Wrestling: Falcons clinch share of conference title with win

File Photo: Dustin Kirk remained undefeated on the year with his 10-2 win
File Photo: Dustin Kirk remained undefeated on the year with his 10-2 win

With their 25-9 Southwest Conference win over host Palomar College on Wednesday night, the Cerritos College wrestling team has earned at least a share of the championship. The Falcons (12-1, 3-0), ranked #1 in the state, have a non-conference dual in Fresno on Saturday and then close out the conference season with a 7:00 p.m. match at Santa Ana College. The conference championship is the first for the Falcons since the 2010 season.

In the win over the Comets, the team won seven of the 10 matches even though they moved several of their wrestlers into unfamiliar weight classifications. Freshman Kevin James (Redondo HS) competed at 149 pounds for the first time this season and posted a 7-5 win over Chris Jones. Trailing 5-4 heading into the final period, James recorded an escape point and then won the match with a late takedown. Sophomore Keanu Tom (Los Alamitos HS), who's ranked #1 in the state at 157 pounds, moved down to 165 pounds and registered an 8-3 win against Peter Donchev. Tom, who's now 5-0 at 165 pounds, broke open a close 4-2 match with a pair of third period takedowns to secure the victory.

Freshman Antonio McKee (Long Beach Poly HS), the #1-ranked wrestler at 149 pounds, moved down to 157 pounds and wore down Cody Doyle for a 9-3 win. McKee surrendered three escape points and had four takedowns, with two of them coming in the third period. Four other Falcon wrestlers remained at their normal weight and each picked up wins to help finish off Palomar.

Sophomore Gary Howe (Los Alamitos HS) earned a 9-3 win at 125 pounds, while top-ranked Dustin Kirk (Elsinore HS) earned the team four points with his 10-2 win at 133 pounds. Sophomore Dylan Clarke (Burnt Hills, NY HS) saw his second period 7-5 lead hold up, as neither he nor Erik Collin would score in the third period in their 174-pound match. As fop top-ranked Robert Chism (Downey HS) at 285 pounds, he needed just 1:14 to seal the night with a pin against Adam Waller. The only upset on the night was at 184 pounds, as Alex Graves of Palomar moved down a weight and defeated sophomore Max Kumashiro (Los Alamitos HS), 7-3. Graves is ranked #3 at 174 pounds, while Kumashiro is #3 at 184 pounds.

125 Pounds - Gary Howe (CERR) def. Frank Sandoval (PAL), 9-3
133 Pounds - Dustin Kirk (CERR) def. Alberto Garcia (PAL), 10-2
141 Pounds - Josh Lawson (PAL) def. Jesse Mastron (CERR), 8-2
149 Pounds - Kevin James (CERR) def. Chris Jones (PAL), 7-5
157 Pounds - AJ McKee (CERR) def. Cody Doyle (PAL), 9-3
165 Pounds - Keanu Tom (CERR) def. Peter Donchev (PAL), 8-3
174 Pounds - Dylan Clarke (CERR) def. Erik Collin (PAL), 7-5
184 Pounds - Alex Graves (PAL) def. Max Kumashiro (CERR), 7-3
197 Pounds - Brad Schwarze (PAL) def. Oscar Martinez (CERR), 9-4
285 Pounds - Robert Chism (CERR) pinned Adam Waller (PAL), 1:14