June 8, 2006
DAVIS, Calif. -
Eight accomplished high school student-athletes have signed national letters of intent with UC Davis and will join the Aggie wrestling team in the fall of 2006, it was announced recently by head coach Lennie Zalesky.
Zalesky will welcome Michael Rico from Silver Creek High School in San Jose, Victor Carazo from Grace Davis High School in Salida, Jeff Marval from Canyon Springs High School in Moreno Valley, Abraham Otrambo from Loara High School in Anaheim, Nick Leon from Northview High School in Covina, Barrett Abel from Union Mine High School in El Dorado, Ricardo Alcala from Arvin High School in Arvin and Brandon Low from Saint Louis High School in Kahihi, Hawaii to UC Davis.
Brandon Low will join the Aggies after completing four years at Saint Louis School where he posted a 136-6 record and became the first four-time league and state champion in four different weight classes in Hawaii history. Low is a two-time Brute/Adidas All-American and has also been honored with National Wrestling Coaches' Association Wrestler of the year honors.
This year Low was honored with the Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award which is awarded by the National Wrestling Hall of Fame & Museum. The annual award is bestowed upon high school seniors who demonstrate excellence in wrestling success, scholastic achievement, character, citizenship and community service. Low was chosen as the winner for the state of Hawaii. He also served as his school valedictorian and was a recipient of the Wendy's High School Heisman.
Victor Carazo is a senior at Grace Davis High School in Modesto where he was a dual sport athlete in wrestling and football. In his final high school season he compiled a record of 46-7 at 160-pounds and placed second in the state under the guidance of coach Mike Cantwell. As a junior, he posted a record of 48-12 and placed third at Junior Nationals. He also took first in the Modesto Metro Conference and placed in the top-12 in the state as a junior.
Carazo was awarded All-American honors at the National High School Coaches Association Junior Nationals and is also a two-time freestyle national team member. He is a four-year member of the Spartan Wrestling Club with which he was a third place cadet state placer and a second place junior state finisher. Carazo has also earned Academic All-League honors twice at Grace Davis.
Andrew Rico, who will be coming to UC Davis via Silver Creek High School in San Jose, was a four-year varsity wrestler and two-year team captain. This past season he compiled a season record of 37-8 and took the Central Coast Section title while helping his team to a fourth place finish. Rico also took seventh in state this past season and placed first at the Mid-Cal Tournament. In his junior season, Rico helped his team to a league title while also winning the individual title and taking second in the section, all while compiling a season record of 35-8. He also earned Silver Creek's most valuable wrestler honors twice.
Rico also is a two-time cadet state placer for USA Wrestling and a two-time junior state placer. He is also a two-time national team member and four-year scholar athlete at Silver Creek.
Jeff Marval hails from Canyon Springs High School in Morono Valley where he was a four-year letterwinner in wrestling. He helped Canyon Springs to three Ivy League titles while also capturing three consecutive individual titles from 2004-06. This past season, Marval placed first in the CIF Northern Section and Master's before taking second place in the state. Marval finished the year with a record of 51-4.
Marval was twice awarded Canyon Springs' most outstanding wrestler accolades and also was a two-time Riverside County most outstanding wrestler and two-time Southern California Challenge most outstanding wrestler. Academically, Marval has been a four year scholar athlete and has twice made the All-Scholar team.
Abraham Otrambo, a three-time Empire League title winner at 189 pounds, will be coming to UC Davis via Loara High School in Anaheim, Calif. Otrambo earned back-to-back CIF titles in 2005 and 2006 and also finished his senior season with a third place showing at states and master's. Otrambo also helped lead his team to three consecutive Empire League titles along with the CIF team title in 2006 under tutelage of coach Tod Stricker.
Nick Leon, who will be coming to UC Davis via Northview High School in Covina, is a two-time Valle Vista League champion and the 2004 first-place finisher at 140-pounds in the CIF Southern Section, the previous year he took second in the section. Leon took third place at the 2004 Southern Section Masters meet and fourth place at the Five Counties tournament. Leon experienced an injury that ended his 2005 season.
Leon has twice earned All-Valle Vista League first-team honors and in 2004 was named the CIF Southern Section upper weight MVP. Leon also earned All-League academic honors at Northview. As a six-year member of the So-Cal Wrestling Club, Leon was a cadet All-America recipient, a Greco-Roman state champion and a triple crown winner.
Barrett Abel from Union Mine High School in El Dorado is a four-time Sierra Valley Conference first place finisher and is a two-time Sac-Joaquin section champion, winning the title the past two consecutive seasons. This season, Ablel placed second in the state tournament at 140-pounds.
The final student-athlete being added to next season's freshman class is Ricardo Alcala of Arvin High School. A dual sport athlete at Arvin, Alcala stood out in wrestling and football. As his team's heavyweight wrestler, Alcala was a three-time South Sequoia League champion, placed second at master's and placed third at the 2006 CIF State Championships. Alcala, who was also a national qualifier, compiled a four-year record of 65-15. At the state tournament, Alcala was awarded with the sportsmanship award. Alcala was a first-place freestyle state finisher and national qualifier with his club team.
The eight incoming student athletes will join a strong UC Davis squad that only lost two starters to graduation last year after compiling a dual record of 8-9. The Aggies finished the 2005-06 season with two Pac-10 individual titles, a sixth place finish at the Pac-10 Championships, four NCAA tournament qualifiers and a 40th place finish at the NCAA Division I Championships.