SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA — East Los Angeles College placed ninth at the CCCAA Southern California Wrestling Championships and advances two Huskies and two alternates to the State Championships next week.
No. 1-ranked Cerritos College won the team title.
ELAC freshman Brandon Sotomayor (Bakersfield Centennial High School), No. 4-ranked in the state in the 285-pound division, finished as the runner-up in this weight class.
Sotomayor wrestled to the biggest upset of the day for the Huskies with a pin (2:40) against No. 2 David Zavala of Cerritos College in the championship semifinal round. Zavala made a move for a takedown and Sotomayor quickly stepped in front of him to roll him on his back for the pin.
Honorable Mention-ranked in the 184-pound division, freshman Gabriel Rodriguez (Warren HS) qualifies for the state finals in the 174-pound division.
Freshman Oscar Martinez (Paramount HS) and No. 6 sophomore Alex Contreras (Montclair HS) are alternates in the 197-pound and 133-pound divisions, respectively. Both men placed seventh.
Individual Results (includes statewide rankings):
125 pounds – Sophomore Joshua Garcia (San Fernando HS) and freshman Martin Gevorkian (Downey HS) were eliminated in the second round of the consolation bracket. Each scored two takedowns.
133 pounds – Contreras took seventh place. After an opening round bye and a second round loss, he pinned Jacob Valdez (0:32) of Cerritos College in the third place quarterfinal round. Contreras lost a close 3-1 overtime decision for a trip to state against Leif Dominguez of host Cuesta College then won seventh place by forfeit vs. Cuesta’s Ross Arve.
141 pounds – Sophomore Marco Ramirez (Norwalk HS) lost weight to compete in this weight class. His strength held up, but faced quicker opponents who normally wrestle in this division. Ramirez exited in the consolation bracket second round after a tough loss.
149 pounds – Honorable Mention ranked freshman Marcus Phillips (Crater HS, WA) opened with a 4-0 decision win vs. Bakersfield’s Marco Dominguez in the first round. After a quarterfinal loss, Phillips was eliminated with an upset 7-3 decision loss to Rio Hondo freshman Josh Caro. Phillips defeated Caro earlier in the season.
157 pounds – Freshmen Doroteo Lopez (Valencia HS) survived three rounds, but lost in the consolation second round and was eliminated.
165 pounds – Honorable Mention-ranked in the 174-pound division, sophomore Max Velez (Schurr HS) lost weight to compete in this weight class. Velez is 7-6 in the 174-pound division. He lost a 7-5 decision in the opening round to Bakersfield’s J.R. Trevino. Velez was eliminated in the consolation bracket second round.
174 pounds – Honorable Mention-ranked in the 184-pound division, freshman Gabriel Rodriguez (Warren HS) fought to a fifth place medal in this weight class. Palomar’s Braucio Banuelos won a 9-0 major decision against Rodriguez in the opening round. Rodriguez won by pin/fall vs. Victor Valley’s Lorenzo Fajardo (2:22) and eventually qualified for the fifth place match with Banuelos. Rodríguez won by forfeit. Both Rodriguez and Banuelos move on to the state finals.
184 pounds – The Huskies did not wrestle in this weight class. Out with injuries included Honorable-Mention ranked freshman Efren Velez (Schurr HS) and sophomore Brandon Aviles (Downey HS).
197 pounds – Freshman Ricardo Cortez (Warren HS) advanced to the second round of the consolation bracket, but forfeited to Martinez. Martinez won the seventh place match with a 5-1 decision to West Hills College’s Michael Perez. Martinez answered Perez’s quick takedown attempts with faster moves. Martinez muscled out of his biggest jam, which would have tied the score, with a move that resulted in a takedown.
285 pounds –After an opening round bye, Sotomayor won a by fall (6:08) against Bakersfield’s Ramiro Macias. In the highly anticipated match with Zavala, Sotomayor’s strategy and reaction to Zavala’s moves won the match. In the heavyweight title match, with the scored tied at 2-all, Chance Eskam of Palomar College got a late escape to win a 3-2 decision.
The state finals will be on Friday, Dec. 9 and Saturday, Dec. 10 at Victor Valley College. Doors open at 9 a.m. each day.
At state, Sotomayor is the second seed in the heavyweight division and as a result has a first round bye. He opens play in the championship round quarterfinals and faces the winner of a match between No. 8-seed Jerrad Kirk of Sacramento City College and Marco Valdivia of Rio Hondo College.
In the 174-pound class, it is Rodriguez against No. 7-seed Dupra Goodman of Skyline College in the first round.
story submitted by Tadzio Garcia