LA HABRA, CA. - All in all, day 1 was a massive success for the Poway wrestling team competing in the Sonora High Tournament of Champions. The Titans pushed 12 varsity wrestlers into the quarterfinals with 1 still alive and kicking in the consolation rounds. Entering today’s session, the Titans have a commanding lead in the team race.
They are currently in first place with 142 points followed by Lake Stevens (Washington) with 106. Southern Section power Yucaipa High sits in third with 95, followed by Esperanza High with 90.5 and Boulder Creek (Nevada) 87 points.
Andrew Gonzales (113), Mikey McGruder (120), Jason Miranda (132), Zane Stoddard (138), Christian Navida (145), Aaron Gandara (152), Alex Hernandez (170), Braden Pease (182), and Laith Gilmore (195) have all bonused their way through the competition.
The biggest surprise so far for the Titans has been that of McGruder who unseeded in the tournament, he obtained the fall over state qualifier, Abel Gaitan of Yucaipa, to advance to the quarterfinal round and help Poway in the team standings. He still must win three more matches to pull off an improbable tournament win, but he’s looking good.
Nathan Nasseri (126) perhaps had the most memorable match of the tourney so far. He pushed # 3 seed Anthony Loera (San Fernando) to the very brink as he was able to gain the takedown and win the match 8-7 and advance to the quarterfinal round.
If the Titans keep a strong grip on the first-place standings, this could be their third tournament title of the season. Poway has won the Reno Tournament of Champions and the Las Vegas Holiday Classic. They are the returning San Diego Section Champions and currently ranked second in the state of California.