Three wrestlers go to state

March 19, 2009 — by Holden Sparacino and Guy Quanrud

For the first time in over 20 years, three wrestlers from Saratoga qualified for state championships. This past weekend, junior Alan Yen at 189 lbs and seniors Nathan Nguyen at 121 lbs and Jasper Loren at 154 lbs. competed at the California State Championship in Bakersfield, two weeks after CCS championships.

For Nguyen, the state championships was not an unfamiliar place. He is now a three-time CCS placer as well as three-time state qualifier, with improvements each time. This year he achieved an honorable mention, placing in the top 16 people at State Championships.

“It’s a pretty respectable finish compared to the last two years,” said Nguyen. “But once you start winning the matches and placing is right there, just one or two matches away, you feel disappointed that you didn’t do better.”

Yen, after defeating the No. 1 seed at CCS and placing second in that tournament, and, like Nguyen, received an honorable mention at the state championships with a record of 2-2.

Yen encountered the most trouble in the beginning of the states, when he let his opponent’s rankings get to him.

“I got caught in positions I knew how to get out of, but I didn’t,” said Yen. “Maybe something got into my head because he was really high ranked.”

In addition, Loren, who was crowned CCS champion, an exciting improvement after placing sixth last year placed top 12 in the State Championship, was one match
away from placing in the top eight. Loren has a season record of 35-4.

“I’m looking forward to hopefully getting more recognition from colleges,” said Loren, who wishes to continue his career in college, preferably at a Division 1 school. “I’m proud that I was able to place in the top 12,” said Loren. “I just thought that I couldn’t done better. I mean it came down to the last round.”

“This is the first time in many years that we have three guys going to states,” said head coach Kirk Abe. “These guys have been working hard this season as well as during the off-season and have done something special.”

Four weeks earlier Saratoga placed eighth in CCS this year with 86.5 points, just a half point ahead of Los Gatos. Yen, Nguyen and Loren contributed greatly to this score, placing second, fourth and first respectively in CCS. Senior Richard Macklin finished in the top eight as well as freshman wrestler Alfred Murabito at 125 lbs., and seniors Jeff Chu and Raymond Boales at 114 and 217 lbs., respectively.

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