Huntington Park first state qualifier
History was made yesterday at Birmingham High, as senior Frank Herrera (220) became the first grappler from Huntington Park to advance to the CIF state tournament. A member of the talented Titan Mercury Wrestling Club, Herrera pinned Noah Turcios (Granada Hills) in 1:18 of their championship match. Herrera finished the day with a 4-0 record and recorded falls in 26, 24, and 39 seconds and was awarded as the upper weights most outstanding wrestler.
Freshman section champion
Luiza Nogueira (Bell) a talented Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competitor made history by becoming the first-ever freshman section champion for the Bell Eagles. Currently undefeated on the season, Nogueira won the section tournament by pinning No. 1 seed Mia Gonzales (San Fernando) in 5:43 of their championship match. Competing at 116-pounds, Nogueira received a forfeit in the first round and then pinned Serena Banuelos (Carson) in 51 seconds to set up her finals match with Gonzales. Due to her outstanding performance, Nogueira was awarded as the lower weights most outstanding wrestler on the girl’s side.
State qualifiers for the first time
Carson High made history by having two female wrestlers qualify for the CIF state tournament for the first time. As the # 3 seed at 126-pounds, Alyssa Jackson punched her ticket to the state tournament by dominating # 2 seed Jocelyn Campos (Cleveland) 16-0 in the semifinal round. In the finals, Jackson loss a closed 9-7 match to fellow Marine league opponent Silvia Calleja (San Pedro). Her workout partner Alexandra Torres (131) advanced to the semifinal round where she was upset by Stephany Ledesma (Sylmar) via a fall. Torres rebounded back by winning two additional matches to take third in her weight class.
Banuelos becomes Carson’s 2x section champion
Darien Banuelos (Carson) finished on top at Saturday’s competition by defeating Andy Del Toro (San Fernando) 4-3 in the finals and once again punching his ticket to the California state tournament. By doing so, Banuelos became the first-ever two-time section champion for the Colts and the second wrestler in their history to be chosen as the lowest weight most outstanding wrestler. Banuelos was too much for the competition as he recorded two falls and a 16-0 win prior to defeating Del Toro.
El Camino Real back at the state tournament
The Conquistadores were once a powerhouse in wrestling since the program was started in the 1980s. However, as of late, they have had trouble getting wrestlers on to the section podium until yesterday when Alexandra Waitsman (111) made history by becoming the first female wrestler to win a section title. Waitsman won her championship by defeating defending section champion Patricia Arana (San Fernando) 16-6. As the # 2 seed, Waitsman earned two falls prior to defeating Arana.
First 4x section champion for the Tigers
2018 state champion Adelina Parra (San Fernando) made history by joining a long list of elite wrestlers on becoming a 4x section champions for the Tigers. Competing at 189-pounds, Parra pinned all her three opponents in the first period to earn the most outstanding wrestler award in the upper weights. Parra has yet to lose to any California foe and she is currently ranked nationally. She should enter the state tournament in two weeks as the top seed and the favorite to win another state championship and become the first-ever two-time state champion for the Tigers.