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Lincoln qualifies 11 for division championships

By: Staff Report
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Lincoln High advanced 11 wrestlers to the Sac-Joaquin Section, Division IV championships. The group qualified for this divisional round by placing among the top-four in their weight class at the Pioneer Valley League championships on Feb. 11 at Whitney. There is actually a chance that Lincoln sends 12 kids as another wrestler is an alternate. Josh Hunt placed first at 103 pounds while Daniel Stanley (171), John Aleman (189) and Drew Suchomel (215) each placed second. Teammates Alfonso Maldonado (125), Wes Wilkerson (130), Ero Wainio (140) and Joey Ireland (160) each took third while Taylor Unbehuan (119), Greg Harlow (145) and Rudy Delgado (heavyweight) took fourth. This group of wrestlers will compete at the DIV championships Friday and Saturday at East Union High in Manteca. The top five finishers in each weight class this weekend will compete in the section finals one week later. Lincoln’s Dustin Hillenbrand earned an alternate spot by placing fifth at 152. Lincoln placed second as a team at the PVL championships. Those were the only12 wrestlers to compete for the Zebras at the PVL championships as athletes at 112 pounds and 135 pounds came in over weight. “I was pretty pleased,” said Lincoln coach Mike Maul about the championships. “The day got off to a little bit of a rough start with a couple of varsity boys not making weight. So it was a rough start to the morning but some kids really stepped up . . . Josh Hunt as league champion and Wes and Joey and Ero all taking third. It was probably their best tournaments of the season. A real positive after a down morning.” Maul is excited about this weekend. “It’s going to be really interesting,” Maul said. “I think we have a shot at getting a few bodies (to sections). We sent two last year and it’s not unrealistic to go for four and maybe we can even have more than that (advance this year). It’s tough to predict.” Stanley, then competing at 160 pounds, was one of the two Lincoln wrestlers to advance to sections last year.