WRESTLING: CRESPI'S FUA REACHES FINAL.
BAKERSFIELD - Crespi of Encino senior Sione Fua is an honor student, has accepted a football scholarship from Stanford and is on the verge of becoming an Eagle Scout.
Saturday at Rabobank Arena, the 6-foot-3, 275-pounder showed he also has an affinity for making history, turning Crespi's first state wrestling berth into the first state title match for his school and the first for the San Fernando Valley.
Fua faced Southern Section rival Rommey Fuga of Edison of Huntington Beach in the heavyweight final, the last bout of the tournament.
Fua, brothers Keith (119) and Kevin Harvey (112) of Newbury Park - both in 1985 - Bill Hunter (175) of Westlake in 1989 and Jack Artman (145) of Thousand Oaks in 1992 are the only area wrestlers ever to reach the state final. Keith Harvey is the only one to win state.
Fua and Eric Timson of Antelope Valley of Lancaster, competing at 140 pounds, were the only two wrestlers from a contingent of 14 area qualifiers to reach the second day of the two-day state tournament.
Timson (47-7) was eliminated one match shy of a medal Saturday after winning four consecutive consolation-bracket matches Friday. He finished 4-2 at state, losing to eventual medalists Alfonso Sanchez (third) of McLane of Fresno in a tournament opener and to sophomore Vinny Maraj (seventh) of Yucca Valley.
Maraj built a 7-3 third-period lead Saturday morning before winning on a pin with 1:17 remaining to end the season for Timson, the first Southern Section Central Division champion and first Antelope Valley wrestler to reach state in 10 years.
Fua (37-5) went 4-0 in the championship bracket to reach the final, scoring a 6-2 semifinal win Saturday over Yuba City senior Jordan Holmes - who held a 2-1 lead in the second period.
``He made a mistake and I just maximized off it,'' said Fua, who went ahead of Holmes 3-2 on a reversal as the second period ended, then added three more points on a third-period near-fall that was nearly his third pin of the tournament.
Fua had opened with wins over Ron Taylor of El Camino of Oceanside and Sir William McKenzie of San Leandro before defeating David Williams of Miller of Fontana in overtime in the quarterfinals.
Crespi coach Mike Odman, who resurrected the Celts' wrestling program six years ago and produced the school's inaugural state qualifier this year in four-time Mission League champion Fua, was overwhelmed to get a finalist.
``It's just an amazing ride, '' Odman said. ``to be in the state championship final is just straight from God.''
The final matched opponents who have been among the Southern Section's best heavyweights for two seasons.
Both reached the Coastal Division finals and qualified for the Masters Meet last season. And this year, Fuga won the Coastal title and Fua was fifth, then Fua defeated Fuga in the third-place finals at the Masters.
Dave Shelburne, (818) 713-3609
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|Publication:||Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)|
|Date:||Mar 5, 2006|
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