Fountain Valley was by far the top performing Orange County team at the prestigious Five Counties Invitational wrestling tournament, which culminated Saturday at Fountain Valley High School.
The tournament featured some of the state’s top teams and wrestlers.
Five wrestlers for the Barons reached the championship matches in their respective weight classes, with two taking home first-place medals.
The Barons finished third in the team standings with 201 points.
No team came close to Buchanan of Clovis, which scored 327 points to win the tournament. The Bears are ranked No.1 in the state on several wrestling websites.
The Barons didn’t finish too far behind St. John Bosco of the Trinity League, the second-place team with 214 points.
The next highest finishing county team was Servite, which finished 10th with 110 points
Fountain Valley’s Justin Rodriguez, the top seed at 126 pounds, capped a dominant performance in the two-day tournament with a 7-0 victory over St. John Bosco’s Grigor Cholakyan in the championship match.
After first- and second-round byes, Rodriguez pinned his next three opponents and then defeated Northview’s Mario Sandoval in the semifinal round.
The Barons’ Zach Parker won the 145-pound championship as the No. 2 seed with a 6-5, come-from-behind victory in the finals over Kasius Graham of the Sports Leadership and Management Academy (SLAM) of Nevada.
No. 7 seed Sean Solis (132) of Fountain Valley was defeated, 7-1, by No. 1 seed Jack Gioffre of Buchanan in the finals.
Solis reached the finals by defeating No. 2 seed Anthony Anicente of SLAM 1-0 in a semifinal match
Fountain Valley 195-pound sophomore Ryland Whitworth reached the finals as a No. 3 seed before running into Gillroy’s Cody Merrill, the No.1 seed, who defeated Whitworth, 13-2.
Aside from Fountain Valley, Capistrano Valley was the only other OC team with a top-three finisher.
The Cougars’ Luke Meyer, one of the state’s top heavyweights, finished third in that weight class with a 10-1 major decision over Roman Damas of Chino.
Meyer, who is also a standout defensive lineman on the Cougars’ football team, recently signed to wrestle at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.