South Tahoe duo competes Iron Man Tourney; Herrera wins Triple Crown
RENO, Nev. — A pair of South Tahoe wrestlers not only survived Northern Nevada’s most physically taxing wrestling competition last weekend — but also thrived at the grueling event. Vikings sophomore Andrew Herrera and junior Michael Valney each competed in Sierra Wrestling Association’s 2015 Iron Man Tournament at North Valleys High, wrestling three different styles in two days — each style is equivalent to wrestling a typical tournament.
“There were a lot of bloody noses, black eyes and ice packs leaving the gym Sunday evening,” coach Ryan Wallace said. “There is a reason they call it the Iron Man and not the Pillow Man.”
Also leaving the gym were Triple Crown trophies — though decidedly fewer in numbers than the aforementioned bruises. Triple Crowns are awarded to the rare individual who is able to master all three wrestling styles — Greco, freestyle and folkstyle — and earn first place in each.
Herrera was one of the few wrestlers who pulled off that feat at Iron Man. He finished a perfect 9-0 across three disciplines in the 182-pound division.
“This tournament draws only the best and most dedicated athletes, and Andrew was impressive and in control of every match,” Wallace said. “I am just thankful I had a front row seat to watch his hard work pay off.”
Valney earned three bronze medals at Iron Man — he dropped one match in each style to one of the nation’s top-ranked wrestlers, Ian Timmins of Wooster (Reno, Nev.). After being defeated quickly by technical fall at the hands of Timmins in their first matchup, Valney went the distance in the next two — he suffered a pair of decision losses.
“Ian may be the best high school wrestler I have ever seen, and Michael executed his plan well and was in position to win each match — that is something most of Timmins’ opponents can not say,” Wallance said. “Michael got a lot better as a result of competing with the best opponent this sport can offer.”
Iron Man concluded the Sierra Wrestling Association’s 2015 schedule. Herrera and Valney will return to the room to begin training for the Sacramento Area Wrestling Association spring season, which begins March 28 and runs through May 9.