Valdez Student is One of Seven in Entire County
Congratulations to Walker Slaughter for placing 6th place at the California State Wrestling Championships! After two days of ferocious battling with the top wrestlers in the state, and months of preparation and sacrifice, Walker Slaughter earned a spot on the podium, solidifying him as one of the top 140lb wrestlers in the state.
Walker came into the tournament mentally and physically ready and it showed right away. In his first bout, he pinned Rayko Castro, of Kerman High School, in 1:22 of the first period. It was clear from that match that Walker Slaughter did not come to the state meet just for the experience.
Walker’s second match would prove to be one of his biggest tests. Facing Jesse Baldazzo from Liberty high school, a wrestler who had beaten him over the summer and who he would later describe as someone who had, “Crushed me the last time I wrestled him,” he surely needed to be on his game. When the match began it was obvious Walker was not the same wrestler he was over the summer. Taking control and dictating the tempo of the entire match Walker was never threatened and went on to win by a score of 5-2.
It was in the quarter finals that Walker had his first defeat, losing a close match to the number one ranked wrestler in the state, Jake Briggs from Bella Vista High School.
After his loss in the quarterfinals, Walker needed only to win his next match to guarantee him a place in the top eight. He did just that! In the heart-wrenching morning session where the winner places and the loser goes home, Walker dominated his opponent 6-0. He then went on to pin his next opponent to put him in a match for 5th place against local orange county rival Charles Chavez from El Dorado High School. It was a hard fought battle, but in the end Chavez edged out Walker 4-2.
This has been an incredible breakout season for Slaughter, who did not qualify for the state tournament last season. It has been a goal of his to place at the state meet from the time he stepped into his first Valdez Wrestling class one year ago. The dedication and commitment he has made toward accomplishing his goal of placing at state has finally paid off. Congratulations to Walker Slaughter for placing 6th at the California State Wrestling Championships! You deserve it.