Six East County mat men qualify for state wrestling tournament

12
56
Ah Key_1685.jpg

Six East County mat men will make the trek to Bakersfield’s Rabobank Arena to compete in this weekend’s boys state wrestling championships after successfully qualifying for the March 2-3 event at last weekend’s San Diego Masters championships at Olympian High School.

The top four place-finishers in each of 14 weight classes at the San Diego Masters state-qualifying tournament earned berths in this weekend’s coveted state meet.

•Steele Canyon’s David Lipscomb placed second in his 172-pound weight class.

Six East County mat men will make the trek to Bakersfield’s Rabobank Arena to compete in this weekend’s boys state wrestling championships after successfully qualifying for the March 2-3 event at last weekend’s San Diego Masters championships at Olympian High School.

The top four place-finishers in each of 14 weight classes at the San Diego Masters state-qualifying tournament earned berths in this weekend’s coveted state meet.

•Steele Canyon’s David Lipscomb placed second in his 172-pound weight class.

•West Hills’s Lucas Ah Key placed second in his 287-pound weight class.

•Helix’s Joshua Kopmeyer placed third in his 162-pound weight class.

•Monte Vista’s Blake Schmidt placed third in his 287-pound weight class.

•Steele Canyon’s Darian Murphy placed fourth in his 122-pound weight class.

•Grossmont’s Nick Ghosn placed fourth in his 184-pound weight class.

Kopmeyer (Division I), Lipscomb (Division II) and Ah Key (Division III) won weight class championships at the preceding section divisional tournaments.

Lipscomb entered the two-day Masters tournament, Feb. 23-24, as the top-seeded wrestler in his weight class while Ah Key was seeded second.

Lipscomb lost, 4-1, in double overtime to Poway’s Jacob Mendoza, the second-seeded wrestler in the weight class.

Ah Key dropped a 2-0 finals decision to Poway’s Andrew Johnson, the top-seeded wrestler in the weight class.

Kopmeyer advanced to the semifinals where he lost by a 3-2 decision to Brawley’s Damien Gomez, the Division III champion. The Helix wrestler then defeated Granite Hills’ Leodis Castro, the Division II runner-up, by a 3-1 decision to advance to the third-place match.

Kopmeyer recorded a 13-2 major decision over Rancho Bernardo’s Zachary Zidarevich to capture the bronze medal.

Schmidt, the third-place finisher at the Division III tournament, won his first two matches by pin to advance to the semifinals against Poway’s Johnson, who relegated the Monarch grappler to the consolation rounds on the strength of a 5:30 pin.

However, Schmidt, a member of the school’s CIF championship football team, pinned Steele Canyon’s Joshua Constancio in 3:43 in the consolation semifinals to advance to the third-place match.

Schmidt then received the bronze medal by virtue of a medical forfeit from Olympian’s Luis Castro.

Murphy advanced to the semifinals before dropping a 6-0 decision to eventual weight class champion Jacob Allen of Poway.

Murphy defeated Scripps Ranch’s Chaz Hallmark by an 8-1 decision in the consolation semifinals to advance to the third-place match. Murphy received the bronze medal after defeating Ramona’s Nathan Kiddoo by medical forfeit.

Ghosn advanced to the semifinals before being pinned by Poway’s Nathan Tausch, the eventual weight class champion.

Ghosn defeated Guajome Park Academy’s Daniel Foncello by a 5-1 decision in the consolation semifinals to advance the to third-place match.

University City’s Hunter Phillips, the Division III champion, recorded a 10-1 major decision over Ghosn to win the bronze medal.

Individual place-finishers were awarded down to sixth place at last weekend’s Masters tournament.

West Hills, which qualified 11 wrestlers for Masters, had two place-winners. Besides Ah Key, Saul Sanchez placed sixth in his 222-pound weight class.

Other East County Masters place-finishers included Granite Hills’ Castro (fifth, 162 pounds), Steele Canyon’s Constancio (fifth, 287 pounds), Mount Miguel’s Raul Garcia (sixth, 115 pounds) and El Capitan’s Cameron Horton (sixth, 162 pounds).

Horton finished third at the Division III finals while Garcia placed third at the Division IV finals. Constancio finished fourth at the Division II finals while Sanchez placed fifth at the Division III finals.

Poway, the Division II team champion, captured the Masters team championship with 369.5points — far out-distancing runner-up Rancho Bernardo with 237 points.

Brawley, the Division III team champion, finished third with 153 points.

West Hills led the collection of East County teams with an eighth-place finish with 79 points, followed by Steele Canyon in ninth place with 75.5 points.

In a show of force, Poway qualified all 14 of its wrestlers for this year’s state tournament, including eight Masters champions.

The Titans, who are sending legendary head coach Wayne Branstetter off to what could be one of the program’s best showings at the state meet, qualified 12 wrestlers for the Masters championship round.

Branstetter, 67, is closing out a highly decorated 45-year coaching career, including 40 years at Poway High School, this season.

His Poway teams have won four state titles and finished second on six occasions. The Titans won their first state championship in 1986.

Will they win another?

12 COMMENTS

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here