Wrestling rises to 15th ranked team statewide

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OFF-BALANCE— Husky Joseph Magdaleno-Hudson, right, attempts a takedown of Brian Simmons from Cerritos College. Magdaleno-Hudson won 3-2, in a Husky loss to Cerritos last Wednesday. As a result Simmons dropped out of a top-eight statewide ranking. CN/TADZIO GARCIA

By Tadzio Garcia

The Huskies placed 10th in a Meathead Movers Tournament that drew most teams in the state as well as Menlo College, a four-year university, last Saturday at Cuesta College.

The Huskies fell short in their upset bid, 21-15, over  No. 3-ranked Cerritos College last Wednesday at home.

The Huskies will have a chance for revenge. East Los Angeles College was recently chosen to host the Southern Regionals on Dec. 7.

As a result of last week’s match outcomes, ELAC moved up one spot in the statewide poll to No. 15 and Cerritos fell from No. 3 to fifth ranked.

“(At the Meathead tournament) we were adjusting with three guys (out) and three guys wrestling in different weight classes and we scored a lot of points from several wrestlers,” said Head Coach Ralph Valle.

Davit Hovhannisyan and Hugo Perez advanced to the 125-pound semifinals. Perez lost to Christian Betancourt of Mt. SAC by one point. Betancourt was named Outstanding Lower-Weight Wrestler.

Hovhannisyan narrowly lost to Arnulfo Olea of Fresno City College in the semifinals.

Perez and Hovhannisyan chose not to wrestle each other in the third place finals. They flipped a coin and Perez was awarded third place, Hovhannisyan fourth.

“They want to beat everyone else, not each other right now. They will have to face each other in the postseason, at (the Southern)Regionals or at state (finals),” Valle said.

Lavante Chism scored two falls at Meathead and was leading the state’s No. 1-ranked wrestler in his weight class 7-1, before losing in overtime. “Getting tired is no reason to lose,” Valle said.

Heavyweight Warner Quevedo won two matches at Cuesta. He also won an 8-6 decision against Keith Thompson in ELAC’s loss to Cerritos.

Both ELAC and Cerritos wrestled without key players. While both teams waited for the referee,  Cerritos’ wrestlers hopped to loud music beats as Hugo Perez stayed focused while meditating until his 133-pound weight class match began.

Perez moved up one weight class against Cerritos to help score points for the Huskies. He’s waited to wrestle Gabe Ballesteros since December.

“I lost to him at state last year by one point after leading. I knew I could beat him. So this time I came out quick and scored in the first few seconds,” Perez said. The home crowd screamed their approval.

Hovhannisyan was to wrestle No. 2-ranked Dustin Kirk at 125-pounds but instead dominated and hung on for an 11-7 decision over Gary Howe.” I don’t care who I wrestle my strategy is to win,” Hovhannisyan said.

Perez is ranked No. 4 at 125-pounds; Hovhannisyan moved up to No. 7 and Ballesteros dropped to No. 6 after his loss to Perez.

Jeremiah Gerl of Cerritos, ranked No. 3 in the state at 184 pounds, pinned ELAC’s  Frank Aceves in the third quarter. “You still try to win when you’re down no matter the score. This is part of the sport,” Aceves said.

Joseph Magdaleno-Hudson won 3-2 over Brian Simmons at 157 pounds. As a result Simmons dropped out of a top-eight statewide ranking.

“We both won five matches. The difference was we won five decisions and they won three majors and got a pin,” Valle said.

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