Suffice to say that Brevin Balmeceda is a pretty darn good wrestler.
Just a few weeks after capturing his third individual state championship in the past four years and helping his South Dade team to a fifth consecutive state title, Balmeceda was busy on the mat again last weekend.
Not only was he one of 4,000 wrestlers competing in the 29th Annual NHSCA National Wrestling Championships in Virginia Beach, Virgina, he knifed his way through seven consecutive matches to win the national championship in the 152-pound weight class for the third consecutive year.
Balmeceda, only a junior who still has one year left at South Dade and is uncommitted despite multiple college offers, went up against the No. 9-ranked wrestler in the nation, Donnell Washington from Portage, Indiana, in the championship match and won it with a 5-1 decision.
If he wins the NHSCA Senior National Tournament next year, Balmeceda, one of only two wrestlers in Miami-Dade County history to win a state title as an eighth-grader, will become the first wrestler in county history to do so and only the eighth wrestler in the nation to accomplish the feat.
Balmeceda wasn’t up there by himself. Three other South Dade wreslters made the trip and another one, Joshua Swan, was a winner as well. Swan, who finished third in the state tournament in Kissimmee, was crowned the NHSCA Freshman National Champion in the 138-pound division when he defeated New Jersey’s Jack Jandy 8-4 in the title match.
Two-time state champion Bretli Reyna made it all the way to the final of the 120-pound division, which included an upset win over Zachary Redding from New York, before falling three points short against Kysen Terukina, a two-time state champion from Hawaii, in the title match.
Trayvonne Jackson also turned in an impressive performance, going 6-2 and finishing fourth in the seniors division.
▪ Belen Jesuit 12, La Salle 5: WP: Alec Arrizurieta. Arrizurieta- 3 IP; 0 runs, 5 K; Gabe DeZendegui - 2 for 3; 2B, 4 RBI; Jon Barditch 3 for 4; 3 Runs; RBI; Dorian Gonzalez and Armando Albert 2 for 4; 2 R; RBI; Humberto Torres 2 for 4; R; RBI; Joshua Salandy 2 for 5; R; RBI; Bel 8-4.
▪ Tarpon Springs East Lake 5, Southwest 4 (8): Erick Orbeta 3 for 3 with SF; Mario Garcia 5 IP, 3 hits allowed, 1 run; Jorge Tejeda and Eddie Sierra were both 2-for 4.