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Del Oro star settles for sixth place

CIF State Wrestling Championships
By: Journal Sports Staff
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Del Oro High senior Austin Branum capped his spectacular high school wrestling career with a sixth place finish at the CIF State Championships Friday and Saturday in Bakersfield. Competing in the hotly contested 152-pound bracket, Branum made it through the first two rounds of the 40-man bracket unscathed. In Saturday’s quarterfinals, Branum came up on the short end of a 3-2 decision against Cory Griego, from Sultana. Branum then lost to Coleman Hammond of Bakersfield, 9-2 before suffering a 3-1 loss to Griego in the fifth-place match. Top-ranked Isaiah Martinez, from Lemoore, pinned Oakmont’s Jake Elliot to claim his second straight state title. Del Oro sophomore Dylan Kainrath — the only other local competitor to qualify for state —was pinned in his first match of the tournament on Friday. The 170-pounder recovered and got a pin against Saif Altayyar of Grace Davis before being eliminated by Greg Meline of Edison. Center’s Khymba Johnson placed fourth at 195. Foothill’s Michael Lowman was the runner-up at 285, falling to Vacaville’s Johnny Schupp in the final.