CLOVIS - Selma High wrestlers Richard Figueroa and Tristan Lujan stood on top of the podium at the 2020 Doc Buchanan Invitational on Saturday.
Considered one of the nation’s toughest high school wrestling tournaments, Figueroa and Lujan each took home the prestigious Doc Buchanan cowboy hat after both wrestlers edged out their opponents in the finals. It was Figueroa’s third time placing first at the tournament, while Lujan claimed his first Doc Buchanan championship.
Earning the Doc Buchanan hat was one of the few things left on Lujan’s checklist.
“Everybody wants a cowboy hat and now I could finally say I have one,” Lujan said while donning his hat.
In front of a packed crowd inside the Clovis High south gym, Figueroa celebrated a 3-2 victory over Clovis North’s Joey Cruz to claim the 113-pound title. Lujan proceeded his teammate with a 4-3 victory after defeating Buchanan’s Carlos Negrete in the 120-pound bout. It was Lujan’s fourth consecutive win over Negrete dating back to last season. Figueroa and Lujan wrestled in the final two matches of the night.
“Dynamic duo is back for now,” Lujan said.
Before defeating Negrete in last year’s state finals, Lujan lost to the Buchanan Bear in the 113 pound semifinals at the Doc Buchanan tourney last season. After losing in last year’s semifinals, Lujan bested Negrete in the CIF Central Section Division I, CIF Central Section Masters, and the CIF State tournaments to conclude the 2019 season.
At this years Doc B Invitational, both the 113 and 120 pound matchups featured the top two wrestlers in the state battling it out. Figueroa and Lujan each entered the tournament as the top ranked wrestler in their respective weight classes. Figueroa was 20-0 entering the finals, while Lujan was 15-0 before his championship bout.
Figueroa and Lujan were two of eight wrestlers from the Central Section to qualify for the finals. They were also the only finalists from Selma and the lone Bears to reach the podium.
In the second to last match of the tournament, Figueroa and Cruz were scoreless through one period, but the Selma Bear would gain a 3-0 advantage after scoring with an escape and a takedown. Cruz had a takedown of his own to cut Figueroa’s lead 3-2 in the second period, but the two-time state champion would hold on to lead until the final buzzer.
“This was a big one,” Figueroa said. “I just worked really hard in the wrestling room for this one and I just have to keep on working hard.”
In the final match of the night, Lujan and Negrete wrestled through a scoreless first period before the latter scored first with an escape in the second period. Lujan took a one-point lead with a takedown, but he would go into the third period tied with Negrete after the Buchanan Bear scored on another escape.
Lujan broke the tie with a two-point reversal takedown with 27 seconds left in the match, propelling him to victory. Negrete earned an escape point with two seconds left.
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“I’ve seen him a lot so I’m pretty comfortable with the way I wrestled him,” Lujan said. “I’m pretty comfortable going into the third round tied up. I’m comfortable being uncomfortable.”
Figueroa started his tournament run with a 10-0 win over Sean Solis of Fountain Valley in the round of 32. The junior followed that victory by pinning his next three opponents en route to the finals. Figueroa defeated Tiger Ortiz of Calvary Chapel-Santa Ana in the round of 16, followed by a win over Zeth Romney of Chaminade Prep-Los Angeles in the quarterfinals and pinning Joe Cangro of Bergen Catholic-New Jersey in the semifinals.
“Winning three of these is outstanding,” Selma coach Sam Lopez said. “It’s great for Figs.”
After having a bye, Lujan started the tournament by pinning his first two opponents. In the round of 32, Lujan had a 15-2 lead over Gavin Concepcion of Rancho Bernardo before winning by pinfall. In the next round, Lujan held an 8-0 lead over Lemoore’s Jesse Gayton before pinning him in the third period.
Lujan earned a 5-1 victory over Nain Vasquez of Montini Catholic-Illinois in the quarterfinals before defeating George Rosas of Clovis in the semifinals in a match that resulted in 5-3 final.
“I think this is the only tournament where he never had a trophy and he always wanted the cowboy hat,” Lopez said about Lujan. “It’s a prestigious award now so I’m happy for both families.”
Buchanan took home the overall championship with a team total of 185.5 points, a 38.5 margin of victory over runner up Montini Catholic of Illinois (147). Selma finished in a ninth-place tie at 81 points. The Bears tied with Oregon school Crescent Valley. Clovis finished in the eighth with a total of 102 points.
At least 101 schools from around the country had a representative. This year’s tourney featured high school talent from Florida, New Jersey, Illinois, Ohio, Georgia, Oregon and Colorado.
The Bears will host their first dual match of the season against the Golden Valley Bulldogs on Wednesday at 6 p.m. Both girls and boys teams will compete in the dual.
Viveros goes 2-2 at Doc Buchanan Invitational
Kingsburg 145 pounder Jonathan Viveros was the only Viking to compete at the tourney, finishing with a record of 2-2. After a first round bye, Viveros fell into the consolation bracket after a 10-5 loss to Jaden Le of Rancho Bernardo in the round of 32.
Viveros bounced back with two consecutive wins in the consolation bracket with both victories ending in a decision. Viveros’ first victory was a 3-2 win over Timothy Cowan of Livermore, followed by a 6-4 decision over Jose Guittrez of Brawley. The junior was eliminated from the tournament after losing 5-2 to Gilroy’s Victor Jacinto.
Heading into the tournament, Viveros was ranked No. 6 in the state in the 138 pound weight class, according to the California Wrestler.