Fallbrook wrestlers go to CIF; juniors Mario Beltran and Nick Perillo place fifth

Two of Fallbrook High School’s wrestlers placed fifth during the CIF divisional tournament Feb. 22 at Eastlake High School and qualified for the all-division masters competition Feb. 28 and March 1 at Mission Hills High School.

Mario Beltran represented Fallbrook in the 134-pound weight class during the masters meet. Nick Perillo was Fallbrook’s 162-pound entry in the masters. Both are juniors.

The top seven wrestlers in each weight class at the divisional meet advanced to the masters event. Fallbrook senior Cris Rudisell placed eighth in the 222-pound bracket at the divisional tournament, making him the first alternate, but no 222-pound wrestler at the masters tournament withdrew or exceeded the maximum weight while on the meet’s scales.

Fallbrook coach Greg Wagaman planned to take six grapplers to the divisional tournament, although a family situation prevented one of those from attending.

Zack Moistner was slated to wrestle in the 115-pound class, but he was overweight during the weigh-in and Wagaman placed him in the 122-pound division. Moistner, a junior, lost his only two matches in the double-elimination tournament.

Jerry Garcia is a Fallbrook senior but was a newcomer to the wrestling program. “He’s had some very good matches this year,” Wagaman said. “He’s done really well for us this year.”

Garcia was supposed to wrestle in the 197-pound class at the divisional tournament. He failed to make weight, and since Rudisell was in the next higher weight class Wagaman entered Garcia as a heavyweight. Garcia concluded his high school wrestling career by losing both his matches. “He did really, really well,” Wagaman said. “He didn’t win any matches, but we were happy.”

Rudisell won three matches and lost two during the divisional tournament. “He really had some strong matches,” Wagaman said.

Rudisell was seeded seventh but lost the match for seventh place and the masters qualifying berth.

Beltran was seeded seventh in the divisional tournament, in part due to limited action during the late part of the season. “He’s had a nagging shoulder injury,” Wagaman said.

Wagaman held Beltran out of the season’s final two dual meets due to the injury, so Beltran hadn’t wrestled for two weeks prior to the divisional meet. Neither the injury nor the lack of recent competition hindered Beltran during the divisional tournament. “He felt good and maintained his weight,” Wagaman said. “Beat some good guys.”

Perillo was seeded eighth in the divisional competition. “He’s had some shoulder problems all year,” Wagaman said. “He also aggravated a lower back injury.”

Perillo wrestled in six dual meets during the season and won five of those by pin. His injuries didn’t keep him from qualifying for the masters meet. “We felt really good about getting him in there,” Wagaman said.

During the masters tournament Beltran lost both his matches while Perillo won his first match before losing his next two. “It’s disappointing. We expected to do better than that,” Wagaman said.

Wagaman noted that the two wrestlers in the masters tournament was one more than the Warriors had last year. The Warriors had two non-seniors in the masters championships for the first time since 2011.

“I’m really happy about where we’re going next year,” Wagaman said. “I’m really, really happy with the way it turned out this year.”

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