Atascadero High wrestler Michael Clemmensen lost in the 103-pound final at the Senior Nationals in Virginia Beach, Va.
Josh Smith of Ashbrook High in Gastonia, N.C., a two-time state champ, defeated Clemmensen 9-7 in overtime Sunday.
“I think if he wrestled him again, he’d come out on top,” Atascadero coach Jeff Spiller said.
Clemmensen finished 3-1 at the tournament. His second place finish comes after finishing sixth at the CIF State Championships last month.
By reaching the top eight, Clemmensen is Atascadero’s first All-American since Nate Willard in 2006, and the first Greyhounds wrestler to reach the finals at this event, Spiller said after Clemmensen’s win in the semifinals Saturday.
“It was an amazing season, and he’s an amazing young man,” Spiller said. “He just outworked everybody else.”
To qualify for the national event, wrestlers have to be a senior, a California state placewinner or, for other states, a state champion or runner-up in their weight class.
Clemmensen helped California to a likely first-place team finish, part of the state’s contingent of five wrestlers in championship matches. Heading into Sunday’s competition, California held a 55-point lead over second place New Jersey.
The trip to compete in Virginia cost several thousand dollars, Spiller said, part of which was funded by Atascadero Unified School District.
“The majority of the funds were raised by the community,” Spiller said. “It’s a huge accomplishment for Michael, but it also represents the community of Atascadero. We couldn’t have done this without their support.”