Women's Wrestling: Cerritos wins inaugural 3C2A State Championship

Cerritos College won the inaugural CCCAA State Championship
Cerritos College won the inaugural CCCAA State Championship

When Dustin Kirk was brought in to serve as the college's first-ever women's wrestling head coach, he had five things in mind that he wanted to accomplish. Earlier in the season, the Cerritos College wrestling team 1) hosted the first-ever 3C2A dual meet; 2) won their first dual meet; 3) won a tournament; 4) won the 3C2A Team Dual State Championship and on Saturday in his own gym, he completed the fifth, as the Falcons won the 3C2A State Championship. This was the first season for women's wrestling, with the Falcons sweeping every award during the season and at the championships.

Cerritos finished with 129 team points and outdistanced second place Mt. San Antonio College, who compiled 110.5 team points.

"This was something I wanted to try and help this program accomplish and I'm really proud of everyone who worked so hard to help see this though," said Kirk, who was a CCCAA State Champion for the Falcons at 133 pounds in 2014.

""It feels great to be the first ever women's team champions," added Kirk. "To be able to host a championship for these women and make sure they have a true championship feel is great. I'm happy to give another opportunity for women in athletics."

Dustin Kirk was named the State Coach of the Year Aine Drury was named the Wrestler of the Meet Cerritos had seven wrestlers advance to the championship round, with four of them coming away with titles. In addition, Kirk (pictured left with the award) was voted the state's Coach of the Year, while freshman 148-pound Aine Drury (Westminster HS, pictured right with the award) was named the Most Valuable Wrestler at the state championships.

Here is a breakdown of how the Falcons did in each weight classification:

102 Pounds - As one of only two entries in the weight classification, freshman Jessica Hong (Western HS) capped off her season by pinning Alexis Hazelton of Sacramento City College in 1:33. The two, who had already squared off seven times previously during the season, had to wait the entire day before competing in the finals. Once Hong was able to get Hazelton off her feet, she quickly ended the match with a pin and was officially the first-ever CCCAA individual state champion.

109 Pounds - As the top seed, freshman Lucy Guadarrama (Orange HS) automatically advanced to the finals, as there were only three entries in the weight. She took on Ruby Rivas of Mt. San Antonio College and was trailing, 7-3 when a shoulder injury forced her to default out of the match.

116 Pounds - Freshman Alyssa Rodriguez (Mayfair HS) needed just two wins to capture the state championship and did so with pins. In her first match, she recorded a first-period takedown before finishing the match in 1:37 and pinned Miya Galvan of East Los Angeles College. In the championship match against Hailey Teodoro of Mt. San Antonio turned a close 3-2 lead after the first period into a quick second period pin. She scored an early takedown and four-point near-fall before securing the victory 4:48 into the match.

123 Pounds - After receiving a bye in the first round, freshman Jewelysa Funakoshi (West Torrance HS) dropped an 11-8 decision in her first match, but battled back to win her next three matches to finish in third place. She responded with a 9-2 win over Fresno City College's Jasmine Estrada and followed that with an 8-0 major decision win against Alexa Rosales of Palomar College. That advanced her to the third place match, where she pulled out a 4-3 victory against Jade Morales of Santa Ana College. After Morales took a 2-0 lead at the buzzer in the first period, Funakoshi scored a reversal 20 seconds into the period. Morales was able to escape for a 3-2 edge heading into the final period. After a stall warning against Morales, Funakoshi was awarded a point to tie the match with 49 seconds left and secured the win with an escape with only five seconds remaining in the match.

128 Pounds - Savannah Valle (Warren HS) competed twice against a pair of Mt. San Antonio wrestlers and was pinned in both matches to get eliminated from the competition.

136 Pounds - Recording pins in her first three matches to advance to the championships, freshman Jaylene Martinez (Whittier HS) saw her bid for a title come to an end when she was pinned by Mt. SAC's Sophia Vergara in 3:32. Martinez opened the day pinning Danielle Carbajal in 44 seconds before needing 2:47 to finish off Vanessa Mares of Fresno City College. In the semifinals, Martinez was able to advance to the finals with her pin of Ibtasam Saleh of Sacramento City.

148 Pounds - Completing her undefeated season, Drury pinned her two opponents before being named the Most Valuable Wrestler. She defeated teammate Isabel Guerrero (Warren HS) in 20 seconds in her opening match and then needed 1:47 to finish off Saruh Teng of Sacramento City. Drury recorded five easy takedowns in the match before recording the pin. As for Guerrero, she was pinned in her next match, but came back for a 2-0 win over Hailey Cortez in the fifth place match.

"I'm really proud of us as a team," said Drury.  "We really worked hard all season and are always taking care of each other. Today feels good."

160 Pounds - With three Cerritos entries in this weight, freshman Natalie Resendiz (El Toro HS) was the highest placer, as she came in fourth place. She opened with pins over Hayley Huynh (Mt. San Antonio) in 4:30 and Leilani Frazier (Santa Rosa) in 4:52 before her loss to Galilea Garcia-Sanchez of East Los Angeles in the semifinals ended her bid for a championship. She pinned Huynh once again in the consolation round, but was defeated by Frazier in the third place match. Sianna Verdugo (Santa Fe HS) picked up one win in her three matches, while Natalie Flores (Downey HS) was defeated in both of hers.

180 Pounds - A pair of wins by freshman Nile Jernigan (Cerritos HS) earned her the state championship. In her first match, Jernigan needed just 55 seconds to pin Sacramento City's De'oujenai Murphy-Morre. Prior to the start of the championship round, Jernigan sang the National Anthem and then pinned Galilea Chavez of Bakersfield College in 5:17. At the time of the pin, Jernigan was holding a comfortable 8-1 lead.

220 Pounds - The final Falcons wrestler to advance to the championship round, freshman Arianna Renteria suffered a loss by pin in 2:03 against East LA's Isabella Calle. In her previous match that led her to the finals, Renteria pinned Atziry Chavez of Sacramento City.


102 Pounds - Jessica Hong - State Champion (All-Amerian)
109 Pounds - Lucy Guadarrama - 2nd Place (All-American)
116 Pounds - Alyssa Rodriguez - State Champion (All-American)
123 Pounds - Jewelysa Funakoshi - 3rd Place (All-American)
128 Pounds - Savannah Valle - Did not place
136 Pounds - Jaylene Martinez - 2nd Place (All-American)
148 Pounds - Aine Drury - State Champion (All-American)
148 Pounds - Isabel Guerrero - 5th Place
160 Pounds - Natalie Resendiz - 4th Place (All-American)
160 Pounds - Sianna Verdugo - Did not place
160 Pounds - Natalie Flores - Did not place
180 Pounds - Nile Jernigan - State Champion (All-American)
220 Pounds - Arianna Renteria - 2nd Place (All-American)

Photos by Daryl Peterson