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Culver High School wrestles in Sierra Nevada Classic Dec. 26-27, Downing is highest placer at 7th.

STEELE HAUGEN - Debren Sanabria went 2-2 at the Sierra Nevada Classic Dec. 26-27.The Culver Bulldogs wrestling squad traveled to Reno to compete in the Sierra Nevada Classic Dec. 26-27. Culver scored 72 points to place 27th out of 83 teams.

Rancho Bernando (Cal) won the tournament, scoring 212 points. Del Oro High School (Cal) claimed silver with 211.5 points and Spring Creek (NV) placed third.

Oregon's La Grande placed scored 150 points to place fifth and Central Oregon's Mountain View High School placed eighth, scoring 126.5 points.

Culver state champion wrestler Lane Downing was the only Bulldog to place at the Sierra Nevada Classic. At 145 pounds, Downing was his first three matches, two by fall. Elijah Blake, of Del Oro, pinned Downing in 1 minute 23 seconds.

Downing bounced back with a 12-10 decision victory over Esteban Sanchez, of Silver Creek, but lost his next match to Weston Presser, of Shadow Ridge, in a 10-0 majority decision.

Downing was matched up with Ryan Alvarado, of Vista del Lago, in the seventh place match and pinned Alvarado in 3:20.

Hunter Augustynovich scored 14 points for the Bulldogs, going 4-2 at the tournament. He pinned his first two opponents, but lost a 14-6 majority decision in his third match. Augustynovich again pinned his next two opponents before losing to Gaberiel Ekanger, of Spring Creek, by fall in 3:50.

Isaiah Toomey (160) and Wyatt Corwin both ended the tournament with winning records, going 3-2 at the Sierra Nevada Classic. Debren Sanabria (106), Brody Piercy (113), Noel Navarro (120), and Nicolas Navarro (170), went 2-2 at the tournament to Help Culver.

Bryce Gibson (126), Anthony Hood (138), and Eduardo Penaloza (195) all went 1-2 at the tournament, while Kelin Abbas (138), Braeden Chapman (138), Gabe Wilson (152), and Isaac Andres went 0-2.

"Lots of good things and lots of ways to look at it," head coach JD Alley said about the team's performance. "We were comparing it to past years and our team placement was not quite where it normally is and maybe even the level of placers."

"An awful lot of good things did happen on Friday," he said. "We had a lot of key wins a contributions from everybody. By the end of the day Friday, I think we were just worn down and weren't quite ready for the grind. Our trip to the tournament in Lebanon that was canceled (Dec. 18) and I think with Christmas and weekends, not a lot of anything, it showed."

On the bright side, Wyatt Corwin wrestled good," Alley said. "Hunter Augustynovich has been to this Reno tournament several times, never winning a match and he won four of them. Debren got two wins as well. It is always hard when you are used to having some more placers like we are, but it is a big tournament and there are a lot of places to stub your toe."

The Culver Bulldogs travel to compete in the Joseph Hi Tournament Jan. 3-4. They host a dual against 6A Mountain View at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 8. The next day Culver will travel to Hood River dual Jan. 9.

"We get to Joseph of Thursday and then try and get through the New Year's holiday," said Alley. "We already had a practice today and are trying to regroup and refocus. I had a conversation with the team today to remind them that there are only 60 days until the end of the state tournament. It is going by fast. We still have a lot of things to get right and rectify. The team needs to get in better shape and that is where our focus will be."

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