Mateo may not have had a full slate of wrestlers, but that didn’t stop the boys’ wrestling team from making a splash at the 56th Annual Jim Root Memorial Classic Varsity Tournament.

The San Mateo Bearcats claimed fifth place in a field of 35 teams Saturday at Prospect High School in Saratoga. While the four teams that finished in front of San Mateo — first-place Evergreen Valley; second-place Heritage-Brentwood; third-place Branham; and fourth-place Aptos — carrying full slates of wrestlers, the Bearcats entered just six individuals, with five of them scoring points, including two first-place finishers.

Seniors Romelo Rivas Aguilar and Sam Kolokihakaufisi each topped the podium in their respective weight classes. Aguilar posted a 4-0 record in the 145-pound division. Kolokihakaufisi also swept through four matches to win in the 285s. It marked the first individual championship for each of them this season.

“It’s one of the bigger tournaments,” San Mateo head coach Jason Cervantes said. “So the wrestling that was done there, hopefully in the next couple tournaments, it’s going to help these guys in PAL and in CCS. And hopefully bring up their rankings as well.”

Senior William Bradford took second place in 195s, falling in the championship match via pin in the first period to Willow Glen’s Dylan Pruitt. It was the first loss of the season for Bradford, who previously won 10 straight matches to start the year. The senior also leads the Bearcats with two individual tournament championships this season.

“He kind of knew what the guy was trying to do, because he’s done that thing before,” Cervantes said. “But by that time it was just too late.”

Also scoring points for San Mateo were junior Benjamin Lui in 138s, and sophomore Sven Albin Kadedal in 160s.

Aguilar won all four matches at 145s via pin, including the championship match against Aptos junior Like Keaschall. Aguilar finished off the title with a takedown, followed by a leg bind and a guillotine finisher.

“He’s been coming along pretty good,” Cervantes said. “The last tournament (the Bill Martel tourney in Walnut Creek) he came in second. So he just keeps moving on up.”

Kolokihakaufisi has finished in third and fourth place respectively in two previous tournaments. Saturday, he finished off a streak of four pins in four straight victories in the first period of the championship match, defeating Live Oak junior Harold Baugher. In the early going, Beugher scored a takedown, but Kolokihakaufisi responded with a quick reversal and pin.

Kolokihakaufisi entered the meet ranked No. 8 in the Central Coast Section in 285s. In the semifinals he defeated Silver Creek senior Jarrod Calk, who is ranked No. 6. In 145s, Aguilar is among six wrestlers with honorable mentions behind the CCS top 20. Keaschall is currently ranked No. 20. New rankings will be announced midweek.

“For them beating higher seeds, that put them in a higher position,” Cervantes said. “I expect all my wrestlers to be in the finals … but it was still good to see them in the finals.”

Menlo-Atherton finished seventh in the tournament. M-A senior Josh Meyers earned the individual championship in 126s.

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