STOCKTON Bret Harte High School's T.J. Dillashaw
simply would not allow himself to be eliminated, and
earned a fifth-place medal in the CIF State Wrestling
Championships at the University of the Pacific.
After dropping his first match in the loaded,
33-wrestler bracket at 112 pounds, Dillashaw won five
straight two against the top two pre-tournament
seeds. He then split his final two bouts to finish the
grueling Friday-Saturday competition with a 6-2
record, and the second state medal in Bret Harte
The first, also for fifth place, was won by none
other than Dillashaw's father, Hal, at 98 pounds way
back in 1974 at Hayward State University.
The younger Dillashaw finished a remarkable junior
season with a record of 49-9. His journey included
championships in the Dos Palos, Coast Classic, Foothill, Mother Lode League and
Small-School Sub-Section tournaments, and a
fifth-place finish in the Sac-Joaquin Section
His state bid began inauspiciously with a 5-2
first-round loss to Central Section runner-up Blake
Parreira of Tulare. As disheartening as the defeat
seemed, Dillashaw drew a certain strength from it.
"I didn't think there was any way I'd come back and
place, but it took all the pressure off and I ended up
wrestling pretty good," he said.
He did better than pretty good, in fact, as he
proceeded to defeat the No. 1, 2, 3 and 8 seeds.
Dillashaw stayed alive Friday with the first two of
his five straight victories, a 15-0 in a technical
fall against North Coast runner-up David Huynh from
James Logan of Union City, and 16-3 over Central Coast
champion and No. 8 seed Bobby Rivera from Overfelt of
Saturday dawned with a matchup against Southern
Section runner-up and No. 3 seed Travis Featherstone
of Villa Park. Dillashaw won a cliffhanger, 2-1.
Next came top-seeded Sean Prentice, the Southern
Section champion from Rosemead. Dillashaw took another