CSU Bakersfield Host Roadrunner Invitational

Vincent Ortiz, Sports Reporter

Bakersfield, Ca- On a cold and foggy Sunday the CSU Bakersfield wrestling team welcomed 30 other schools to participate in the Roadrunner Invitational. It was the first time in over a year that fans were in attendance at a CSU Bakersfield wrestling event and the Roadrunners did not disappoint their home crowd at the Icardo center.  

 Roadrunner Albert Urias (174) took first place with a victory and decision (8-2) over John Morrison of Beaver Dam RTC. Teammate Jacob Peralta (149) said of Urias “everyone looks up to him and he sets the tone.” Urias was one of several Roadrunner wrestlers who finished in the top four. 

 Eddie Flores (125), Angelo Martinoni (#20, 141), and Josh Brown (149) of CSU Bakersfield all placed second in the Invitational.  

Martinoni came out dominant with a time fall victory (18-0) over Tyson Humpherys of Utah Valley-unattached.   

“I just got to my best position, my best position is top and I know that and everyone in the country knows that” said Martinoni after the 18-0 victory. When speaking about going forward and continuing his success Martinoni said “just perform, I mean this is our first time in back in front of fans. My family is here and just go out there and perform every match and give them something to be excited about when they come watch us wrestle.” Martinoni did just that making it all the way to the (141) finals before being defeated by Isaiah Delgado -Unattached via decision (8-5).  

Meanwhile, Jacob Hansen (184), Augustine Garcia (165), and Brock Rogers (157) of Bakersfield all finished third place in their respective classes. Cade Lucio (149) finished in fourth place after losing to fellow Roadrunner Josh Brown via a decision (5-3).  

Crowd excitement was noticeable as Roadrunner superfan Janice Varner said “I am like a kid in a candy store and haven’t had candy for a year and half” when it came to watching the Roadrunners wrestle in person again.  Varner went on to note “I am so excited for me, but I am more excited for them to finally be back in the competition and have fans cheer them on”  

Coach Smith said of the fans in the stands “it’s great having to host this tournament again and getting to see fans back in here again. Getting to let Bakersfield to see their home team compete in person is great.” Coach Smith continued, “Our guys are feeding off the excitement of the home crowd it’s the best we’ve looked all year. So, I just think the team in general has that little extra fight this is our home lets protect it.”  

The Roadrunners were missing one of their top wrestlers as (#13, 133) Chance Rich was out of Sundays Invitational due to a knee injury he suffered before the Michigan matchup. On the injury Rich said “I’m doing some physical therapy and I’m trying to get back by the Vegas tournament in two weeks” When Rich returns, he has one thing on his mind ” the goal at hand is a national championship.” 

 The Roadrunners (0-2) will be in action again in two weeks as they travel to Las Vegas, Nev. to compete in the Cliff Keene Invitational on December 3 and 4. The Roadrunners will then travel to Little Rock, Ark. to open Pac-12 play against Little Rock (0-1) on Sunday December 19.