(Norwalk, CA) The best match was saved for last at the 2018 CCCAA State Wrestling Championships with Mt. SAC sophomore Cristian Ayala winning the 285 lbs. title in a triple-overtime thriller on Saturday (12/8), at Cerritos College.
As a team, the Mounties finished fifth with 79 points, behind state champion Fresno City (187), Sacramento City, 2nd (119.5), Palomar, 3rd (109) and fourth-place Cerritos (103.5). The Mounties advanced three wrestlers into the championship round day on Sunday.
Mountie Adam Valdez advanced to the 149 pound championship, but lost in a close 6-5 decision.
The third Mt. SAC wrestler to advance to the championship round was freshman Miguel Gallardo who placed thrid in the 157 lbs. weight class. Gallardo, wrestled once on day one, three times on day two and took third with a 7-1 decision.
The 2018 championships were the second year in a row that Mt. SAC has qualified 11 wrestlers in the state competition and Ayala was the eighth individual state titlist under Coach David Rivera.
CCCAA State Championship Day Two wrap-up:
125 lbs. – No. 6 South Seed Zachary Cunningham, finished with a 2-3 record at the two-day championships and placed eighth in the state.
The biggest match for Cunningham after his loss on day one when he totally dominated the Mendoza of Cerritos, winning 18-0 in a match that included near falls in the first and third periods.
141 lbs. – No. 3 South Seed Aaron Diaz finished with a 3-2 record, ending with a win in the seventh-place match after his opponent was injured. Diaz' state highlights were a pin and a major decision in two of his three wins.
149 lbs. – No. 1 South Seed Adam Valdez, went 2 for 1 and was two points short of winning the state title. In the championship match, Valdez trailed after the first period, 4-1 but battled back with two takedowns in the second to end the match at 6-5. Valdez, achieved All-American status for the second straight year, won both of his matches with third period pins. Valdez placed third at the 2017 state championships in the 133 Lb. weight class.
157 lbs. - No. 2 South Seed Miguel Gallardo (3-1) was named an All-American for his third-place finish. After reaching the semifinals on the first day of competition, Gallardo fell into the consolation bracket on day two and won his final two matches by decisions. Prior to his third-place match, Gallardo held a slim, 4-3 lead heading into the third period. An escape and takedown for three total points gave him the 7-3 decision. In the third-place match, Gallardo took an early, 4-1 lead in the first period, highlighted by a takedown and a near fall. After an escape in the second period for the 5-1 lead, Gallardo was awarded a penalty (stalling) point and a point for riding time for the 7-1 decision.
285 lbs. – Top seeded Cristian Ayala, was the third Mountie to gain All-American status, finished with a perfect 3-0 record. The last championship match of the night was the only one to go into overtime and quite an ending it was between the two top seeds from the North and the South. After a scoreless first period, Lassen's Cole Mair won the flip for up or down positioning in the second period, buy deferred to the third. At the 1:39 mark, Ayala escaped for the 1-0 lead which stood until the third period. Mair, who started in the down position in the third period, returned the favor and also escaped and tied the match 1-1 with 1:43 left in regulation. Neither wrestler scored in the one minute sudden death period. In the first of two 30 second overtime periods, Mair took a 2-1 lead after an escape with 17 seconds left. With 17 seconds left in the second 30-second OT, Ayala made the move of the night with a 2-point reversal to win the state title.
285 lbs. - No. 6 South Seed and Mt. SAC #2 at this weightclass, Christopher Alvizures (1-3), lost on day one by a pin but came right back in his second match, pinning his opponent near at the end of the third period. Alvizures had a 4-2 lead before the pin to even his record to 1-1. Alvizures lost his next match and then fell to a 4-2 decision in the seventh-place match.
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