Wrestling: Falcons finish second at Santa Ana Tournament

Falcons take second place at Santa Ana Tournament
Falcons take second place at Santa Ana Tournament

With six wrestlers that finished in the top four, Cerritos College came in second place at the Santa Ana Tournament on Saturday. The Falcons, who compiled 93.5 team points, and one individual champion and a pair of second place finishers. They trailed tournament champion Fresno City College, who posted 165.5 team points and marked the second week in a row that Cerritos finished behind the Rams. The team will take a week off before competing in the Southern California Regional Duals, which will take place at Palomar College.

Several positives for the Falcons on the day were the performances of their 197-pound wrestlers, which also provided the most troublesome. Returning CCCAA state champion David Van Weems (Corona Centennial HS) received a pair of byes before his first match of the season against Rob Nickerson of Sacramento City College. Although Van Weems was able to pin him in 6:00 minutes, he suffered an injury that forced him out of the remainder of the tournament. The Falcons two other entries at that weight finished in second and third place, which was promising for the team.

Freshman Ethan Bakker (Los Alamitos HS), who was seeded #2 behind Van Weems, defeated both Houtan Mikaili of Moorpark College (7-6) and then teammate Stephen Chavez (Downey HS), 13-6 to reach the championship match. Bakker was defeated, 8-5 by Fresno City College's Marcus Macius, who received an injury default against Van Weems to advance to the finals. As for Chavez, he pinned his first opponent before a close 3-1 win over Jay Johnson of Fresno City advanced him to the semifinals against Bakker. After his loss, Chavez pinned David Chavarria of Mt. San Antonio College in :59 seconds before a 4-1 win over Johnson earned him third place.

The Falcons lone champion was sophomore 157-pound Wyatt Gerl (Calvary Chapel HS), who was seeded #1 and posted four wins to the title. His opening victory was a 16-2 major decision against Fresno City's Joe Mata before defeating Josh McMillon of Fresno Cuty, 6-3. In the semifinals, he posted a 10-1 win against Wolfgang Bernal of Santa Ana College and capped off his day with a close 3-2 win over Rio Hondo College's James Schmidt.

Also reaching the championship match for Cerritos was freshman 141-pound Nick Camacho (Paramount HS). Seeded #2, he recorded a 5-1 win over Jace Heryford of Cuesta College and then defeated Robert Seronio of Sacramento City, 9-2. His 4-3 semifinal win over Oliver Rivero of Santa Ana sent him up against top-seeded Aaron Mora of Fresno City, who defeated Camacho, 4-1.

Freshman 133-pound Joshua Brown (Esperanza HS) took third place, while freshman 125-pound Messiah Owens (Gahr HS) placed fourth.