Fri, Dec 20 2013 01:23 PM Posted By: Phillip Brents
The 41st El Cajon Invitational wrestling tournament has returned to El Cajon, though South County wrestlers look to make an impression this weekend at San Diego Christian College’s new Ryan Athletic Center.
San Ysidro’s Miguel Flores and Mater Dei Catholic’s Sean O’Rourke are the names on the tips of everyone’s tongues at the moment after making a splash at last weekend’s Jimmy Hamada Classic at La Costa Canyon High School.
Flores defeated Green Valley’s Jared Brathor, 6-3, to win the 132-pound division in the 45-team tournament, while O’Rourke recorded a second-place finish in his 138-pound division after dropping a narrow 7-6 decision to Selma’s Ruben Garcia.
San Ysidro scored a 16th place team finish — highest among Metro Conference teams entered in the two-day mat fray. The Cougars ended the event with three medal winners to finish ahead of longtime North County powers Mt. Carmel and Ramona and a tick behind Escondido in the team standings.
Chula Vista (22nd) and Eastlake (tied for 25th) also matched San Ysidro with three medalists while Hilltop finished 34th and Mater Dei Catholic finished 36th.
Green Valley won the team title with 278 points, with La Costa Canyon leading all San Diego Section teams with a runner-up finish with 205 points. Both teams had nine medalists.
Rancho Bernardo and Selma tied for third, each with seven medalists, while Carlsbad, Rim of the World, Brawley, Elmo and South Hills rounded out the tourney’s top 10 teams. Carlsbad had four medalists while Brawley had five.
Joining Flores on the awards stand were teammates Eddie Silva (seventh, 106 pounds) and Robert A La Torre (fourth, 145 pounds).
Chula Vista’s place-finishers included Hector Rodriguez (seventh, 145 pounds), Joey Bamba (sixth, 171 pounds) and Hachem Nasser (fourth, 182 pounds).
Eastlake’s medalists included Yoab Garcia (seventh, 152 pounds), Ronnie Sallee (seventh, 195 pounds) and Jamar Adams (eighth, 285 pounds).
Flores was seeded second in his weight class and finished 5-0. He opened the tourney with a pair of pins (1:43 and 37 seconds) and recorded a pair of major decisions (12-0 and 10-0) in his next two matches to meet Brathor in the final.
Brathor had recorded three pins and a 16-0 technical fall in dispatching his previous four opponents.
Flores opened the season by capturing the outstanding light weight award at the Mar Vista Battle by the Beach tournament on Nov. 30.
O’Rourke, who was also seeded second in his weight class, finished 4-1. He rode the momentum of three pins and an 8-0 major decision to the championship round.
The MDCHS wrestler had previously captured the 146-pound title at the Marauder Invitational, held Dec. 7 at Mira Mesa High School. The Crusader mat star went 5-0 with two pins and a major decision. He out-pointed Mar Vista freshman Aaron Olmos, 6-1, in the finals.
A La Torre, among three weight class champions at the season opening Battle by the Beach tournament for San Ysidro, advanced to the semifinals with three wins to open the LCC tournament. He dropped a 7-2 decision to LCC’s Troy Charles in the third-place match.
CV’s Nasser opened with two pins before dropping to the wrestle-backs where he won three matches — two more by pin — before being defeated by Carlsbad’s James Murphy by a 1:28 fall.
In other medal matches, SY’s Silva defeated Escondido’s Angelo Gonzales by injury default at 106; CV’s Rodriguez out-pointed Ramona’s Arturo Osorio by a 6-4 score at 145; Eastlake’s Garcia pinned LCC’s Drew Karson in 2:57 at 152; and Eastlake’s Sallee recorded a 10-7 decision over Brawley’s Daniel Jaurequi at 195.
CV’s Bamba dropped a 6-5 decision to LCC’s Duke Mackle in the 171-pound fifth-place match while Eastlake’s Adams lost by a 15-6 major decision to Valley Center’s Lorenzo Gomez in the heavyweight seventh-place match.
ECI mat action is scheduled Friday and Saturday. Finals are expected to start about 3 p.m. on Saturday. San Diego Christian College is located at 2100 Greenfield Drive, El Cajon.
Hilltop led South County teams with a 10th-place team finish at the 29-team Mira Mesa mat tourney, followed by Mar Vista (15th) and Mater Dei Catholic (19th).
Hilltop’s Xavier Plasencia recorded a runner-up finish in his 161-pound weight class to finish 4-1 at the event, including two pins. Other Hilltop place-finishers included Carlos Callejas (fifth, 121 pounds), Alberto Garcia (fifth, 133 pounds) and David Velasquez (fifth, 196 pounds).
Olmos finished 4-1 to build on a first-place showing in his varsity debut at the preceding Battle by the Beach event. Also placing for Mar Vista at the Mira Mesa tourney were Christian Winnie (fifth, 107 pounds) and Josh Walters (fifth, 139 pounds). Walters had previously won his weight class at the Mar Vista tournament.
Consolation champions included Mater Dei Catholic’s Jonas Ullsperger (121) and Hilltop’s Seamus Beyerle (171).
Mira Mesa topped the field, followed by Chaparrel, Mt. Carmel, Westview, Great Oak, Brawley, San Luis, Grossmont, Helix, Clairemont (tied for 10th with Hilltop).
Eastlake notched five place-winners at the Carlsbad tournament, also held Dec. 7. They included Garcia (third, 154), Erich Loechner (sixth, 172), Sallee (fifth, 197), Daniel Endriss (sixth, 222) and Adams (fourth, heavyweight).
Bonita Vista had two mat men earn medals: Matt Ayala (fifth, 140) and Andy Garcia (fourth, 162). Garcia was the middle weight MVP at the Mar Vista tourney.
Victor Valley won the team title at the Carlsbad event, followed by Brawley, Carlsbad, Redwood, San Marcos, Escondido, Rancho Buena Vista, Canyon, El Cajon Valley and Vista.
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