Wrestling: Falcons secure fourth place at 3C2A State Championships

Mario De La Torre was one of two Falcons to reach the finals
Mario De La Torre was one of two Falcons to reach the finals

Over the weekend at the 3C2A State Championships at Cuesta College, the Cerritos College had two wrestlers advance to the finals of their respective weight classes, while the team finished in fourth place. The Falcons ended the tournament with 94 team points and ended with three All-Americans.

125 Pounds - Carlos Garcia (Magnolia HS) earned one win in his three matches, as he was pinned in the first round, but bounced back to pin Fernando Becerra of San Joaquin Delta College on the first day. He came back the second day and was pinned in 2:43 by Scotty Moore of Skyline College and was eliminated.

141 Pounds - With a major decision over Kymani Capri of College of the Redwoods, freshman Jake Topartzer (San Juan Hills HS) was looking to advance to the quarterfinals. He was pinned by Victor Roy of Victor Valley College in 5:31, but worked his way back through the consolation rounds and earned a 19-4 technical fall over Aceyn Meter of Shasta College in his next match. A loss to Finnegan Long of Rio Hondo College sent Topartzer to the seventh place match, where he pinned Zane Kowalkowski of Shasta College in 1:26. Cerritos had a second wrestler qualify for the championships, but sophomore Kimo Servino (Carson HS) had to withdraw due to illness.

149 Pounds - One of the two finalists for the Falcons, sophomore Mario De La Torre (Temescal Canyon HS) entered the state championships undefeated. He added to his win total with pins in his first two matches and then shut out Matthew Arias of Fresno City College, 6-0 in the semifinals. De La Torre needed 2:31 to pin David Sypricki of Santa Rosa College and 1:41 to defeat Dorian Parker of Palomar College. In the finals, De La Torre suffered his first loss of the season, as he was defeated, 10-3 by Victor Valley College's Brandon Bollinger. Earlier in the season, De La Torre pinned Bollinger in 1:38 in the finals of the Santa Ana Tournament. Last season, De La Torre advanced to the finals at 141 pounds, but settled for second place.

149 Pounds - Also placing for the Falcons was freshman Jasper Centeno (St. John Bosco HS), who came in seventh place. After opening the tournament by pinning Kevin Goodman of Chabot College in 4:26, as 6-4 loss to Anthony Nunes of Modesto College sent him to the consolation rounds. Centeno opened with a 15-0 technical fall over Tobias Robert Lasron of Lassen College, while a 7-4 setback against Ammar Kahn of Sacramento City College sent him to the seventh place match. He capped off the day by pinning Brian Gieger of Mt. San Antonio College in 2:36.

Caoilte Drury was one of two Falcons to advance to the finals 157 Pounds - The other Cerritos finalist, sophomore Caoilte Drury (Westminster HS) had his hands full in the semifinals against Chase Mirelez of Modesto College. Trailing 6-2 heading into the third period, Drury (pictured, left) scored a quick reversal, while a pair of reversals in the final minute allowed him to come away with a 9-8 victory. He opened the tournament with a 19-1 technical fall over Bryan Fraser of Chabot College and then scored a 9-0 major win over Joshua Padilla of East Los Angeles College. In the championship match, Drury was pinned in 5:30 by Alex Ramirez of Mt San Antonio College. As a freshman in 2021, Drury placed third at 149 pounds.

165 Pounds - Another sophomore who opened with a win, Cael Garriott (South Torrance HS) earned a 21-6 technical fall over Ben Montez of Fresno City College before getting pinned by Joshua Thomas of Sierra College in 1:56, which sent him to the consolation rounds. He opened with an 8-3 win over Armando Vega of Bakersfield College, while losses to both Adrian Juarez of Bakersfield College and Skyline College's Thomas Venezia put Garriott in eighth place. Garriott qualified for the state tournament as a freshman an 157 pounds.

174 Pounds - Opening with pin in 2:06 over Efrain Deunas of Modesto College was a good start for freshman Zack Harkey (Dana Hills HS). However, he suffered a 3-0 loss to Joshua Shepherd of Bakersfield College, while a tough 3-2 loss to Michael Negrete of Sierra College eliminated him from the tournament. Negrete scored a three-point takedown in the first period, which proved to be enough.

184 Pounds - Freshman Ben Setum (Pacifica HS) suffered losses in his only two matches and was eliminated on the first day. He suffered a 6-3 setback to Ricky McCulloch of Sierra College, while a 15-9 loss to Jesse Herrera of Mt. San Antonio eliminated him.

197 Pounds - A 9-5 first round win over Fresno City College's Marco Silva was a good start for sophomore Armando Sandoval (Los Alamitos HS). However, he dropped an 8-5 match to Frankie Pomilia of Santa Rosa College in his next match, but followed that with a pin over Liam Clark of Palomar College in his first match in the consolation rounds. Sandoval was then pinned by Uriel Vasquez of Bakersfield College in 3:29, but capped off the tournament with a 14-6 major decision over Isaac Lopez of Mt. San Antonio and finished in seventh place.

285 Pounds - Looking to improve on his third place finish as a freshman, Kobe Pablo (Cypress HS) advanced to the semifinals with pins over Mahamed Mukoma of Shasta College in 1:57 and Gerrard Marshall of College of the Redwoods in 6:02. In the semifinals, Pablo was defeated, 7-2 by Santa Ana College's Joseph Nava, but bounced back to earn an 11-1 major decision over Evan Gilnas of Sacramento City College to advance to the third place match. Pablo was defeated by Dib Sawaya of Mt. San Antonio in sudden death. The regulation match was tied, 1-1, while both were able to earn an escape point during the two 30-second overtime periods. However, Sawaya was able to escape four seconds faster than Pablo and was awarded the win.


125 Pounds - Carlos Garcia - Did not place
141 Pounds - Jake Topartzer - 7th Place
149 Pounds - Mario De La Torre - 2nd Place (All-American)
149 Pounds - Jasper Centeno - 7th Place
157 Pounds - Caoilte Drury - 2nd Place (All-American)
165 Pounds - Cael Garriott - 8th Place
174 Pounds - Zack Harkey - Did not place
184 Pounds - Ben Setum - Did not place
197 Pounds - Armando Sandoval - 7th Place
285 Pounds - Kobe Pablo - 4th Place (All-American)

Photos courtesy of John Sachs