Wrestling: Cerritos sits in fifth place after first day

Jose Espinoza and the Falcons sit in fifth place after the first day of the state championships
Jose Espinoza and the Falcons sit in fifth place after the first day of the state championships

Team Scores

With the first day of the CCCAA Wrestling State Championships behind them, the Cerritos College wrestling team is in fifth place with 51 team points. The Falcons, who are hosting the two-day championship event, have advanced three of their wrestlers to the championship semifinals, which will take place Saturday morning. Although they are in fifth place, Cerritos is just 12.5 points out of second place, which is held down by Sacramento City College. Conference foes Palomar College (63 points) and Mt. San Antonio College (51.1) are in third and fourth places, respectively.

125 Pounds - Freshman Joshua Mendoza (Warren HS) was defeated in both of his matches and has been eliminated from the tournament. Seeded #5 out of Southern California, Mendoza opened the day by getting defeated, 7-1 by Trevor Bagan of Santa Rosa Junior College and then saw his season come to an end when Zachary Cunningham of Mt. San Antonio College recorded a technical fall, 18-0.

133 Pounds - As the #5 seed, freshman Jose Espinoza (Paloma Valley HS) posted a 12-6 win in his first match over Tanner Robson of Skyline College. Later in the day, Espinoza was defeated, 9-1 by top-seeded Raul Ortiz of Palomar College and then rebounded by pinning Jared Callison of Bakersfield College in 6:18. Espinoza needs two wins on Saturday to earn All-American status, while a third win will give him a third place finish.

141 Pounds - Cerritos opened the day with two entries in this weight classification and ended with one remaining. Sophomore Joshua Brown (Esperanza HS), who is seeded #1, received a bye in the first round and then defeated sophomore teammate Nick Camacho (Paramount HS), 9-1 to advance to the championship semifinals. Brown, who is undefeated on the season, will face Southern California's #4-seeded Josh Fuentes-Norikiy of Santa Ana College, who upset #2-seeded Logan Garcia of Lassen College. As for Camacho, he started off with a 7-3 win over Ezra Clark of Skyline, and after his setback against Brown, was eliminated when Michael Mello of Sacramento City College defeated him, 6-2.

149 Pounds - Another weight where the Falcons had a pair of contestants, one of them survived the first day. Freshman Larry Rodriguez (Santa Ana Calvary Chapel HS), who is seeded #3, posted a 9-0 major decision over Christopher Valencia of Sierra College in his first match, but was then upended by NoCal's #2-seeded Daniel Cota of Modesto College, 7-4. In the consolation round, Rodriguez stayed alive when he pinned Chase Peterson of Sierra College in 1:59. Just like Espinoza, Rodriguez needs two wins on Saturday to earn All-American status, while a third win will give him a third place finish. The other Falcon entry, sophomore Devin Daugherty (Cypress HS) came in as the #2-seed from Southern California. He received a bye in the first round and was then upset by Josh Aceves of Skyline, 10-4. Needing a win to remain in the tournament, Daugherty was ousted by Dylan Crawford of Sacramento City College, 9-8.

157 Pounds - The Falcons lost another wrestler from the tournament, as freshman Jesse Pacheco (Temescal Canyon HS) dropped two straight matches after pinning Ryan Peterson of Chabot College in 6:58 in his first match. In the quarterfinals, Pacheco was defeated, 15-10 by #2-seeded Miguel Gallardo of Mt. San Antonio College. In the consolation round, Pacheco saw his season come to an end when Jessy Diaz of Mt. San Antonio pinned him in 5:58.

165 Pounds - Sophomore Kennith Kirk (Lake Elsinore HS), seeded #2 from Southern California, had a bye in the first round and then registered a tecnical fall over #3-seeded Jackson Blankenship of Shasta College, 16-1. That sets Kirk up in the semifinals against top-seeded Augue Garcia of Fresno City College, with the winner advancing to the championship match.

174 Pounds - Also one win away from the finals is sophomore Zack Gonzalez (Lakewood HS), who won his lone match of the day. Seeded #1 from Southern California, Gonzalez defeated Cameron Casey of Santa Rosa, 9-3 and will now face #2-seed from Northern California, Hunter Gonzalez of Sierra College.

184 Pounds - A first round bye for freshman Jarrod Nunez (Mayfair HS), the #2-seed from Southern California, wasn't enough to help him advance in the tournament. In his quarterfinal match, Nunez was pinned by #3-seed from Northern California Tevin Bailey in 5:33. The day came to an end for Nunez after he was eliminated by Victor Bryson of Cuesta College, 4-0, who came in as the #5-seed from SoCal.

285 Pounds - Coming in as the #4-seeded wrestler from Southern California, freshman Randy Gonzalez (Lakewood HS) earned an 8-0 major decision over Jordan Denny of Sacramento City College in his opening match. Going up against #1-seeded Cole Mair of Lassen College, Gonzalez suffered a hard-fought 3-1 loss, but responded by pinning Modesto College's Torbio Larios in 2:58. He will take on #-3 seeded Angel Mariscal of Fresno City College, who he defeated, 4-1 at the State Championship Team Dual match last month.

Photos by Daryl Peterson