Competing on the second day of the CCCAA State Championships, the Cerritos College wrestling team finished their season with a fourth place finish. The Falcons, who opened the day in fifth place, recorded 98.5 team points and trailed only Fresno City College (170 team points), who won their third straight title, along with second place Sacramento City College (115.5) and conference rival Palomar College, who had 109 team points. The highlight of the championship round was sophomore 141-pound Joshua Brown, who won the school's 60th individual state championship. The fourth place finish marked the first time since 2013 that Cerritos didn't finish in the top three in the final standings.
Also advancing to the finals was sophomore 174-pound Zack Gonzalez, who wrestled well enough to be in contention for the championship, but did not get any calls to go his way.
As for Brown, he finished his season undefeated (25-0) and posted a convincing 10-2 win in the championship match over Luis Ramos of Fresno City College, who he defeated at the CCCAA Team Dual State Championships, 6-5. In the championship match, Brown came out with energy and took a 4-1 first period lead. In the final seconds of the first period, Brown made a slick move to get around Ramos to register a takedown. He received a stalling point in the second period and then increased his lead to 7-1 with a reversal with :35 seconds left in the second period. A quick takedown to start the third period for Brown sent him on his way to the state championship with a dominant performance.
In the championship match with Gonzalez (pictured, left), which was the most controversial first period of the night, resulted in a 2-0 lead by Fresno City's Abner Romero in a battle of the two #1-seeds from both regions. It appeared that Gonzalez, who came out with a quick-strike offense, scored a takedown and possible nearfall points, but was denied. Not long after, Gonzalez was ruled to not have gotten Romero's shoulders on the mat to score points. The close calls seems to motivate Romero, who took a 5-0 lead, while Gonzalez was forced to battle from behind, but to no avail.
Below is a breakdown of the Falcon wrestlers at the state championships:
125 Pounds - Joshua Mendoza - Did not place
133 Pounds - Jose Espinoza - 6th Place
141 Pounds - Joshua Brown - (STATE CHAMPION)
141 Pounds - Nick Camacho - Did not place
149 Pounds - Larry Rodriguez - 4th Place (All-American)
157 Pounds - Jesse Pacheco - Did not place
165 Pounds - Kennith Kirk - 3rd Place (All-America)
174 Pounds - Zack Gonzalez - 2nd Place (All-American)
184 Pounds - Jarrod Nunez - Did not place
285 Pounds - Randy Gonzalez - 5th Place
Photos by Daryl Peterson
December 7, 2018 Wrestling: Cerritos sits in fifth place after first day
November 18, 2018 Wrestling: Falcons come up short in team dual state championship match
November 3, 2018 Wrestling: Heavyweight wins tournament title in Fresno
October 31, 2018 Wrestling: Win over Mt. SAC secures undefeated conference season
October 25, 2018 Wrestling: Falcons clinch conference title with win
October 13, 2018 Wrestling: Team wins third straight SoCal Team Dual title
October 10, 2018 Wrestling: Last-second escape gives Falcons win
September 29, 2018 Wrestling: Second place finish at tournament for Falcons
September 22, 2018 Wrestling: Falcons place second at West Hills Tournament
September 8, 2018 Wrestling: Cerritos wins all four of their matches at Bakersfield Duals