SANTA ANA, CA—No. 1-ranked and defending state champion Fresno City College and No. 2 Mt. San Antonio College each won three individual weight classes at the 2015 Santa Ana Community College Wrestling Tournament, but it was Fresno, with more depth, which won the team title.
First through fifth place teams overwhelmed the competition. Fresno City won the team championship with 163.5 points to Mt. SAC's 129. No. 4 Cerritos College (119 points) edged No. 3 Sacramento City College (116.5) for third place while No. 5 Palomar College (111.5) placed fifth in the 24-team tournament.
Rounding out the top-12 places, respectively, included West Hills College (62), Rio Hondo College (51.5), Gateway International Bible Institute of Arizona (39), host Santa Ana College (35), Bakersfield College (26.5), Sacramento City "B" team (24.5) and East Los Angeles College (23).
"The tournament was very smooth and went really well, said Santa Ana Head Coach Vince Silva. "Fresno showed why they are champions today. They have a lot of depth."
"We (Santa Ana) didn't wrestle so well," said Silva. Santa Ana, two-time state champion during Silva's tenure, wrestled without three of its top wrestlers.
Sophomore Martine Sandoval of Fresno City (Porterville High School) was named the Lower Weight MVP with three falls and a major decision. Sandoval defeated Gateway sophomore Alexis Martinez (Chicago's Cesar Chavez HS) in a 15-6 fall in the 149-pound weight class individual title.
Sophomore Alex Graves (San Marcos HS) of Palomar College was named Upper Weight MVP with three falls and a technical fall. Graves defeated Cerritos' freshman Ryker Coppa (Huntington Beach Marina HS) in the 184-pound first place battle.
Other first place individual champions included Mt. SAC's sophomore Giovanni Castillo (Corona Centennial HS) at 125 pounds, freshman George Taylor (Rialto Carter HS) in the 133-pound weight division and sophomore Andrew Cruz (Corona Roosevelt HS) in the heavyweight class.
Fresno City added first place winners in the 141-pound weight class – sophomore Jonas Gayton (Fresno Clovis HS) and at 174 pounds it was sophomore Amir Jon Naser (Reseda HS).
Also, Rio Hondo freshman David Macias (La Habra Sonora HS) won first in the 157-pound weight class. Sacramento City freshman Kaleio Romero (Roseville Oakmont HS) defeated teammate freshman Dylan Forzani (Salinas HS) in the 165-pound individual title bout.
In a biggest upset in the tournament, which was in the 197-pound weight class and had the crowd vocally involved, Cerritos sophomore Oscar Martinez (Centennial) beat the state's No. 1-seed Mt. SAC sophomore Vernon Willis (Carter) 3-2.
Host Santa Ana meets Cerritos on Oct. 14 for a 7 p.m. contest in Cerritos while tournament champion Fresno City travels to Santa Rosa Junior College Wednesday, Oct. 7 for a 7 p.m. matchup.
Story submitted by Tadzio Garcia