Local wrestling tournament gains national prestige

In California High School Wrestling, all roads lead down the 99 to the State Championships in Bakersfield in March.

But before making a run at State glory, the best of the best make a stop in Clovis for the annual Doc Buchanan Invitational.

"This is the best tournament, really west of Ohio. I mean it's an incredible tournament. It's one of the top in the nation," says Adam Tirapelle.

This year, more than 100 schools from across 12 states with 40 nationally-ranked wrestlers were showcased.

"The wrestling is as good as any around the country. Some of the teams that come here say this is their favorite tournament, it's the best tournament they go to," Tirapelle says.

The tournament has been going for more than four decades with a unique piece of headwear awaiting its champions - a cowboy hat.

"The cowboy hat is a big deal. It's gotten really big over the years, lot of ranked teams, lot of teams out of state. It's just a good tournament and the cowboy hat means a lot," he says. "I think we were one of the original trinket tournaments, where you give out something for the winner and we did the hat. Now it's caught on and other people give out awards for their tournaments, it's an original."

Locally, Selma's Richard Figueroa, ranked #1 in the entire country at 106, won his match.

"It means a lot. I work hard in the wrestling room and off in school too. it means a lot to put Selma on the map," says Figueroa.
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