The Culver wrestling program took a group of 12 athletes to Hood River Sunday to compete in the Oregon Beach Wrestling State Championships.
“You get a ton of scratches,” said former four-time Culver State Champion Wrestler. “First year I did it, I tore the whole top of my foot, just got super bloody from all the sand.”
Vasquez is currently heading into his junior year, wrestling at Southern Oregon University.
“My first match, I took a shot and my face went straight into the sand and I inhaled and so a lot of sand went inside my nose and it took a while to get all the sand out of my nose,” said 2021 Culver graduate Eduardo Penaloza.
“I got really sore the next day. My neck and back and stuff like that, just super, super sore,” said Culver senior Noel Navarro.
Athletes from elementary school to adults competed in a unique way to wrestle.
“Scoring is a lot different,” Vasquez said. “Take down is only one point, you push someone out, you get one point, and if you throw someone from their feet to their back, it’s two points and it’s basically first one to three points win.”
No pressure to make weight, just enjoy yourself.
“Everyone has a good time, just messing around, doing their own thing, just don’t have the pressure on winning the whole thing,” Navarro said.
Creating something Culver wrestling takes very serious, a team bonding experience.
The wrestling program has taken athletes as far as Africa to participant in tournaments.
“It gets the younger kids, freshman, sophomore excited about the season and makes them want to work harder,” Penaloza said.
The Culver wrestling program plans to host its own beach wrestling tournament next summer at The Cove Palisades State Park.