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PVL wrestling finals Thursday at Whitney

By: Russ Edmondson The News Messenger
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Lincoln High’s varsity wrestling team went 1-1 at the Sac-Joaquin Section, Division IV championships at Rosemont on Saturday. The Zebras beat Foothill (43-35) and lost to Oakdale (60-9). Oakdale won the tournament. “(Oakdale) is that good and they are a very good program,” Lincoln coach Mike Maul said. “We did what we could and I actually think we may have wrestled better against Oakdale than we did against Foothill.” John Aleman (189 pounds) and Alfonso Maldonado (125) earned the wins for Lincoln against Oakdale. Maldonado won by pin. Jesse Nakasone (112), Taylor Unbehaun (119) and Dustin Hillenbrand (152) were among the more impressive Lincoln winners against Foothill. The Pioneer Valley League championships will be held at Whitney Thursday beginning at 10 a.m. The top four finishers in each of the 14 weight classes will advance to the individual Division IV championships Feb. 19-20. The section championships will be held Feb. 26-27 while the CIF State championships will be March 5-6. “It’s going to be interesting,” Maul said. “I would be really happy with 12 (wrestlers advancing to the divisional round) - I don’t know if I can get 14 and we’ll see how that goes. “I think 12 is a number I would be very pleased with and it’s also very reachable. “Things happen, kids get sick or injured so it’s certainly not a guarantee, but much less than 12 and I would be a little disappointed.” Thursday’s championships also mark the end of the junior varsity season.