TURLOCK Bret Harte High School wrestler T.J. Dillashaw qualified for the State Tournament by finished fifth during the weekend in the Sac-Joaquin Section Tournament at Pitman High.
Dillashaw, the Bullfrogs' junior 114-pounder, is the first Bret Harte competitor to make state since Seth Cowan in 1997. He also follows in the footsteps of his father, Hal Dillashaw, who finished fifth in the state at 98 pounds as a junior in 1974.
The state extravaganza will be Friday and Saturday at the University of the Pacific's Spanos Center in Stockton.
"I feel good about T.J.'s chances," said Bret Harte coach Jan Schulz, who also coached the elder Dillashaw.
The younger Dillashaw (43-7) opened the section tournament Friday by pinning both Kyle Lanthier from Rio Americano of Sacramento and Gabriel Delgado from Casa Roble of Orangevale.
Saturday didn't start out so well as Dillashaw lost 14-10 to eventual champion Cory Borges, a sophomore from Hughson. Dillashaw beat Borges 4-2 in overtime on his way to the Small-School Sub-Section title the week before at Franklin High in Stockton.
After that came an 8-0 loss to another of the weight class' many dynamos, sophomore Micah Ferguson, the Northeast Sub-Section champion from Del Oro of Loomis.
For a while, it was thought Dillashaw would have to win his next match to realize his state dream, but it was announced before his final bout against Mike Chaves of Turlock that an additional state spot, for the sixth-place finisher, had been award to the section because of some machinations involving the Oakland Section (which consists of only one league).
Dillashaw was one of eight Bullfrogs in the section tourney, which was won by Vacaville. Justin Middleton (21-20) went 3-2 at 127 pounds, brother Jerryd Middleton (34-13) went 2-2 at 142, and Josh Grimes (31-12) did the same at 121.
Seth Mitchell (12-11), Jordan Borean (15-17), Thomas Smith (15-16), and Edwin Broglio (15-16) went out in two matches at 105, 137, 154, and 217, respectively.