Wrestling: Top-ranked team earns conference win

Dustin Kirk and the Falcons defended their top ranking with a 38-9 win over Rio Hondo
Dustin Kirk and the Falcons defended their top ranking with a 38-9 win over Rio Hondo

Ranked #1 in the state, the Cerritos College wrestling team dispatched visiting Rio Hondo College, 38-9 in a Southwest Conference match on Wednesday. The Falcons (7-0, 1-0) were without one of their regulars, while two made their season debut and another moved up a weight class. This Saturday, the team will host the Southern Regional Duals, with the first match taking place at 10:00 a.m. in The Aviary.

Appearing in their first matches of the season were sophomores Eric Ambriz (Temescal Canyon HS) at 149 pounds and 197-pound Jeremiah Gerl (Calvary Chapel HS). Both recording convincing wins, as Ambriz turned a 6-4 first period lead into an 11-7 advantage against David Moran at the end of the second period, thanks in part to a takedown and then a reversal with :06 seconds left. In the third period, he picked up another takedown and rode that to a 14-9 win. As for Gerl, broke open a 2-0 match after the second period with an early takedown in the third and scored a late near fall to post his 8-0 win against Anthony Martinez.

A trio of Falcons remained undefeated and will retain their #1 ranking in the state. Sophomore Dustin Kirk (Elsinore HS) posted a convincing 10-1 win at 133 pounds and had a pair of near falls to finish off Carlos Martinez. Freshman Antonio McKee (Long Beach Poly HS) competed at 157 pounds for the first time this season and needed only 1:52 to pin Nick Mecado. McKee is currently ranked #1 in the state at 149 pounds. 

The most anticipated match of the night came at 285 pounds, as #1-ranked Robert Chism (Downey HS) squared off against #2-ranked Javier Gonzalez. It wasn't much of a match, as Chism got Gonzalez on his back quickly and pinned him in just 1:24. It was the second win of the season for Chism over Gonzalez.

Ranked #3 in the state at 184 pounds, sophomore Max Kumashiro (Los Alamitos HS) pulled out to a quick 6-1 lead over Rudy Conant after the first period, as he quickly got his opponent down. Kumashiro, who added three more takedowns and a near fall, went on to record a 14-3 win. The night started with sophomore Gary Howe (Los Alamtios HS) turning in a convincing 18-2 major decision against Efrain Flores, as he had four near falls along the way. The Falcons had another pinfall on the night, with freshman Ruben Avila (Lake Elsinore HS) turning in the quickest match, as he pinned Greg Tomas in :39 seconds at 165 pounds.

125 Pounds - Gary Howe (CERR) def. Efrain Flores (RH), 18-2
133 Pounds - Dustin Kirk (CERR) def. Carlos Martinez (RH), 10-1
141 Pounds - Daniel Romero (RH) pinned Jonathan Tanap (CERR), 3:49
149 Pounds - Eric Ambriz (CERR) def. David Moran (RH), 14-9
157 Pounds - AJ McKee pinned Nick Mercado (RH), 1:52
165 Pounds - Ruben Avila (CERR) pinned Greg Tomas (RH), :39
174 Pounds - Daniel Allen (RH) def. Dylan Clarke (CERR), 6-0
184 Pounds - Max Kumashiro (CERR) def. Rudy Conant (RH), 14-3
197 Pounds - Jeremiah Gerl (CERR) def. Anthony Martinez (RH), 8-0
285 Pounds - Robert Chism (CERR) pinned Javier Gonzalez (RH), 1:24

Photos by Daryl Peterson