East Los Angeles College sends three to wrestling state finals

Efren Velez (pictured) wrestles in the CCCAA State Finals, Friday, Dec. 8 at Cerritos College along with Gabriel Rodriguez and Emmanuel Zepeda. (Photo from earlier in the season by Tadzio Garcia).
Efren Velez (pictured) wrestles in the CCCAA State Finals, Friday, Dec. 8 at Cerritos College along with Gabriel Rodriguez and Emmanuel Zepeda. (Photo from earlier in the season by Tadzio Garcia).

NORWALK, Calif. — The East Los Angeles College Huskies wrestle in the 2018 CCCAA State Championships at ‘The Aviary’ on the campus of Cerritos College, Friday and Saturday, Dec. 7-8.

Three Huskies advanced to the state finals, sophomore Gabriel Rodriguez (Warren High School) in the 174-pound weight class, freshman Emmanuel Zepeda (Fremont HS) at 157 pounds and sophomore Efren Velez (Schurr HS) in the 197-pound division.

Rodriguez was a state finalist during his freshman year in 2016 hosted by ELAC. He is currently No. 4-ranked in the state at 174 pounds but was placed in a tough bracket. “I just hope to do better than I did last time,” said Rodriguez. “Becoming an All-American is my goal.”

Rodriguez, the No. 3 seed from the South, wrestles against Juan Rosales of Modesto College, the North’s 6th seed. The winner will face the North’s No. 1 seed, Fresno City’s Abner Romero in the quarterfinals. Romero is also No. 1-ranked in the state.

Zepeda is 8th ranked in the state at 165 pounds but has moved down a weight class since. Zepeda, the South’s 4th seed opens against the North’s 5th seed Manny Curry of Mt. San Antonio College.

Velez, the South’s 4th seed, wrestles Santa Rosa’s Karim Shakur, the North’s 5th seed.

Three Huskies qualified as alternates according to ELAC 20-year wrestling head coach Ralph Valle—Ricky Cortez (Warren HS), Rodrigo Magallon (Bell HS) and Daniel Briseno (Bell HS). Cortez placed 7th at the Southern California Regional last week in the 184-pound weight class to qualify as an alternate, Magallon placed 7th and Briseno placed 8th.

“They’re (the alternates) not guaranteed a spot but there’s a chance they can get in if someone gets injured, doesn’t make weight or just doesn’t show up,” said Gonzalez.

STATE WRESTLING SCHEDULE

Doors open at 9 a.m. and competition begins at 10:00 a.m. for both days for the morning sessions.

FRIDAY, DAY I: The Prelims Session I begins in the morning. Session II concludes the Prelims with wrestling consolation rounds and the championship quarterfinals. Doors Open at 4:30 p.m. and the competition begins at 5:00 p.m.

SATURDAY, DAY II: The Session III consolation and medal rounds begin Saturday morning. The final Session is as follows: Doors Open at 5:30 p.m. Finals Ceremony is from 6-7:00 p.m. Championship Finals begin at 7:00 p.m. The state finals conclude with the Awards Ceremony at 8:30 p.m.

Cerritos College is located 11110 Alondra Blvd., Norwalk, CA 90650.

Follow ELAC Athletics at http://athletics.elac.edu/landing/index or on Facebook at ELAC Huskies Athletics (@elachuskiesathletics).

story submitted by Tadzio Garcia

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