At the Southern California Championships on Saturday, the Cerritos College wrestling team qualified 11 of their 12 entries for the CCCAA State Championships. The amassed 268 team points and finished in second place behind Mt. San Antonio College and their 295 team points. The state championships will be held next Friday and Saturday at West Hills-Lemoore College.
As a team, the Falcons had three individual champions and four finished in second place.
125 Pounds - Freshman Diego Jasso (South Torrance HS) opened with a loss in his first match, which sent him to the consolation round. After getting pinned by Cameron Fernando of Moorpark College, Jasso pinned Andres Curiel of Cuesta College in 5:24 before dropping a 20-9 major decision to Dylan Atheron of Rio Hondo College. He closed out the day with a 9-6 setback against Gabe Rivera of Cuesta and settled for eighth place.
133 Pounds - In his first two matches, freshman Anthony Pereyra (Lakeside HS) recorded pins, as he finished off Danny Gonzalez of Cuesta College in 5:51 and then needed 2:47 to defeat Santa Ana College's Nathan Ramirez. In the semifinals, Pereyra recorded a 9-6 victory over Jose Cisneros of Victor Valley College, but saw his bid for a championship come to an end with a 13-7 loss to David Saenz of Mt. San Antonio College. The Falcons other entry, freshman Raul Jimenez (St. John Bosco HS) received a bye in the first round, before he was pinned by Saenz in 6:24. In his first consolation match, Jimenez pinned Gonzalez in 3:59, which was followed by a 6-1 victory over Owen Wilson of Palomar College. The win automatically qualified Jimenez for the state tournament, so he was an injury default in his next two matches and finished in sixth place.
141 Pounds - The top seed in the weight class, freshman Mario De La Torre (Temescal Canyon HS) received a bye in the first round before opening his quest for the championship with a pin over Ethan Irizarry of East Los Angeles College in 1:11. He needed 2:25 to defeat Howard Tieu of Rio Hondo College by pin, which advanced De La Torre to the championship match. Taking on Riley Fitzsimmons of Mt. San Antonio College, De La Torre captured the championship with a 7-0 victory.
149 Pounds - Seeded #2, sophomore Felix Osorio (Santa Fe HS) received a bye in the first round before an 8-4 victory over Hames Juarez of Bakersfield College. He followed that with a 9-4 win over #3-seeded Aiden Hansen of Bakersfield College, which pitted Osorio against Billy Looney of Mt. San Antonio in the championship match. Trailing, 4-2 after the first period, Osorio was unable to fight back, as the two traded escape points in the next two periods, with Looney coming away with a 5-3, as Osorio came in second place.
157 Pounds - The other weight where the Falcons had a pair of entries, both freshmen Trevor Thompson (Long Beach Millikan HS) and Cael Garriott (South Torrance HS) each advanced to the semifinals. They were both defeated in their next matches and sent to the consolation rounds. Thompson responded with a 6-3 victory over James O'Neal, Jr. of Victor Valley College and finished his day by winning the third place match. He scored an 11-5 win over Jonathan Aldana of Santa Ana College, who defeated Garriott, 9-6 in their consolation match. Garriott finished off O'Neal, 10-5 to come in fifth place and qualify for the state tournament.
165 Pounds - Another top seeded wrestler in their weight classification, sophomore Armando Murillo (Rowland HS) had the most exciting day of any Falcon. After an opening round bye, Murillo pinned Hassan Alexander of Palomar College in :57 seconds in his first match. In the semifinals, Murrillo faced Gracen Hayes of Bakersfield College, who took the lead with a four-point near fall with :35 seconds left in the second period to open the scoring. However, Hayes was charged with a penalty, which gave Murillo a point, while he added a two-point reversal with :18 seconds left to enter the third period down, 4-3. Staring on the bottom, Murillo recorded a reversal with 1:34 remaining and then held on for a 5-4 victory to advance to the finals. In the championship match against Jesus Gutierrez of Victor Valley, Murillo appeared to have won the match with a reversal for a 3-1 lead. But Gutierrez countered with a reversal at the buzzer to send the match to sudden victory. Murillo was able to record a takedown :20 into overtime for a 5-3 championship victory.
174 Pounds - Another top seed in his weight classification, sophomore Stone Robledo (Villa Park HS) received a bye in the first round and then pinned both Sergio Gutierrez of Santa Ana College in 3:53 and then Daniel Hernandez of Palomar College in 1:48 to advance to the championship match. Taking on #2-seeded Luke Combs of Bakersfield College, Robledo was taken down three times in the first period and trailed, 6-3. Neither wrestler scored in the second period, while two more takedowns was too much for Robledo to overcome and suffered an 11-4 loss.
184 Pounds - As the top seed in his weight classification, sophomore Rafael Guerra (Downey HS) won his first match by pin before dropping a 6-2 decision against eventual champion, Jakob Hand of Mt. San Antonio. In the consolation bracket, Guerra pinned Jaremiah Juarez of Rio Hondo College in 6:00 and closed out his day with a pin over Leon Tippett of Cuesta College in 2:14 to finish in third place.
197 Pounds - A couple of wins by freshman Malachi Lyles (Mayfair HS) allowed him to advance to the championship match. After a bye in the first round, Lyles opened with a pin of Jesus Rodriguez lf Palomar College in 2:00 before recording a 6-2 win in the semifinals against Devin Peries of East Los Angeles College. In the championship match, Lyles was locked in a defensive battle with top-seeded Nate Kendricks of Mt. San Antonio. After a scoreless first period, the two wrestlers picked up quick escape points in each of the second and third periods. Going to overtime, Lyles was able to earn a 2-1 victory when Kendricks was penalized a point with :54 seconds remaining in overtime.
285 Pounds - A bye started the day for sophomore Kobe Pablo (Cypress HS), who turned in a 9-1 win over Angelo Franco of Victor Valley College in his first match. Facing top-seeded Emitt Mercado of Rio Hondo College, he scored two points with a reversal from the down position to start the third period for a 2-0 lead in their semifinal match. Pablo was able to earn riding time before Mercado was able to escape with :23 seconds and then held him off for a 3-1 victory and advancement to the championship match. Taking on Corbin Hayes of Bakersfield College, Pablo led 2-1 entering the second period, but allowed seven consecutive points in the second period, before eventually suffering a 9-3 loss.