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Nordstrom tough for Sailors

Daily Pilot High School Athlete of the Week

Newport Harbor senior, who deals with elbow pain, placed second in Sunset League and advanced to divisional.

February 10, 2012|David Carrillo PeƱaloza
(Scott Smeltzer…)

The left side of Ben Nordstrom's body has sure given him issues the past two years around this time.

He is now dealing with tendinitis in his left elbow. The pain he can tolerate, more so than the two tears he suffered in his left shoulder last year.

Through the latest setback, Nordstrom keeps wrestling for Newport Harbor High.

At one point last year, he couldn't compete with a bad shoulder, even if his head said he could. He contemplated snapping his shoulder, so he could put on the singlet right away.

Nordstrom played it safe and let his shoulder heal naturally. He still made the trip to the CIF Southern Section Inland Division preliminaries as an alternate, just to see the action.

"Ben's a very tough individual. He will battle through any injury," Coach Dominic Bulone said. "He's banged up a little bit. If I told him to practice, he'd practice. He's going until he falls apart. It's good to teach someone like him that it's OK to rest from time to time."

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Nordstrom will take it easy when his senior season ends. The 160-pounder plans to keep it going until he reaches his goal, the CIF State finals in Bakersfield next month.

Nordstrom moved a step closer after placing second at the Sunset League finals last week. The finish qualified him for the CIF Southern Section Inland Division preliminaries on Feb. 17 at Roosevelt High in Corona.

Bulone has been through this road, knowing Nordstrom has this tournament and another before the state meet.

Bulone believes Nordstrom (21-7, 10 pins) has what it takes to get to state. Nordstrom must place in the top five to qualify for the CIF Southern Section Masters meet, the precursor to state.

Bulone and Nordstrom are taking it one meet at a time. Bulone hasn't even told his wrestler whom he might have to get past during the preliminaries to advance to the next stage, the finals the following day.

Bulone might never inform Nordstrom.

"He wrestles his best, when he just says, 'Whoever is in front of me, I'm going to beat [him],'" Bulone said. "I have a sense of who the good guys are, but it won't really matter when you get out there. If his mind-set is right, he'll take care of business.

"Ben has a lot of heart and he'll push himself to the limit, and I know that he can beat anyone that steps in front of him. I've seen it already this year and I know it's in him."

Nordstrom pulled off an upset in the league finals.

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