Tracy High wrestling was represented by incoming senior, Eli Blackwell at Fargo nationals. This is the largest, most competitive tournament of high-school aged wrestlers for international level styles of wrestling.
In Greco-Roman Eli went 4-2 for the tournament with his two losses coming from 2018 tournament finalist and from this year’s 2019 tournament finalist. His two losses came by tech-fall and by fall. His four wins were by decision, fall, and two tech-falls. All participants were qualified through their respective state tournaments or from regional qualifiers.
Eli qualified for this event having been a state finalist in California, a finalist at the US Open, and placing twice in regional competition.
He reported that he had a great camp in Fresno heading into the tournament, felt he was well prepared with a summer of training at the regional RTC (Stanford University) and at the OTC (Olympic Training Center) in Colorado Springs. This was his fourth trip to the national tournament. This year, he was one of 4 athletes from California in his weight to qualify.
With 2018-19 wrestling coming to a close, he now waits for his final national level score to see where he will be ranked in the future Olympians ranking level that will come out in September most likely.
Tracy High Wrestler Eli Blackwell recently received and accepted the invitation to represent the state of California as a team member in the national event as part of Team California. The state will be sending two teams to this national event. The following is an excerpt from the invitation.
Congratulations! You have been selected to be a member of the 2019 California USA Wrestling Junior Duals Team set to compete in Tulsa Oklahoma on June 14th – June 23rd, 2019.
We want to take a moment to tell you what a great experience this tournament is. Between the high level of competition, the opportunity to hone your skills, and the exposure to college recruiters, it is a tournament that should not be missed.
The California Wrestling Association had it’s end of season state championship event.
California is a part of USA Wrestling. USA Wrestling (formerly known as the United States Wrestling Federation and as the United States Wrestling Association) is the organization that currently governs freestyle wrestling and Greco-Roman wrestling in the United States. USA Wrestling is also the official representative to the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and to United World Wrestling (UWW) and is considered the national governing body of the sport at the amateur level.
This past weekend, for the youth age groups (pre- high school), the organization had the age level freestyle state championships. For the high school age division (cadet and junior level), the Greco-Roman style state championships were held. In addition to these, the UWW age (college age athletes) also had both Freestyle and Greco-Roman state championships.
The lone representative from Tracy High School wrestler Eli Blackwell. He entered in all three events. The age-appropriate ‘junior’ (18 & under) division as well as the UWW age division (college athletes). Eli placed second in the state in all three divisions over the weekend. The state final results from the junior division was a qualifier for the national competition later this summer (July) in Fargo, ND. He had already qualified in 5 different events earlier in the year so these participation became high-level competitive practice. Top 8 receive medals, top 3 bear trophies, top 2 automatic qualify for national level competition.
This summer, he will be travelling with team California to Fargo, ND for a fourth time. This will be the first time a Tracy High wrestler has qualified more than twice for this level of competition in more than 30 years and this will be his fourth trip.
The San Joaquin All Star Duals Team competed in the toughest team level competition of the year in the state of California. Tracy High had two team members present in senior Eli Blackwell at 134 and freshman Anthony Nunes at 122. This was Anthony’s first time being selected for the honor of being selected. Eli competed on his third all star duals team.
In the Greco duals, the SJWA team went 2-1 in pool play and then 1-1 to place 4th as a team in the state. In the Freestyle dual, the SJWA team went 1-2 in pool competition and then 2-0 to place 5th in the state.
The SJ All Star Wrestling Team was selected recently. After a week of practice, a wrestle-off was held to determine the team. The selected team then continue with two weeks of preparation leading up to this weekend’s duals in a state-wide event held in Fresno, CA at the Selland Arena. Teams will be coming from other areas representing other regions.
The selection process from the area’s best wrestlers is a good indicator of a high school team’s progress. Unlike other sports where an all-star team is just an honor received or competition reserved to just outgoing seniors, these teams will compete against one another over two days.
In Tracy and surrounding towns: Neither Kimball nor West High School had any participants included from the city of Tracy. Tracy will be represented by one wrestler. Two from Stockton area schools and none from the Manteca/Ripon/Lathrop area.
In Tracy: Representing Tracy High School is Eli Blackwell. He was selected for the third consecutive year. Eli will compete at 134 pounds.
The remainder of the team will have wrestlers from the cities of Modesto, Oakdale, Ceres, Atwater, Merced, and Patterson represented.
UPDATE: An injury to a wrestler from Modesto has left a spot to be filled by another quality wrestler. Anthony Nunes, a freshman from Tracy High School will step in to wrestle at 122.
Tracy High was represented by veteran Eli Blackwell at the US Open (Western Regional). The event had multiple age divisions with competition from youth all the way up to senior level competitors vying for a trip to Final X or qualifying to the WTT with a focus on Final X. Eli was competing in both the high school junior age division (typically high school juniors and seniors) as well as the UWW junior division (college age participants).
In the junior division, Eli beat several nationally ranked opponents and state medalists and state champions to reach the finals of the Greco tournament before losing in the final to take home a 2nd place silver medal. In the UWW division, Eli went 2-2 with two falls over collegiate wrestlers including last year’s UWW finalist and Pan Am representative who was representing the Naval Academy RTC.
Eli was representing Stanford – California RTC (Regional Training Center) for highly skilled regional wrestlers who have met the USA Wrestling criteria for participation. High school and college wrestlers who have placed top 8 nationally or top 4 in their state are eligible to participate.
Congratulations Eli on a great tournament in Las Vegas!
After becoming an All-American at Reno World Nationals just last weekend, Tracy High’s Eli Blackwell becomes the first Tracy High wrestler this decade to reach the state finals in an international style event and he does it wrestling in the college/adult age division. Open Greco @ 60kg. He reached the finals with a tech-fall in the quarters, another in the semis before falling short in the finals.
The 2019 True Grit scholarship recipient is Anthony Gougousis. Anthony, a 4-year Tracy High wrestler who carried a 4.0 GPA during his senior campaign was recognized by his coaches for his years of participation on the wrestling team while maintaining the balance of student first, athlete second and excelling in both.
Congratulations Anthony. For past recipients of this prestigious honor, click here.