SANTA ANA, Calif. — East Los Angeles College placed 12th at the annual Santa Ana Community College Wrestling Tournament at Cook Gym. Twelve Teams brought eight extra squads to the 24-team tourney.
The Huskies wrestled well today given that early season injuries hampered them from competing with a full team today. Adding to ELAC’s 12th place finish was the ELAC “B” team placing 22nd. Fresno City College overwhelmed the competition with four individual titles, three second place nods and 11 medals enroute to a landslide team title win.
ELAC sophomore Gabriel Rodriguez (Warren High School) won a medal in the 174-weight division with his fourth-place finish.
125-pound weight class - Two ELAC sophomores Nate Martinez (South Pasadena HS) and Martin Gevorkian (Downey HS) were out today leaving an ELAC scoring opportunity off the table. Top-seed Roland Dominguez of the Cerritos College won this weight division.
133-pound freshman Erik Echeverri (Montclair HS) wrestled three rounds today against one player sandwiched with a bye. He opened with a technical fall loss to Ricky Bautista of Cerritos. After a bye, Echeverri had a rare same-day rematch with Bautisa but lost by fall (4:42). Fresno City’s Isaiah Perez won the title in this weight division.
141-pound freshman Jonathan Flores (Bell HS) advanced to the third-place quarterfinals. He lost a 5-0 decision in the opening round to 4th-seed Erick Marquez of Palomar College. Flores then won two rounds, the first by fall (1:18) vs. Cuesta College’s Clay Funez. He won another match by fall vs. Rio Hondo College’s Daniel Martinez. Flores finished with a close 11-8 decision loss to Rio Hondo’s Rudy Bojorquez. Cerritos’ Josh Brown won this weight division.
149-pound weight class - The Huskies did not compete in this weight division. Fresno City’s Daniel Ruiz won the 149-pound individual title.
157-pound weight class - Three Huskies wrestled two rounds in this weight division, sophomores Ahmad Shalabi (Marquez HS) and Michael Estrada (John Glenn HS) and freshman Daniel Briseno (Bell HS). Of the three, Shalabi came the closest to a third-round match with an exciting 11-7 decision loss to 6th-seeded Drake De La Cruz of Cerritos. Fresno City’s Ruben Garcia won this weight class as well as being named the Lower Weight MVP.
165-pound freshman Emmanuel Zepeda (Fremont HS) powered his way through to the third-place quarterfinals. After an opening round bye, he won by fall over Victor Valley’s Raul Benz. Zepeda lost a 10-6 decision match to top-seeded Augie Garcia of Fresno City, the eventual champion. Zepeda followed with a third-round win by fall (1:47) over Rio Hondo’s Steven Encinas then lost by fall (1:47) to third-seeded Kenneth Kirk of Cerritos.
174-pound sixth-seeded Gabriel Rodriguez (Warren HS) won his fourth-place medal by way of an opening round bye, a second round 8-5 decision loss vs. 7th-seeded Sacramento City’s Jordan Denny, followed by four straight wins. Rodriguez won a 4-3 decision vs. Sacramento’s Ian Vasquez, then won a 15-6 major decision over Rio Hondo’s Chris Montoya.
Rodriguez won an 11-6 decision vs. Angel Jauregui of Cerritos in his third-place quarterfinal match. In the semifinal round, Rodriguez won by fall (2:49) over Moorpark’s Robert Flores then lost in the third-place match to the third-seed Zack Gonzalez. Top-seeded Abner Romero of Fresno City won the 174-pound title and the Upper Weight MVP.
184-pound sophomore Ricky Cortez (Warren HS) began with byes in the first two rounds. In a championship quarterfinal match, Cortez lost by fall to Jerrod Nunez of Cerritos. In the fourth round, Cortez fought to a 10-0 major decision win over Wilfredo Choto of Victor Valley then he lost by a major decision to third-seeded Jacob Mattson of Bakersfield. The fourth-seed Steven Abbott of Sacramento won this weight class.
197-pound weight division was won by the top-seeded Adrian Godinez of Bakersfield. Godinez was a state champion last year. ELAC did not compete in this weight class.
285-pound sophomore Efren Velez (Schurr HS) of the ELAC “B” team opened with a bye then overpowered Rio Hondo’s Ruben Martinez in a flash winning by fall (0:15). Velez lost a heartbreak 1-0 decision to Jackson Serna of Mt. SAC in a championship quarterfinal match. In the fourth round, Velez won by fall over Hayden Elias of Sacramento. Velez lost a 6-1 decision to Christian Alvizures of Mt. SAC in a third-place quarterfinal match. Mt. SAC’s Christian Ayala won this heavyweight division.
The Huskies wrestle rival Rio Hondo on Wednesday beginning at 7 p.m. This wresting rivalry pre-dates the 1990s and has continued for more than three decades.
Follow ELAC Athletics at http://athletics.elac.edu/landing/index or on Facebook at ELAC Huskies Athletics (@elachuskiesathletics).
story submitted by Tadzio Garcia