(Stockton, CA) The Mt. SAC Wrestling team came away with an individual title and a team second-place finish at the California Community College Athletic Association State Championships Saturday at San Joaquin Delta College.
Apollo Santos, ranked fifth in the state, completed his Mt. SAC career with a title in the 165 Lb. weight class and was undefeated in the championships.
Santos, who was third in last weeks' CCCAA Southern California Championships, defeated the states' top-ranked wrestler Victor Vargas of state champion Fresno City College.
As a team the Mounties had one of their best state championships in recent years with a second behind Fresno City. The Rams had four individual titles and ended with 184 points and the Mounties had 152 points.
In addition to Santos, two other Mounties wrestled in the finals. Joseph Dominguez, who won the So Cal's in the 141 Lb. weight class fell to top-ranked Aaron Mora of FCC and Luis Melecio finished as runner-up in the 184 weight class.
"We had one of our best school performances," Mt. SAC fourth-year coach David Rivera said. "It was the first time placing 11 wrestlers, which included eight All-Americans."
All-American status is the first four placers at the state championships.
In just his fourth year Rivera has turned Mt. SAC into one of the top wrestling programs in the state.
Santos becomes the seventh state champion under Rivera in his four years at the helm.
Highlighting the historic day for the Mounties were three wrestlers in the finals (2ND time in two years), three thirds, two fourths, a sixth and two seventh-place finishes.
Championship Day highlights:
Elijah Diaz (2 wins, 2 losses), who placed sixth last year in the state championships, placed fourth this year when he lost a close 3-1 decision in a third-place match.
John Whisner, who was 3-2 in his five matches, finished in seventh place with a pin in the second period (3:22).
Adam Valdez (4W, 1L) lost only one match (quarterfinals) in the championships and took third as he easily won in a sudden victory 11-5.
In one of the toughest losses of the finals was Dominguez (2W, 1L) falling 8-5 in his last match as a Mountie. Dominguez, who pinned his opponents in quarterfinal and semifinal matches, trailed 4-2 in the second period and again 7-2 late in the third. But with :52 left in the match Dominguez recorded a takedown to close within 7-5 but eventually ran out of time.
Manuel Salcedo, who was 3-2 at the championships which included a pin (3:37), major decision (15-6) and a technical fall (25-8), fell in the third-place match to finish fourth. Salcedo, however, did achieve All-American status.
Joseph Valdez, who was 3-2 with three decisions, fell in a close fifth-place match, 5-4 to place sixth.
UNDEFEATED STATE CHAMPION Apollo Santos (4-0) and a third-place finish by Mejia completed the best weight class in the championships for the Mounties.
Santos won his opening match by a major decision (17-3), but his final three decision victories to the title were all won by one point. Santos grabbed a takedown for two points in the first period and all of the other points in the match were by escapes for each wrestler.
Mejia, who was 3-1 in the two-day finals, achieved All-American status by winning the third-place match by way of a major decision (13-5).
Hector Vargas, who was ranked first in the state, was 3-1 in his four matches which were all by decision, including a 7-5 win in his third-place match. With his third-place finish Vargas was the eight Mountie to achieve All-American status.
Melecio, who won the 184 Lb. title at the So Cal's, was 3-1 in the state championships which included a 16-3 first-round major decision and two decisions on his way to the finals. Melecio became the second Mountie wrestler to finish as a runner-up and also achieve All-American status.
David Chavaria, who had five matches and was 3-2, won his seventh-place match in dramatic fashion in four overtimes. He was awarded the win on riding time.
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For additional information, please contact the Mt. SAC Sports Information Office at 909.274.4630.