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Chovanec leads Eagles at divisionals

By: Matt Long
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Chris Chovanec placed second at the Division IV wrestling championships and is one of seven Vista del Lago qualifiers to this weekend’s Masters Tournament. Seven wrestlers are the most Vista del Lago has ever advanced to the tournament and seniors Chovanec and Jordan Bailey will be competing for the second straight year. Chovanec placed second in the 140-pound weight class at divisionals, while Bailey finished third at 152 pounds. The Eagles placed fourth overall as a team. “Chris became Vista’s first divisional finalist in school history,” Vista coach Frank Richmond said. “He had a great tournament beating honorable mention ranked wrestlers Tyler Malone from Oakdale, 9-7, in the quarterfinals and number-2 ranked Jorge Munoz from Los Banos in the semis, 5-3, before losing to Sean Tow from Union Mine in the finals, 11-4. With that performance Chris sets himself up with a very good chance of becoming Vista’s first state qualifier. Chris and the six other Eagle Masters qualifiers will be putting in a lot of hard work this week as they prepare for the Masters meet.” Chovanec and Bailey will be looking to improve on their performance at last year’s Masters tournament, where Chovanec lost both his matches and Bailey split his four matches. Bailey won his first two matches at divisionals by technical fall and pin before losing 15-10 to Aiden Foster. Bailey rebounded to win his final match by pin to place third. The top-five finishers advanced to the Masters tournament in Stockton Arena this weekend, where all wrestlers will have a chance to qualify for the state tournament. Joining Chovanec and Bailey will be senior teammate Jaleon Reid (fourth place at 135) and sophomores Austin Rompel (fifth at 103), Daniel Rodriguez (fifth at 119), Troy Grossi (fifth at 125) Jacob Sahagun (fifth at 145).