Pollock, Fiegener lead Folsom in Temecula Valley Tournament

By: Matt Long/Telegraph Sports Editor
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Like no other year, Folsom High’s wrestling team is seeking out the best competition they can find with the hopes that it will prepare them for the postseason. A week after competing in the Doc Buchanan Invitational, arguably the toughest tournament in the state, outside of the state tournament, the Bulldogs traveled to southern California to compete in the Temecula Valley Invitational. This tournament featured nine of the top-15 teams in the state with several top-ranked wrestlers competing. “If Doc Buchanan is the toughest tournament, then than this is probably the second toughest,” Folsom coach Mike Collier said. “Just like last week, this tournament featured the three top teams in the state in Bakersfield, Poway and Clovis, the defending state champion. There’s a reason why all of these teams are good. They go out and seek the best competition possible and that’s what we’re trying to do. As a result, we’ve already seen the most of the highest-caliber competition in the state. “By the end of next weekend when we go to the Tim Brown tournament, we will have seen 38 of the top-40 ranked teams in the state. This prepares our kids for the postseason so they know what to expect when Masters and State come around.” Folsom placed 11th out of 70 teams competing at the tournament, only 1 ½ points out of tenth. Connor Pollock and Nick Fiegener led the way with fourth-place finishes at 126 and 145 pounds, respectively, as both lost in the semifinals to the eventual champion and then again in the consolation bracket to ranked wrestlers. Pollock lost to last year’s state champion, Daniel Gaytan of Clovis (who he beat last week) and also to Josh Rodriguez of Righetti, a returning state finalist. Fiegener, who knocked off the No. 1 seed in the tournament, Adam Hendrickson of Healdsburg, lost to Righetti’s Luke Wilson, the eventual champ, and then to Jason Ladd of Clovis, who is ranked eighth in the state. Four other Folsom wrestlers came within one win of earning a medal, including Lorenzo De La Riva (120), Alex Hurlimann (182), Alex Wood (195) and Jordan Alleva (285). “All of these guys were in the mix to earn a medal and their only losses came to guys who ended up placing, so they know they are up there with the top wrestlers in their weight classes,” Collier said. Mason Koshiyama (138) advanced to the second day of the tournament, while Tony Hernandez (132), Ryan Jensen (152) and Devon Nooner (160) also picked up team points. Carlos Alvarez (106) also competed in the tournament. Folsom faces Jesuit in a dual match Wednesday before competing in the Tim Brown Memorial Tournament in Sacramento on Friday and Saturday.