By Sherry Xiao
The annual MSJ Wrestling Invitational organized by Head Wrestling Coach Thomas Thomsen brought over 70 teams and 450 wrestlers to MSJ. Of MSJ’s 42 wrestlers, Senior William Booth, Senior Corbin Lee, Junior Alex Dornfest, Senior Issac Garza, Senior David Kim, Junior Shane Keenan, and Senior Swahib Kaba were selected to compete in the tournament. Varsity Captains Corbin Lee and David Kim both placed third in their respective weight classes. As a team, MSJ placed 13th overall. Clovis High School won the tournament title for the fifth consecutive year. Thomsen said, “[Our team’s performance] has stayed pretty consistent. We’re always in the top third somewhere and it’s a pretty tough tournament when you have three to four teams that are top ten in state.”
The invitational, held in the main gym, was a double elimination tournament that started the morning of Friday, February 3 and ended on the evening of Saturday, February 4. Wrestlers competed in 14 different weight classes and the top six wrestlers in each class were awarded medals. The majority of competing teams came from the North Coast Section, but there was also representation from the Central Coast Section, Central Section, and a handful of teams from Nevada.
Varsity Wrestler Andrew Ren said, “Overall the tournament was run really smoothly compared to the others I’ve been to, so major props to the coaches and organizers of it. It was a lot of fun being able to watch high level matches too.”
While the tournament took place, wrestlers and MSJ students were able to purchase an assortment of wrestling merchandise, food, and refreshments. Students of all grade levels flocked to the gym quad to purchase Korean barbeque tacos, iced drinks, and donuts, among other things. A percentage of the profits from the sale of food and merchandise will go toward funding the MSJ wrestling program.