East County mat men set their goals as season speeds to a finish

22
79
WEBSports.jpg

As the 2016-17 high school wrestling season officially enters its second half, the goal is as clear as ever for San Diego Section wrestlers: the state championship meet is the ultimate ticket.

It’s not any easy ride.

The top four place-winners at the section’s Masters state qualifying tournament, scheduled Feb. 24-25 at Olympian High School, will advance to the state tournament March 3-4 in Bakersfield.

As the 2016-17 high school wrestling season officially enters its second half, the goal is as clear as ever for San Diego Section wrestlers: the state championship meet is the ultimate ticket.

It’s not any easy ride.

The top four place-winners at the section’s Masters state qualifying tournament, scheduled Feb. 24-25 at Olympian High School, will advance to the state tournament March 3-4 in Bakersfield.

Prior to that, area wrestlers will have to qualify to the Masters meet through individual divisional tournaments on Feb. 18.

Eight East County mat men enter the second half of the season ranked among the top four wrestlers in their respective weight classes.

Three of them were in action at last Saturday’s 23-team Monte Vista Invitational tournament.

Mount Miguel’s Juan Ruiz, ranked third in the section in his 152-pound weight class, ran the table with four pins in as many matches to brush aside his competition at the Jan. 14 Spring Valley tourney. He recorded pin times of 33 seconds (first match), four seconds (second match), 2:00 (semifinals) and 1:02 (title match).

Matador coach Vic Richmond expects Ruiz, a returning state qualifier, to do exceedingly well in post-season competition.

“I expect him to get a medal at state,” Richmond said optimistically. 

Ruiz has certainly posted some impressive place-finishes thus far: first at the Irvine tournament (outstanding wrestler), third at the Tournament of Champions and second at the Arroyo tournament. He improved to 16-2 after his overpowering 4-0 outing last weekend.

Grossmont’s Nick Ghosn, ranked third in the section in his 195-pound weight division, recorded a 7-5 decision over Monte Vista’s Jose Gonzalez in the finals at the Monte Vista tourney.

The Foothiller wrestler was undefeated in his three matches.

Helix’s Andrew Poumele, ranked fourth in his 285-pound heavyweight class, finished second by an upset pin to St. Augustine’s Jon Lewis in the championship round.

Prior to the championship round loss, the top-seeded Poumele, a Masters qualifier in 2015-16, had recorded a pin in the quarterfinals and a decision in the semifinals.

St. Augustine’s Lewis ran the table with pins in his three matches, including a 23-second fall in the semifinals.

Overall, this year’s Monte Vista tournament produced five East County individual champions — two by Grossmont and one each by Steele Canyon, West Hills and Mount Miguel. Eight Grossmont Conference mat men earned second-place individual place-finishes.

Grossmont’s Gilbert Dominguez (120), Steele Canyon’s Xavier Silva (160) and West Hills’ Nick Rivinius (170) each won weight class championships at the 2017 Monte Vista event.

Dominguez recorded an 8-6 decision over Chula Vista’s Guy Almeraz in the finals while Silva scored a win by technical-fall over Helix’s Luis Medina. Rivinius topped Guajome Park Academy’s Daniel Foncello by an 18-9 major decision in his championship-round bout.

Rivinius ranks among the section’s wrestlers to watch this postseason. The 170-pound Wolf Pack grappler won his weight class with a 3-0 record that included a 42-second pin in the quarterfinals and 33-second pin in the semifinals.

Rivinius placed first at 160 pounds at last year’s Division III championship tournament before finishing the season with a sixth-place finish at the San Diego Masters. He needs to move up two place-finishes at this year’s Masters to punch his ticket to the state meet.

“It was a great experience,” he said of last year’s Masters’ place-finish. “I put in a lot of work and got what I put in. It felt great.”

The West Hills wrestler, who improved to 16-4, with his latest win, has been on a roll this season after previously placing second at the Carlsbad Invitational, third at the La Costa Canyon Hamada Classic before and seventh (with a 4-2 record) at the 46th annual El Cajon Invitational.

December’s ECI field featured a strong line-up of returning California state place-winners and Arizona state champions.

“I put in a lot of work in the off-season,” Rivinius explained in regard to this year’s mat quest. “I just worked on all my flaws and boosted my weak areas.”

He’s starting to zero in on this year’s postseason goals.

“I want to be first again at CIF, make it to state and be a state placer,” he said.

Obviously, where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Cougar country

Steele Canyon landed four wrestlers in the championship round at last weekend’s Monte Vista tourney. Three of them finished runner-up in their respective weights: Anthony Lopez (113 pounds), Darrian Murphy (126 pounds) and Ivan Miramontes (132 pounds).

The Cougars opened the season by winning the Mar Vista Battle by the Beach team title and then recorded a top 10 finish at the LCC tournament and top 20 finish at the ECI.

“We’re doing real well,” second-year coach Mark Gerardi explained. “The whole line-up has done well. It’s a pretty solid line-up.”

The Men of Steele managed a runner-up finish to team champion Mira Mesa at the Monte Vista tournament despite missing a pair of highly-touted mat men: David Lipscomb (ranked fourth in the section at 160 pounds) and Gerardo Jaime (ranked second in the section second at 220 pounds).  

“We’re a pretty solid team when we have our full line-up,” Gerardi noted.

Mat attack

Monte Vista had three mat men each finish second in their respective weights: Richard San Nicolas Jr. (182 pounds), Gonzalez (195) and Blake Schmidt (220).

Monte Vista coach Mat Simone said this year’s tournament ran smoothly with nearly all aspects hitting their marks.

“It’s nice to be able to say that,” he said.

Mira Mesa, with eight place-winners and four weight class champions, captured the team title with 191 points. Steele Canyon, braced by four finalists (one champion) and seven place-winners, finished second in the team standings with 149.5 points.

Grossmont, with seven place-finishers and two champions, tied Central Union for third place with 124 points. West Hills, with one champion and eight place-finishers (including six fifth-place medal-winners), captured fifth place with 116 points.

Mount Miguel, with five place-winners, finished seventh with 102.5 points, followed by Monte Vista, also with five place-winners, in eighth place with 90 points.

Helix, with three medalists, placed 10th in the team standings with 83 points. El Cajon Valley, with two medalists, finished 21st with 18 points while Santana was 22nd with 17 points.

In the spotlight

Other East County wrestlers holding down top four section individual rankings include Helix’ Marcus Tucker (second at 106 pounds), Granite Hills’ Conner Askins (second at 182 pounds) and Valhalla’s Isaiah Hawkins (fourth at 195 pounds).

At last weekend’s grueling Battle for the Belt Temecula Valley Invitational tournament, Tucker placed sixth while Hawkins finished eighth.

Six Grossmont Conference teams are currently showcased in the CIF dual meet rankings: Valhalla (third), Grossmont (fifth) and Granite Hills (sixth) in Division II, West Hills (seventh) in Division III and Mount Miguel (second) and Santana (eighth) in Division IV.

Mira Mesa High School will host the Division I and Division III tournaments while Rancho Bernardo High School will host the Division II and Division IV tournaments. Competition dates are to be announced shortly.fourth in the section at 160 pounds) and Gerardo Jaime (ranked second in the section second at 220 pounds).  

“We’re a pretty solid team when we have our full line-up,” Gerardi noted.

Mat attack

Monte Vista had three mat men each finish second in their respective weights: Richard San Nicolas Jr. (182 pounds), Gonzalez (195) and Blake Schmidt (220).

Monte Vista coach Mat Simone said this year’s tournament ran smoothly with nearly all aspects hitting their marks.

“It’s nice to be able to say that,” he said.

Mira Mesa, with eight place-winners and four weight class champions, captured the team title with 191 points. Steele Canyon, braced by four finalists (one champion) and seven place-winners, finished second in the team standings with 149.5 points.

Grossmont, with seven place-finishers and two champions, tied Central Union for third place with 124 points. West Hills, with one champion and eight place-finishers (including six fifth-place medal-winners), captured fifth place with 116 points.

Mount Miguel, with five place-winners, finished seventh with 102.5 points, followed by Monte Vista, also with five place-winners, in eighth place with 90 points.

Helix, with three medalists, placed 10th in the team standings with 83 points. El Cajon Valley, with two medalists, finished 21st with 18 points while Santana was 22nd with 17 points.

In the spotlight

Other East County wrestlers holding down top four section individual rankings include Helix’ Marcus Tucker (second at 106 pounds), Granite Hills’ Conner Askins (second at 182 pounds) and Valhalla’s Isaiah Hawkins (fourth at 195 pounds).

At last weekend’s grueling Battle for the Belt Temecula Valley Invitational tournament, Tucker placed sixth while Hawkins finished eighth.

Six Grossmont Conference teams are currently showcased in the CIF dual meet rankings: Valhalla (third), Grossmont (fifth) and Granite Hills (sixth) in Division II, West Hills (seventh) in Division III and Mount Miguel (second) and Santana (eighth) in Division IV.

Mira Mesa High School will host the Division I and Division III tournaments while Rancho Bernardo High School will host the Division II and Division IV tournaments. Competition dates are to be announced shortly.

22 COMMENTS

  1. I don’t know if it’s just me
    I don’t know if it’s just me or if perhaps everyone else experiencing issues with your
    website. It looks like some of the text within your content are running off the screen. Can someone
    else please provide feedback and let me know if this is happening
    to them too? This may be a issue with my browser because I’ve had this happen before.
    Thanks http://shopdrones.target-advertisement.com/blogs/viewstory/65270

  2. I don’t know if it’s just me
    I don’t know if it’s just me or if perhaps everyone else experiencing issues with your website.
    It looks like some of the text within your content are running off the screen. Can someone else please provide feedback and let me know
    if this is happening to them too? This may be a issue with my browser because I’ve had this
    happen before. Thanks http://shopdrones.target-advertisement.com/blogs/viewstory/65270

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here