By John M. Sherrard
(Bakersfield, CA) It was a big day for the Mt. SAC Wrestling Program as the Mounties captured the CCCAA Southern California Regional Championship, sending 12 wrestlers to state and winning two weight classes.
Bakersfield was the scene and Mt. SAC was the team, as the Mounties captured the team title with 193.5 points.
The Mounties ended the 3-year Cerritos College reign on the team title. The Falcons ended up in second place with 149 points.
"I am very proud of our team and the performances they had at Regionals," Mt. SAC Wrestling coach David Rivera said. "Our team goal was to qualify all 12 of our wrestlers to state in order to put our team in contention for the state championship."
Rounding out the top five teams were Bakersfield, 3rd (148.5), Palomar, 4th (140) and Rio Hondo (80.5).
Heading into the state championships, the Mounties are ranked third in the latest California Community College Wrestling Association (CACC) Poll, while Fresno City is first and Cerritos is second.
Leading the Mounties 12 wrestlers into next weekends CCCAA State Championships (December 8th and 9th at San Joaquin College (Stockton)) were champions, Joseph Dominguez (141 Lbs.) and Hector Vargas (174 Lbs.).
Dominguez, who is ranked second in the state, was a repeat winner at So Cal's (2016) and placed third in last years state championship, while top ranked Vargas, will be making his first appearance at state.
Dominguez' four win path to the title included two pins and one technical fall. Vargas received a bye in the first two rounds, won a 17-12 decision in the semifinals and won by forfeit in the championship.
Both Dominguez and Vargas will receive first-round byes at state.
"I believe we had great performances from all of our guys but Joseph Dominguez stood out the most."
"We look forward and are excited to be competing at the state meet."
The other 10 Mountie state qualifiers: Runner ups – Elijah Diaz (125 Lbs.) and Matthew Mejia (165 Lbs.); Third-Place finishers - John Whisner (125 Lbs.), Adam Valdez (133 Lbs.), Joseph Valdez (157 Lbs.), Apollo Santos (165 Lbs.) and No. 4 Luis Melecio (184 Lbs.); Fourth Place – Manuel Salcedo (149 Lbs.); Fifth Place – David Chavarria (197 Lbs.) and Gabriel Herrera (285 Lbs.).
Diaz fell to a 9-6 decision to Isaac Guerrerro of Palomar and advanced to the finals by defeating teammate Whisner in the semifinals.
Mejia, ranked third, was edged, 7-6, by No. 2 Blake Vasquez of Cerritos.
To view complete results from the CCCAA Southern California Wrestling Regional Championships, CLICK HERE.
Follow Mt. SAC Wrestling on twitter @MtSACWrestling
For additional information, please contact the Mt. SAC Sports Information Office at 909.274.4630.