Dillashaw takes fifth in state wrestling tourney

March 10, 2003 12:00 am

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

history.

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

Tournament.

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

San Jose.

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

gut-grinder, 5-3.