Soto, also a freshman, showed great potential finishing third in the JV tournament. Canestaro was more impressed with both of his freshmen because "neither had a history with wrestling but both performed very well."
Addison Early, the team's senior captain and a top talent and leader on the team, hurt his neck (not seriously) at the Mission Tournament but was forced to miss this tournament. Two wrestlers that suffered injuries but who both showed good upsides were freshman Lukas Ross, who broke his foot in a skateboarding injury, and Alexandra Haase, Lucas' sister who missed a lot of time after suffering a concussion during the season.
For the Campolindo team this season, co-head coaches Lou Suba and Nikko Triggas counted on their co-captains Adrian Bautista at 120 and Noah Hamann at 113, and both did well both on and off the mat. Suba felt that the most pleasant surprise on the team was freshman Walker Johnson: "This was Walker's first year with us though he had wrestled with the Lamorinda Youth Wrestling Program prior to coming to Campolindo."
Seniors Nick Shaw and Jack Gruen both battled through injuries this year. Julianna Meneses, who wrestled all season on the girls team, showed she could multi-task by singing the national anthem prior to the JV tournament on Friday and for the varsity on Saturday. With six girls returning to the team next year, Suba and Triggs are particularly optimistic about this group for next season.
Miramonte head coach Jason Rosiak felt that Dylan Welch qualifying for NCS was due special recognition. "Shannon Lick, who wrestled for his team at 137," says Rosiak, "was the first girl to win a tournament (The Barnburner in Livermore) for Miramonte in the last decade." Junior Alice Hogan proved to the "pleasant surprise" of the season for Rosiak with her overall performance. Benjamin Chin was forced to miss most of the season due to a shoulder injury.
Rosiak, in his second season with Miramonte, saw a lot of positives with his team: "We're the youngest team in the league. We are building for the long term and anticipate taking the next step. The highlight of the season for us was defeating Campolindo in a dual match for the first time in 15 years."
It's rare for first year head coaches to be assigned the responsibility of running this tournament, but Suba and Triggas took on the job and hit the ground running, modernizing the system overnight. "We installed an all-electronic system," said Triggas. "Everything was run by computer and we were able to avoid having to shuttle papers back and forth all day." Suba said that he and Triggas chose a system called Track Wrestling: "It was a very efficient system that worked well in every way."
The tournament was run very efficiently. Electronic scoring and clocks ran very smoothly, which was facilitated by the Campolindo coaches utilizing the system to ensure it worked efficiently the day before for the first time for the JV and Girls tournaments, serving as a tune-up for the varsity matches.
As former wrestlers, Triggas (Ohio State) and Suba (Indiana) wanted to acknowledge all of the senior wrestlers who participated in that day: "We had a ceremony before the finals recognizing each of of the seniors, calling them each down to the mat since they were wrestling in their last league tournament."

Noah Hamann, Campolindo
Acalanes seniors
Campolindo seniors

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