BAKERSFIELD — They’re all about paying it forward in the Oak Ridge wrestling program. And judging by the payouts on the medal podium, it’s a system that commands respect.
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Trojan junior Keaton Subjeck added his name (again) to the list of Oak Ridge wrestlers to place in the Top 8 at the California Interscholastic Federation State Wrestling Championships, securing fifth place Saturday at Rabobank Arena.
He has learned from the great wrestlers who came before him at Oak Ridge, and his success is sure to lead others to great things if they follow.
Subjeck finished 5-2 in the 160-pound bracket, losing to the third and fourth-place wrestlers, and that improved upon his eighth-place finish last year. His first loss, which came Friday, was hard to swallow but he took lessons learned from previous teammates and his own experience, gathered himself, and trudged on in the carnivorous consolation bracket.
Zach Claiborne (182) also competed for Oak Ridge, finishing 1-2.
“I could have been in the semifinals but I didn’t let it affect me. People can go downhill in a hurry when they lose a big match in a tournament like this,” Subjeck said.
Leading Clovis’ Adrian Salas (Central Section No. 1 seed) by a point in the final minute of his quarterfinal match, Subjeck made one of his few mistakes and it cost him dearly. With Salas squirming away from his control, Subjeck allowed Salas to reverse for the lead instead of escape for the tie and a possible different outcome. Still, he didn’t let the loss eat away at him.
“I went after him right from the start, I know the best way is to be aggressive. Attack, attack, attack, attack but things didn’t go my way. It was frustrating,” Subjeck said. “I stayed calm, I didn’t let the arena and lights and noise get to me. A lot of people get freaked out.”
He fought right back from the loss by blasting Winters High wrestler Trevor Wright (Northern Section No. 1 seed) to guarantee a spot in the medal rounds despite an aching shoulder from an injury Friday. Subjeck aggressively shot for a double-leg takedown early, gave up a reversal, then escaped before racking up another takedown near the end of the first period. Two go-behinds for takedowns started the second and third periods, respectively, and that built plenty of cushion for Subjeck in the 11-5 victory.
A 41-second pin of Steele Canyon’s Brady Beamon (the San Diego Section No 1 seed) followed, then a 6-3 loss to McNair’s Jim Wilson, the same wrestler who beat Subjeck in the Sac-Joaquin Section final last week in Stockton — dropping him to the fifth-place match against Healdsburg’s Matthew Tsarnas (North Coast Section No. 3), and Subjeck throttled him 7-1 with aggressive attacks in the neutral position.
“I watched him wrestle as a kid and I was really excited to coach him one day,” Trojan coach Casey Rhyan said. “Not letting that loss affect him was huge.”
Subjeck’s achievement is just another in the long list of Trojans to medal at the state meet, most recently Vince Waldhauser, Kyle West, Kavon Tillotson and Nick Rohrer.
“Keaton had Waldhauser and that helped him learn how to prepare,” Rhyan said, referencing the mental rigors of competing in the state tournament. “Keaton leads by example. It was good for Zach to see Keaton lose that heartbreaker. As a coach you can tell them but until they see their friend live through it, it won’t set in.”
Subjeck plans to take a week off before beginning training again, possibly for Nationals. And, he’s counting on returning to Rabobank next year for a shot at the state title match. He’ll choose which weight class based on how he feels, not on who’s out there.
“I don’t run from people, I go with what I feel I wrestle best at,” Subjeck said.
Claiborne, a junior who placed fourth in the section, lost his opener to Mason Kumashiro of Los Alamitos (Southern Section No. 7), 18-16, then beat North Coast section champion Conor Young of College Park 17-6 before bowing out with a 9-6 loss to Jordan Sepeda of Natomas, who beat him at the Masters tournament last week.
“He (Claiborne) got a lot of experience. He hasn’t been a hardcore wrestler but it showed him he could be here again and be a top guy,” Rhyan said. “I was proud of Zach because he battled. It’s a different level of wrestling here.”
Both will return next season, trying to keep the chain of medal winners running.
Listed below are chronological updates the Democrat ran throughout the tournament.
Update No. 19 – In a rematch of last weekend’s 160-pound Masters finals, McNair’s Jim Wilson derailed Oak Ridge’s Keaton Subjeck’s hopes for a higher medal Saturday in a 6-3 setback to the Trojan at the CIF State Wrestling Championships in Bakersfield.
McNair, a returning state medalist (fourth place, 160s) from a year ago, won last week’s match 5-2.
Subjeck’s last match this afternoon will be for fifth/sixth place against Matthew Tsarnas of Healdsburg, the North Coast’s No. 3 seed. Subjeck is the Sac-Joaquin Section’s No. 2 seed.
Update No. 18 — Oak Ridge’s Keaton Subjeck (160 pounds) pinned Steele Canyon’s Brady Beamon 41 seconds into their first-period bout to set up a rematch with McNair’s Jim Wilson, who upended Subjeck last week in the Masters final.
A win for Subjeck puts him in the match for third/fourth place. Subject is already guaranteed a finish of sixth place or higher. He was eighth last year at 145s.
Update No. 17 — Troy’s Keaton Subjeck (160 pounds) posted an 11-5 decision over Winters’ Trevor Wright Saturday morning to reach the medal rounds at the CIF State Wrestling Championships in Bakersfield.
Subjeck is now guaranteed one of eight medals issued per weight category and can now set his sight’s on third place. His next opponent is Steele Canyon’s Brady Beamon, the San Diego Section’s top seed.
Update No. 16 — Oak Ridge 160-pounder Keaton Subjeck, the lone El Dorado County wrestler to make it to the second day at the CIF State Wrestling Championships in Bakersfield, sits one win away from the medal rounds as action gets underway later this morning at Rabobank Arena. Subjeck will go against Winters’ Trevor Wright.
Update No. 15 — The three remaining El Dorado wrestlers competing at the CIF State Wrestling Championships at Bakersfield’s Rabobank Arena lost their final matches Friday, ending the medal hopes for two of them. Of the eight that started Friday morning, only Oak Ridge’s Keaton Subjeck will make it to Saturday where the Trojan 160-pounder needs one more win for a chance to place.
Subjeck, the state’s eighth best 145-pounder a year ago, lost his last match Friday by a 11-10 score to Clovis’ Adrian Salas, the Central Section’s No. 1 seed and ranked second in the state. He’ll need to defeat Winters’ Trevor Wright tomorrow to guarantee a medal.
The two other wrestlers hoping to medal but coming up short were Union Mine’s Mitch Woods (170) who lost a heartbreaking 3-2 match to Hoopa’s Orion Cosce, the same wrestler who ended the tournament for Ponderosa’s Nick Troquato. Bruin Jeff Camilli (HWT) was also stopped 5-1 by Seaside’s Jonathan Tuiolosega.
Update No. 14 — Ponderosa’s Jeff Camilli (HWT) pinned Galileo’s Michal Brzozek No. 1 San Francisco Section) 56 seconds into the second period of his first consolation match late Friday at the CIF State Wrestling Championships at Rabobank Arena. Camilli is 2-1 and takes on Seaside’s Jonathan Tuiolosega next.
Update No. 13 — Technical falls advanced one El Dorado wrestler at the CIF State Wrestling Championships in Bakersfield and lost one late Friday. D’back Mitch Woods (170) won his first consolation battle with an 18-2 victory over Troy High’s Christian Cabrera (No. 8 Southern Section). Bruin Nick Troquato (170) was eliminated after a 19-3 loss to Hoopa’s Orion Cosce (No. 3, North Coast Section). Woods takes on Cosce next.
Update No. 12 — Both Ponderosa’s Sean Melton (126) and Union Mine’s Sean Tow (145) lost their second straight matches Friday and were eliminated from the Cif State Wrestling Championships. Melton lost 14-3 to Serra’s Travis Roberts (No. 2 Central Coast Section) while Tow’s season ended on a first-period pin from King City’s Luis Quintero (No. 2 Central Coast Section).
Update No. 11 — Ponderosa’s Jeff Camilli (HWT) lost 3-1 to Roosevelt’s Abdullatif Nour, ranked third in the state, in his second match. At 182s, Oak Ridge’s Zach Claiborne fell 9-6 to Natomas’ Jordan Sepeda who defeated Claiborne last week for third place at the Masters.
Update No. 10 — Trojan Keaton Subject (160) recorded his second pin Friday in a fall of Laguna Hills’ Jason Newcomer 40 seconds into the second period. Union Mine’s Mitch Woods (170) and Ponderosa’s Nick Troquato (170) both lost their second matches; Woods fell 3-0 to Los Osos’ Yaskin Solano (South Section No. 3) while Bakersfield’s Silas Nacita (Central Section No. 1) upended Troquato.
Update No. 9 — Union Mine’s Sean Tow lost a 12-3 major decision to De La Salle’s Alex Abono in their 145-pound second-round match at the Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield. Tow is a second seed from the Sac-Joaquin Section while Abono is the North Coast Section’s No. 1 seed.
Update No. 8 — Ponderosa’s Sean Melton (126) lost a 6-1 decision to De La Salle’s Joe Moita (No. 1 North Coast Section) and is now 1-1 at the CIF State Wrestling Tournament in Bakersfield.
Update No. 7 — Oak Ridge’s Zach Claiborne (182) took the first step of the comeback trail in the consolation bracket with a 17-6 major decision of College park’s Connor Young. Bruin Jorden Marinell’s (195) postseason ends with a 7-4 loss to Clovis North’s Jordan Pyser.
Update No. 6 — Ponderosa heavyweight Jeff Camilli (No. 5 seed, SJS) advanced out of the first round of the CIF State Wrestling Championships in Bakersfield after pinning James Cannon (No. 2, San Diego Section).
Update No. 5 — Diamondback Mitch Woods (No. 2, SJS) decisioned De La Salle’s Aaron Pease 9-3 in his first match in the 170-pound bracket at the CIF State Wrestling Championships in Bakersfield. Pease is a No. 4 seed from the North Coast Section.
With a win already, Ponderosa’s Nick Troquato (170) posted a 6-3 win over Temecula Valley’s Brett Sayre (No. 6 Southern Section).
Update No. 4— Keaton Subjeck’s quest for another state medal is off to a good start as the Oak Ridge 160-pounder pinned Hoopa’s Louis Cosce (No. 4 North Coast) in his first match at the CIF State Wrestling Championships in Bakersfield. Subject is the Sac Joaquin Section’s No. 2 seed.
Update No. 3 — Union Mine 145-pounder Sean Tow (No. 2 SJS) was leading 14-5 when he pinned Edison’s Jorge Perez (No. 8 central Section) at the CIF State Wrestling Championships in Bakersfield.
Update No. 2 — Ponderosa High’s Sean Melton (2nd seed, SJS) put Caruthers’ Jose Perez (No. 8 Central Section) to his back 1:29 into the first period of his first match in the 126-pound weight division in the CIF State Wrestling Championships at Bakersfield’s Rabobank Arena.
Update No. 1 — The CIF State Wrestling Championships are underway at the Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield with three area wrestlers competing in outbracket matches.
Ponderosa’s Nick Troquato (170 pounds), seeded 7th from the Sac-Joaquin Section, opened with an 11-3 major decision over Julian Morrisette of Archbishop Riordan, seeded 2nd from the Central Coast Section.
Oak Ridge’s Zach Claiborne (182), seeded fourth from the SJS, fell 18-16 to South Section’s No. 7 Mason Kumashiro from Los Alamitos.
Bruin Jorden Marinelli (195, 7th SJS) was pinned in the first round by Clovis’ Dakota Gordon, ranked second in the state.