(Recap Courtesy of John Van Gaston, Cerritos College SID, and the CCCAA)
NORWALK - For the first time in their school's history, Mt. San Antonio College has won the CCCAA Wrestling State Championship. Bolstered by nine wrestlers who advanced to the semifinals on the first day, including five who went on to reach the championship match, the Mounties snapped the four-year state championship run by Fresno City College, who finished in third place. Mt. San Antonio finished with 167 team points, followed by Cerritos College, who served as host of the two-day championships. They finished in second place for the fourth time in the last 11 years and compiled 138.5 team points. Over the course of the season, Mt. San Antonio came in first place in all six tournaments in which they competed, as well as winning the CCCAA team Dual State Championship, Southern California Team Dual championship and Southern California individual championship.
Both Mt. SAC and Cerritos were the only two schools to qualify the maximum 12 wrestlers, but after the first day, the Mounties had nine reach the semifinals, while the Falcons had five qualify for the semifinals, but saw three of their entries eliminated, which slowed their point production.
The Mounties had both of their 133-pound wrestlers reach the championship match, and by rule, they don't earn any team points for the finals. But it didn't matter, as they had locked up the team championship prior to the championship round. Perennial state power, Fresno City, had two of their wrestlers reach the championships and squared off against the host Falcons in both matches.
Weight Class 125
Championships - #1S Jonathan Prata (Cerritos) def. #2S Alexis Tellez (Rio Hondo), 9-1
Prata, the defending state champion at 125 pounds, did a fine job defensively against Tellez, who he also defeated in the Southern California Regional championship match. In the first period, Prata was able to get an early takedown and rode Tellez for the final 2:23 of the period. Starting in the neutral position to start the second period, Prata doubled his lead to 4-0 with a takedown within the first 25 seconds and added to his riding time. In the third period, Prata started down and needed just five seconds to score a reversal for a 6-0 lead and added a last-second takedown to finish off his community college career as a two-time state champion.
3rd Place Match – Conner Diamond (Mt San Antonio) def. Christopher Betancourt (Mt. San Antonio), 7-4
5th Place Match – Austin Pimentel (Fresno City) def. Victor Atherton (Rio Hondo), 10-7
7th Place Match – Salahdin Farukh (Sierra) won by fall over Alex Cardoza (Victor Valley), Fall 0:32
NOTES: Jonathan Prata won the state championship at 125 pounds in 2019
Connor Diamond (Mt. San Antonio) placed 6th at the 2019 state championships at 125 pounds
Weight Class 133
Championships - #2S Jason Valencia (Mt. San Antonio) def #1S David Saenz (Mt. San Antonio), 14-8
In another SoCal championship rematch, teammates and close friends Valencia and Saenz capped off the season with a very entertaining match. Valencia, who lost a close 4-3 decision a week earlier, broke open a close 4-4 match after the first period with a second-period escape and then a takedown with :33 seconds remaining. It was then a close 7-6 match early in the third period after another Saenz escape until Valencia recorded three straight two-point takedowns to open up a lead on his teammate and captured the championship.
3rd Place Match – Dylan Duncan (Sacramento City) def. Roland Dominguez (Cerritos), 7-4
5th Place Match – Trevor Bagan (Santa Rosa) def. Adrian Chavez (Fresno City), 7-4
7th Place Match – Owen Wilson (Palomar) won by fall over Joshua Mendoza (Cerritos), 5:00
Weight Class 141
Championships - #3N Wayne Joint (West Hills) def. #1N Kendal Frank (Sacramento City), 10-8 (ot)
In the wildest finishes of the night, it appeared as though Frank recorded a buzzer-beating takedown to win the state title, but the officials ruled that that takedown did not happen in time, which sent the match to overtime. Presented with a second chance, Joint got Frank down :23 seconds into the extra period and won the state championship. Trailing, 7-6 with less than a minute left in the third period, Joint got a takedown with :36 seconds left for an 8-7 lead, only to see Frank escape with :10 seconds left and set the table for the wild finish.
3rd Place Match – Thomas Chapman (Mt. San Antonio) def. Jose Cisneros (Victor Valley), 7-2
5th Place Match – Wyatt Carter (Modesto) def. Zayn Patel (Santa Ana), 10-8
7th Place Match – Stephen Lundquist-Brewer (Sierra) def. Hector Rameriz (East Los Angeles), 7-6
Weight Class 149
Championships - #1N Lupe Ayon (West Hills) def. #1S Juan Lopez (Mt. San Antonio), 6-1
It a match that pitted a pair of #1 seeds, the two were locked in a tight battle where neither knew one small mistake could cost him the title. Ayon struck first in the first period with a takedown, with Lopez escaping with 1:00 left. They started in a neutral position for the second period, with neither one able to add to their score. Ayon increased his lead to 3-1 with an escape point and clinched the championship with a takedown with only :27 seconds left in the match, while a riding point made it a 6-1 score.
3rd Place Match – Caoilte Drury (Cerritos) def. Jose Aguilar (East Los Angeles), 8-1
5th Place Match – Felix Osorio (Cerritos) def. Alfredo Mendoza (Sacramento City), 6-2
7th Place Match – Donovan Sanin (Rio Hondo) won by fall over Everardo Rueda (Bakersfield), 1:35
NOTES: Jose Aguilar (East Los Angeles) placed 8th at the 2019 State Championships at 149 pounds
Weight Class 157
Championships - #1N Noah Cortez (Fresno City) pinned #1S Daniel Bracamontes (Cerritos), 2:29
In only his 10th match of the season, Bracamontes was looking to finish the year undefeated. He made the initial move in the match, but lost his grip on Cortez, who quickly turned it into a two-point takedown, and added a two-point near fall for a 4-0 lead. Bracamontes was able to escape, but was taken down for the second time and pinned before the end of the first period, giving Cortez and the Rams their 88th career individual champion.
3rd Place Match – Jerry Rubio (Mt. San Antonio) def. Conrad Trevino-Oceguera (Sacramento City), 7-2
5th Place Match – Gavin Kaminski (Palomar) def. Adrian Rios (Rio Hondo), 8-3
7th Place Match – Temistocle Politi (Shasta) def. Sami Barakat (Cuesta), 3-1
Weight Class 165
Championships - 1N Hassan Khan (Sacramento City) def. #2N Willy LaMacchia (Skyline), 2-1
Another rematch of a regional championship, Khan benefitted from a one-point penalty assessed on LaMacchia in the first period for a 1-0 lead. LaMacchia secured a riding time point in the second period until Khan escaped for a 2-0 score, while Khan wiped out that point with his control in the third period. The 2-1 score was one of the lowest ever recorded in a CCCAA state championship match.
3rd Place Match – Armando Murillo (Cerritos) won by injury default over Saeed Perez (Santa Ana), Inj. 0:00
5th Place Match – Gracen Hayes (Bakersfield) def. Humphry Quirie (Cuesta), 7-6
7th Place Match – Gabe Carrillo (Cuesta) def. Bryan Thorne (Skyline), 6-1
Weight Class 174
Championships - #1S Wetzel Hill (Mt. San Antonio) def. #3S Joseph Fernandez (Moorpark), 5-2
Although they had already clinched the team championship Hill capped off the year with just the second Mounties individual champion. The two were scoreless after the first period until Hill posted an escape point and followed that with a takedown with 1:20 left in the second period. He took that 3-1 lead into the third period and was clinging to a 3-2 lead after Fernandez escaped from underneath in just seven seconds. Needing a takedown, Fernandez looked to score, but Hill was able to counter and scored a takedown with :05 seconds left to finish the match.
3rd Place Match – Raymundo Raiz (Fresno City) def. Stone Robledo (Cerritos), 7-1
5th Place Match – Gabe Guzman (Sierra) def. Nick Lopez (East Los Angeles), 7-4
7th Place Match – Uriel Vasquez (Bakersfield) def. Jacob Turner (Modesto), 9-3
NOTES: Wetzel Hill placed sixth at the 2019 State Championships at 165 pounds
Weight Class 184
Championships - #1S Jonathan Hunter (Bakersfield) pinned #1N Eric Karas (Sacramento City), 2:21
The state tournament's Most Outstanding Wrestler, Hunter made the first move on Karas and turned his takedown into a state championship winning pin. In his other two matches at the tournament he recorded a pair of major decisions.
3rd Place Match – Luke Hansen (Moorpark) def. Justin Tripp (West Hills), 7-3
5th Place Match – Troy Garza (East Los Angeles) def. Melvin Naranjo (Fresno City), 7-3
7th Place Match – Ahmed Khattab (Mt. San Antonio) def. Logan Colbert (Modesto), 12-8
NOTES: Jonathan Hunter won the 2019 State Championship at 174 pounds
Weight Class 197
Championships - #1N Angel Solis (West Hills) pinned #1S Nate Kendricks (Mt. San Antonio), 2:41
The match had the makings for a wild one, and the two didn't disappoint. Kendricks made a nice move to try and get Solis on his back, but great patience by Solis paid of, as he was able to roll Kendricks on his back. After a couple of minor adjustments, Solis earned the pin before the first period ended.
3rd Place Match – Steven Karas (Sacramento City) def. Anthony Banuelos (Bakersfield), 11-9
5th Place Match – Nicholas Echeveste (Fresno City) def. Chente Trujillo (Bakersfield), 6-3
7th Place Match – Luc LeVasseur (Moorpark) def. Devon Peries (East Los Angeles), 4-2
NOTES: Steven Karas placed 8th at the 2019 State Championships at 197 pounds
Weight Class 285
Championships - #1S Jonovan Smith (Cerritos) def. #1N Rudy Garcia (Fresno City), 8-3
In the final match of the year, the two top wrestlers in their weight were locked in a defensive battle. A quick escape by Smith in the second period broke the scoreless tie, and when Garcia accidently butted his head against Smith, which drew blood, that seemed to change the tempo of the match. Prior to the end of the second period, Smith had secured a pair of takedowns, thanks to a pair of leg sweeps when he had Garcia's other leg. That made it a 5-1 lead heading into the third period, where Smith added another takedown with :34 seconds left and recorded the win.
3rd Place Match – Joseph Alaniz (Fresno City) won by fall over Jacob Larsen (Santa Rosa), 0:42
5th Place Match – Corbin Hayes (Bakersfield) won by injury default over Taven Avila (West Hills), Inj. 0:00
7th Place Match – Jesse Garcia (Mt SAC) won by fall over Nathan Ramos (East Los Angeles), 5:41
Coach of the Year - David Rivera (Mt. San Antonio; pictured, below)
Assistant Coach of the Year - Robert Dominguez (Mt. San Antonio)
Most Outstanding Wrestler - Jonathan Hunter (Bakersfield - 174 Pounds)
Most Falls - Joseph Alaniz (Fresno City - 4 pins; 3:52 total time)