The State Hornet

Wrestling club enjoying success for first time in almost 30 years

State Hornet Staff

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Coming to the end of its first competitive season since 1983, the Sacramento State Wrestling Club Saturday finished fourth at the West Coast Conference Championships and had two members earn their way into the National Collegiate Wrestling Championships.

Only the top three contenders of each weight class move onto the national championship, which was achieved by junior Paul Kellam and club president and captain Javier Martinez, who will represent Sac State at nationals next weekend in Daytona Beach, Fla.

Sac State is in Div. II in the West Coast Conference and is ranked 19th out of 122 teams in the National Collegiate Wrestling Association.

“This year we had to crawl before we walked in terms of just getting back into the mix because it’s been a long time since a Sac State wrestling team has competed,” said Sac State Wresting Club head coach August Wesley.

The winning started when the team took first place at the second annual California State Championships back in December, and placed first in seven of the eleven weight classes.

“It was a good showing of where we could go as a team, and then (we) didn’t look back,” Wesley said.

Although Kellam and Martinez were the only two to make it to nationals out of Sac State’s team of 18, they remained selfless and gave credit to the people around them.

“I definitely could not have done this on my own,” Martinez said. “If it wasn’t for the team none of this would have been possible.”

Martinez said the club is a close-knit group which works together as a team and supports each other regardless of any struggles.

“I give all the credit to my coach pushing me hard and making sure I stay on track,” Kellam said.

It was Wesley’s first year with the team and he was named conference coach of the year by the NCWA.

“We’re continuously going to work as hard. We’re continuously going to push these guys, and at the end of the day they know they are working for a bigger prize,” Wesley said. “There’s a lot of pride that goes into all the hours and training of work.”

Sac State’s wrestling program had been out of commission for over 20 years, and Martinez said he is happy with the outcome: Not only going to nationals, but how much awareness for the program has grown over the past season.

“They’re very excited, their parents are excited and they’re just pleased to have their own goals being met and the opportunity to represent the school,” Wesley said.

Jillian Kweller can be reached at

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