Wrestling: Team wins one of three at Southern Duals

File Photo: Rudy Delgado won both of his matches at the Southern Regional Team Duals.
File Photo: Rudy Delgado won both of his matches at the Southern Regional Team Duals.

Competing at the Southern Regional Duals at Palomar College on Saturday, the Cerritos College wrestling team won their first match, but dropped their next two. After defeating Cuesta College, 27-6, the Falcons (4-3) were defeated by the host Comets (21-17) and then to conference rival Santa Ana College, 31-22. Cerritos will now open Southwest Conference play on Wednesday when they travel back to Palomar for a 7:00 p.m. match.

In both of the losses, the match came down to the final weight. Against Palomar, the Falcons trailed 18-17 after freshman 285-pound Weston Hawkins (Edison HS) recorded an 8-0 win. That left it up to freshman Gabe Ballesteros (Mesa, AZ HS) facing the state's #1-ranked Kyle Vexler. After a 2-2 first period, Vexler took a 5-2 advantage with an escape and two-point takedown, with Ballesteros needing three points for a tie. After a two-point reversal, Vexler responded with one of his own. An escape point for Ballesteros and one point for riding time was not enough, and he dropped a 7-6 decision.

Leading 22-10 with four weights to compete against eventual Southern California champion Santa Ana, Cerritos was defeated in all four. A pin by sophomore 184-pound Kyle Pivovaroff (West Torrance HS) gave Cerritos a 22-10 advantage, but sophomore 184-pound George Knight (Corona HS) was pinned and Hawkins lost a 3-2 decision. A loss by pin against sophomore 125-pound Michael Perez (Firebaugh HS) was followed by #1-ranked Juan Jaime pinning freshman George Mariscal (Warren HS) to complete the Dons comeback.

The tournament started with Cerritos winning seven of the 10 matches against the Cougars, with five of the matches being decided by two or less points. Freshman Michael Behnke (Arlington HS) broke a 2-2 tie at 141 pounds with an escape in the third period and held off Julian Purdy, while freshman Dylan Clarke (Burnt Hills, NY HS) posted a 5-3 win at 165 pounds. As for Pivovaroff, his one-point riding time advantage was the difference in a 5-4 win at 184 pounds over #7-ranked Juan Valladores.

Photo by Daryl Peterson