Brian Harward staff writer
Wrestling had its most successful CIF showing ever during the CIF tournament on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 16 to 17. Junior Daniel Heller (126) placed third, senior Sebastian Fanucci (132) placed sixth and senior Mateo de Camargo Hanley (138) placed sixth. All three advanced to the Masters tournament. Chris Drake (106), who placed eighth, is only the second Beverly sophomore to place at CIF. Beverly has only placed one wrestler in CIF in any previous year.
“Our team performed extremely well, and it’s because of the bond we have. I am extremely proud of everyone and it just shows there is more to come,” Fanucci said.
Hanley felt that his performance at CIF was his best of the season, and he attributed that to being more relaxed during the competition.
“Every match that I had I felt a lot more relaxed for than I had previously in competition,” Hanley said. “Telling myself that wrestling those matches was no different than practice and that my opponent was more nervous than I was definitely helped me stay focused and capitalize on different opportunities during my matches.”
However, it was not all success for the Normans. Drake lost his first round match, but he battled back to become the youngest CIF placer in Beverly Hills history.
“I was extremely proud of how our team handled some tough losses and still got the job done,” Heller said.
The three remaining wrestlers will practice with other Masters qualifiers during the next week. Masters is the round of CIF after sectionals. Heller is excited for the challenge that this will present.
“I’m super excited because any kid that we work with this week will also be one of the top 32 in Southern Section at their respective weight,” Heller said. “Coach [Ryan Faintich] will have a good plan for this week so that we do well this weekend.”
Masters will take place on Feb. 23 to 24 at Temecula Valley High School.