GONZALES — Senior wrestler Robert Ochoa of Gonzales High School finished with a 5-1 record and qualified for the California Interscholastic Federation State Wrestling Championships after placing third at Saturday’s Central Coast Section Championships that were held at Independence High School in San Jose.
Ochoa, the Mission Trail Athletic League champion at 197 pounds won three straight matches last Friday to qualify for the semifinals but lost by fall to Taniela Feliciano-Takafua of Fremont.
The loss meant Ochoa had to wrestle two more matches to earn a State berth. Ochoa won a 3-1 decision over George Morris of Sacred Heart then beat Justin Gracia of Evergreen Valley 3-1 to earn his trip to State.
Gonzales had two other wrestlers place in the top six at CCS a Miguel Mendoza took fifth in 113-pound weight class with a 6-2 record and Antonio Viorato went 5-3 and placed sixth in the 160-pound weight class.
Mendoza won his first match of the tournament with a 4-1 decision over Amit Klein of Homestead and then lost his next by an 8-2 decision to Kaikoa Tumale of Evergreen Valley. Mendoza won four straight matches to stay in the contention for a medal and then lost by fall in the consolation semi-finals to Nathan Aguilar of Gilroy. In the match for a fifth place medal Mendoza beat Markie Murabito of Los Gatos by a 4-3 score.
“This season’s hard work paid off for three of our wrestlers,” said Gonzales head coach Larry Rodriguez. “At the start of the season the kids knew they would have to work very hard and hone their skills on and off the mat. They really pulled together and supported each other and it paid off. They’re already talking about what they can do to improve for next season. Robert Ochoa is this year’s captain and State qualifier. I’ve been impressed with not only his work ethic but our team as a whole.”
Viorato had a long road to the medal stand himself as he won his first match with a 7-6 decision to Luke Anderson of Wilcox and lost in his second match to Alexander Escudero of Los Gatos by a 17-2 technical fall. Viorato then ran off four straight wins until he was beaten 5-3 in the consolation semifinals to Escudero by major decision. Viorato’s five wins earned him a match for fifth place where he lost by a 9-5 score to Robert Pierarcy of Cupertino.
Other Gonzales wrestlers helping attain a sixth place team finish were: Joshua Mendoza (120), 2-2 record one technical fall and one pin; Gregorio Alfaro (126), win by pin and major decision; Angel Anguiano (138), 1-2 win by major decision; Aaron Uribe (145), 0-2; Justin Uribe (152), 2-2 win by decision and pin; Eric Albarran (170), 2-2 two win by pin.
Andres Cervantes of King City wrestled at 106 pounds and finished with a 2-2 record including a 10-4 decision over Jose DeJesus of Greenfield and a 4-0 decision against Cian Heenebry of Burlingame. Competing from Soledad were Miguel Landa at 106, Sebastian Lopez at 113, and Miguel Serrano at 195. Landa went 0-2, Lopez finished at 0-2, and Serrano was 1-2 with a win by fall over Eric Fang of Harker.
Representing Greenfield High School at CCS were: Jose DeJesus (106), Jonathan Lopez (113), Ivan Torrez (120), and Miguel Hernandez at 182. DeJesus finished 0-2; Lopez was 1-2 with a win by fall over Joshua Jimenez of Menlo-Atherton, Torrez went 2-2 with a 5-3 decision over Trevor Shore of Leland and a 19-13 decision over Anthony Lam of Andrew Hill, Hernandez was 0-2 in his matches.
The 2018 CIF Boys Wrestling Championship will take place this Friday and Saturday at the Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield.