ELAC wrestlers near finishes show promise against No. 2

GREEN MACHINE—Omar Ochoa (bottom), ranked No. 10 in the state at 149 pounds, was upset by Richard Valdez of Mt. SAC. The No. 2-ranked Mounties beat East Los Angeles College 36-5, Wednesday, Oct 24 at Mt. SAC. CN/Tadzio Garcia

By Tadzio Garcia


The Huskies wrestled at Mt. San Antonio College, the No. 2-ranked team in the state, winning almost six matches on Oct. 24.

Almost is not enough.

“We were in close matches, leading some of them, but couldn’t finish them for wins. We will go back to the drawing board,” 18-year Head Coach Ralph Valle said.

Three matches were against three No. 1-ranked wrestlers in the state but that didn’t faze the Huskies.

Husky Jeremy Christenson led early against Steven Melara at 141 pounds. Christenson came out the aggressor leading throughout the match with leads of 1-0, 3-1 and 6-3.

WHO’S ON TOP—ELAC’s Jeremy Christenson led the entire match over Steven Melara of Mt. SAC, who is the No. 1 141 pound wrestler in the state. That is until the final seconds. Melara pulled out an 8-6 decision as time expired. CN/Tadzio Garcia

In the final seconds Melara scored an escape and takedown to tie the score and two more points as time expired for an 8-6 decision. Not bad for Christenson against the No. 1-ranked 141 pounder in the state.

At 149 pounds, Omar Ochoa was introduced as the No. 4-ranked 149 pound wrestler in the state when he was ranked in an honorable mention spot at No. 10.  The misinformation however got the Mt. SAC crowd involved in the match.

The match was pretty much even. Mountie Richard Valdez pulled out a 2-0 upset decision.

Joshua Newman wrestled up a weight class from his usual 174 pounds to 185 pounds. Newman is ranked fourth in the state at 174 pounds.

He faced to No. 1 ranked (at 185) Kenny Breaux. Down 4-0, Newman was slammed to the mat followed by an immediate whistle by the referee for an apparent injury. Newman left the match injured and Breaux won by default.

Michael Middlebrooks faced No. 7-ranked Brody Goens in the 174 pound match. Middlebrooks threw Goens to the mat for a takedown for an early lead seconds into the match. They wrestled even until Goens pulled off an 8-5 decision. Middlebrooks helped Goens by losing two points off of penalties after receiving warnings.

Other matches included Hector Perez losing a 3-1 decision to Mountie Christian Martin and Joseph Padilla losing a close decision to Richie Cascante who is ranked No. 11 (honorable mention).

At 197 pounds, Husky Victor Cisneros was pinned by Mountie Elder Cruz who is ranked No. 1 in this weight class. Husky Francisco Aceves also lost by fall to No. 4-ranked Alex Cruz at 165 pounds.

Mt. SAC recorded a 36-5 win over ELAC.

The No. 15-ranked Huskies get another tournament opportunity in the Meathead Movers Invitational at Cuesta College on Saturday. ELAC will have Michael Middlebrooks at 184 pounds and Julian Zuniga in the heavyweight division as top contenders.

TOP HUSKY—Julian Zuniga won a major decision scoring East Los Angeles College’s only points in a 36-5 loss against Mt. SAC. CN/Tadzio Garcia

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