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Rocklin, Whitney send two wrestlers each to Masters

By: Russ Edmondson The Placer Herald
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Whitney High wrestlers Jordan Achanzar and Nazir Rasooli will join Rocklin's Greg Goldner and Brandon Barone at the Masters Tournament that starts today at the University of the Pacific in Stockton. The two-day tournament, which features the top 32 wresters in the Sac-Joaquin Section for every weight class, will continue on Friday. The top eight wrestlers in each weight class at this tournament will qualify for the CIF State Meet in Bakersfield, Feb. 29 through March 1. Goldner, Achanzar and Rasooli are sophomores while Barone is a junior. Achanzar (112 pounds), a Pioneer Valley League champion, and Rasooli (135) are the first Master's Tournament qualifiers in Whitney's history. Both wrestlers went 3-2 over the weekend at the Division IV Championships at Foothill High. Achanzar placed fourth in his weight class while Rasooli claimed the fifth and final spot. They both did really well, Whitney coach Dan Parker said. Coming in to (today) Nazir has a tough battle because at (fifth place) he has to wrestle somebody's number one right off the bat. A wrestler is eliminated with two losses today. Jordan will have it a little bit easier than Nazir as he'll be against a number two, but not much easier, Parker said. Achanzar lost his first match at Foothill before winning his next three to clinch a spot at UOP. Barone placed second at 189 for the Thunder at the DII Championships at Hiram Johnson. He wrestled most of the season at 215 but dropping one weight class proved to be beneficial. He moves better, changes levels and wrestles better at this new weight class, Rocklin coach Grant Depue said. He is very happy to be out from under the heavier 215-pound wrestlers. If Brandon continues to wrestle the way he has been then we look for good things this week and hopefully state next week. He is peeking at the right time of year. He takes every rep in training and doesn't get tired. Goldner placed fifth, taking the final qualifying spot at 160. He was the surprise of the day “ he wrestled like a champ, Depue said. We have been working on his movement and footwork exclusively for the last two weeks and it finally paid off. He dominated the fifth-place match and this week will be a great growth experience for him. Rocklin's Shane Masnica placed sixth at 135, missing a spot in the Masters Tournament by just one place. He has been wrestling injured for the entire second half of the season and I now look forward to getting him healthy and back for spring and summer workouts, said Depue of his junior. I am proud of his heart and determination as it showed down the stretch. He was very limited in practice and matches with what he could do as a result of his injury.