BAKERSFIELD, CA — The East Los Angeles College wrestling team showed improvement from last year’s squad after matches against four of last season’s CCCAA state finals Top-10 teams at the Bakersfield Duals at the Gil Bishop Sports Center.
ELAC is a young team with a 21-team member roster, two-thirds of which are freshmen. The freshmen did well in their first college experience and had more individual wins than did the more experienced ELAC sophomores, 9-4.
Three Huskies wrestled undefeated for the day. In the heavyweight division, it was sophomore Daniel Pena (Birmingham HS) and freshman Brandon Sotomayor (Centennial HS). Both Huskies finished 2-0.
Freshman Gabriel Rodriguez (Warren HS) was 2-0 in the 184-weight class with two falls.
ELAC rallied but fell short, 27-24, to Santa Ana College who placed sixth in the state finals last year and defeated ELAC 45-9 at the 2015 Bakersfield Duals.
This year Santa Ana opened up a 21-6 lead followed by an ELAC rally that included three pins.
Sophomore Max Velez (Schurr High School) recorded the first fall vs. Zachary Edsell in the 174-pound weight class. Rodriguez (184-pound class) pinned Emmanuel Hernandez who wrestled up two weight classes. ELAC was down 21-18.
Santa Ana followed with a fall. Pena pinned Santa Ana freshman Christopher Hicks in the heavy weight division for the final 27-24 score.
Other Husky highlights include:
125 pounds – Sophomore Joshua Garcia’s only win of the day was a forfeit vs. Santa Ana.
133 pounds – Freshman Martin Gevorkian (Downey HS) scored a win by fall against freshman Moises Hernandez of Cerritos College. Hernandez had moved up a weight class from 125.
141 pounds – Sophomore Alex Contreras (Montclair HS) came up on the short end of two one-point decisions, 9-8 (vs. Santa Ana) and 5-4 (vs. West Hills), but bounced back with an 8-3 decision win vs. Bakersfield freshman Carlos Nieto backed by the home crowd.
149 pounds – Sophomore Jonathan Mandujano (Monrovia HS) returned to the team after a year’s layoff to focus on his studies. He had two one-point losses that included a tough 2-1 loss to sophomore Arik Onsurez of Bakersfield. “I lost today and just have to get back to work on what I learned, get better in shape and (move) on,” said Mandujano.
157 pounds – Sophomore Marcus Phillips (Crater HS, WA) and freshman Michael Estrada (John Glenn HS) fought on the mat today. Phillips won by fall with a huge upset vs. Cerritos sophomore Jesus Aisputo (El Rancho HS).
165 pounds – Freshman Doroteo Lopez (CC Valencia HS) finished the day with a winning record, 2-1. He won by fall vs. Bakersfield freshman Andrew Lindsey and won a 6-4 decision in the West Hills match. Christopher Sandoval (Bell Gardens HS) had two-point decision losses, 15-13 and 8-6.
184 pounds – Rodriguez’s other fall came in the Bakersfield match. Sophomore Brandon Aviles (Downey HS) opened the season with a 6-5 decision loss in the West Hills bout.
Heavyweight – Pena’s other win was an 8-0 major decision against Bakersfield freshman Ramiro Vargas-Macias. Sotomayor finished the day with a fall in the West Hills match and a 6-4 decision win against Cerritos freshman David Zavala.
story submitted by Tadzio Garcia