SOFIA, BULGARIA - Selma High wrestler Richard Figueroa made his second Cadet World appearance, representing the United States at the 2019 Cadet World Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria.
The international tournament occurred from July 29 through Aug. 4.
Figueroa was a returning silver medalist, but his 2019 tournament run would be shorter than last year. The incoming junior opened the tournament with a 10-0 technical fall loss to Japan’s Ato Maruyama in the 51 kilograms (112-pound) freestyle bracket.
The two-time CIF State champion was eliminated from the tournament after Maruyama lost to Russia’s Mukhamed Khaniev in the quarterfinals. Maruyama was defeated 7-2 Khaniev, who eventually won the bracket.
As a country, the U.S claimed a combined seven Cadet World medals in the men’s and women’s freestyle tournaments. The men earned one gold medal and one bronze medal while the women claimed three silver and two bronze medals.
Figueroa earns All-State recognition
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Figueroa was named CalHi Sports State Sophomore of the Year after a sensational high school season that ended with him winning his second consecutive state title in Bakersfield in February.
He won the 106-pound bracket after defeating Buchanan’s Jack Gioffre with a 18-3 technical fall win in the finals. It was the third time Figueora defeated Gioffre during the 2018-19 season.
Figueroa, who entered the tournament as California’s top 106-pounder, outscored his opponents 70-5 during a dominant 6-0 tourney run.
The Arizona State verbal commit finished his sophomore season undefeated after going 48-2 as a freshman. According to FloWrestling, Figueroa is the top-ranked 113 pounder heading into his junior year at Selma High.
Last year, Figueroa was named CalHi’s Freshman of the Year. According to CalHi Sports, Figueroa is the third athlete from the Central Section to earn the sophomore yearly honors in the last four years. High school basketball prospect Jalen Green (San Joaquin Memorial, 2017-18) and Penn State-bound wrestler Seth Nevills (Clovis, 2016-17) were the past two athletes to earn the state recognition.