Wrestling: First day has Mt. SAC advancing nine to semifinals

Mounties hold 17.5-point first day lead
Mounties hold 17.5-point first day lead

Photos - Session 1
Photos - Session 2
Team Scores

With the first day of the CCCAA State Championships at Cerritos College completed, Mt. San Antonio College, the state's #1-ranked team, sits in first place with 94 team points. They still have 11 of their 12 entries active, while nine of those have advanced to the semifinals, which start at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday. Hot on their heels are the host Falcons, who advanced five of their wrestlers to the semifinals, while 11 of their entries are still competing and have compiled 76.5 team points. Not far behind is Sacramento City College with their 60.5 team points and five semifinal entries.

The Mounties qualified both of their wrestlers at 125 pounds, including Connor Diamond, who upset the NorCal #1-seeded Salahdin Farukh of Sacramento City, as he posted a 10-2 major decision in the quarterfinals. Christopher Bettancourt, the #4-seed from the South, posted his own upset, as he registered a 15-4 major decision against Austin Pimentel, who was the #2-seed from Fresno City College. Bettancourt will have his hands full in the semifinals against defending 125-pound state champion Jonathan Prata of Cerritos, who owns a 16-6 win in their first match of the season back at the West Hills Tournament in late September.

It's a pair of Mt. San Antonio wrestlers in the semifinals at 133 pounds, with top-ranked David Saenz and #2-seeded Jason Valencia both recording major decision wins in their only action of the day. It will be a true 1vs2, as Northern California's Adrian Chavez (Fresno City) and Trevor Bagan (Santa Rosa) also advanced.

Some of the bigger upsets on the day came in the heavier weights. At 165 pounds, #6-seeded Gracen Hayes of Bakersfield College pinned #3-seeded Diego Cruz of Fresno City in 4:38 and followed that with an 11-8 victory over Isaiah Vasquez of Mt. San Antonio, who was the #2-seed. Hayes will now take on Hassan Khan of Sacramento City, who is the top seed out of Northern California. Moorpark College's Joseph Fernandez, the #3-seed from Southern California, earned a 6-1 win over Raymundo Ruiz, the #1-seed from Fresno City in the quarterfinals and will now take on #2-seed Stone Robledo of Cerritos, who defeated Fernandez, 8-5 in the semifinals of the SoCal Championships last Saturday.

At 285 pounds, top-seeded Jonovan Smith of Cerritos was forced to record a last-second takedown in the second overtime to defeat Corbin Hayes, 7-5, who is the #5-seed from Bakersfield College. Smith will now take on Taven Avila of West Hills-Lemoore College, who advanced to the semifinals with a thrilling 11-10 win over #3-seeded Jesse Garcia of Mt. San Antonio.

Photos by Daryl Peterson