Stefan Weidemann had some specific goals when he began his senior season of wrestling for Gunn High this winter. His No. 1 priority was to win a Central Coast Section title. With that done, it would set him up for goal No. 2 – getting to the CIF State Meet and earning a medal.
For Weidemann, goal No. 1 is s done deal. He took care of that by going 5-0 and capturing the 152-pound title at the CCS Championships on Saturday at Independence High in San Jose.
"Right after the match I was ecstatic," Weidemann said. "I was pretty happy. But then I realized that Mid-Cals was a tougher tournament and this was a qualifier. I'm looking ahead to state."
The third-seeded Weidemann upended No. 1 seed Sam Hopkins of St. Francis in the title match, 5-0, after taking down No. 2 seed Ian Messaros of Cupertino in the semifinals, 4-2. That victory avenged Weidemann's only loss of the season, at the SCVAL Championships two weeks ago.
"That was important," Weidemann said of his semifinal victory. "But, I didn't want to get too emotional about it. It was pretty much businesslike."
The previous loss to Messaros probably helped Weidemann in the long run.
"I just learned not to overlook anyone," he said. "It was a wakeup call."
Weidemann is only the fourth wrestler in Gunn history to win a CCS title. The first was Dwight Miller, who won the 103 title in 1973 and won at 112 in '74. Dan Gibben (165 pounds) won in 1979 and Zack Blumenfeld (171) captured it in 2009. Blumenfeld was on hand to see Weidemann become the newest champ.
Weidemann will take a 25-1 record to the state tournament, which begins this weekend in Bakersfield. Weidemann failed to place at the state meet last season after finishing fourth at 140 pounds at CCS.
Weidemann opened CCS on Friday by pinning Giovanni Marconcini of Riordan in 1:53. He followed that with a pin of Evan Enright of Sobrato in 4:54. In the third round, Weidemann pinned Mike Heraz of Soledad in 5:44.
Weidemann said he doesn't have any specific goals for the state meet, other than taking it a match at a time.
"I'm not looking that far ahead," he said. "I just want to win my next match."
While Weidemann was the only local CCS champion, he won't be alone in Bakersfield. Menlo-Atherton junior Andre Delagnes finished second at 119 pounds and Palo Alto junior Kalen Gans finished third at 160.
Gans helped the Vikings finish seventh in the team race with 83.5 points. The Vikings trailed only team champ Gilroy (243 points), St. Francis, Bellarmine, Riordan, South San Francisco and Alisal.
"Overall, we were pleased with the finish," said Paly co-head coach Dave Duran. "We were ranked 11th going in and finished seventh. This may be the best finish ever for Paly. It is the best finish since our coaching staff has been together – four placers is the most we have had as well."
Along with Gans, Paly had Ryan Oshima finish fourth at 152 pounds, Nick Ortiz take fifth at 125 and Joey Christopherson finish sixth at 119 pounds. Palo Alto finished 10th in 2007 and 11th in '04 with three placers and one champion. The previous best finish was eighth in 1997 with two winners and a fifth-place finisher.
"On Thursday we talked about a top-10 finish," Duran explained. "We knew we could do this. We also talked about a top-four finish. That is what the section recognizes – plaques for teams 1-4. With Ryan Oshima coming back (from an injury), this was something we could do. We almost got it done -- we were 12.5 points away."
Riordan had 96 points while finishing fourth.
"We left a few winnable matches out there both Friday and Saturday," Duran said. "Next year we will get it done. Of the 83.5 points we scored, 80.5 come back next year.
"We are very proud of all of our wrestlers. We have had a few of them since the sixth grade. They have put their time in during the spring and summer to get to this point. The boys are not scared of hard work."
As for Gans, who finished 5-1: "He has wrestled a few of the highly ranked wrestlers this year and has done well -- he is currently ranked No. 15 in the state," Duran said. "There are only eight place-winners. With two good days of wrestling, Kalen will be on the podium next Saturday night."
Delagnes likely is hoping for something similar after becoming the first Menlo-Atherton wrestler since 2007 to reach the state meet. He upset No. 2 seed Kaelob Obien of Independence in the semifinals, 6-2, to reach the 119-pound finals. There, he lost to Victor Olmos of Gilroy, 5-4, after holding a 4-2 lead. Delagnes, the No. 4 seed, went 4-1 in the two days of CCS.
Menlo-Atherton's Koji Kameda, the No. 4 seed at 152 pounds, finished fifth while going 4-1. Paly's Oshima went 5-2 at 152 and Christopherson was 4-2 in his division.