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CPHS wrestler making up for lost time with back-to-back weight class titles Phillip Brents | Fri, Jan 24 2014 08:34 PM

Castle Park High School senior wrestler Carlos O’Connor appears to be making up for lost time if the results of his first eight matches of what will turn out to be an abbreviated 2013-14 season are any indicator.

O’Connor, a two-time San Diego Masters tournament qualifier, improved to 8-0 with seven pins after claiming the 182-pound championship title at last Saturday’s Monte Vista Invitational.

O’Connor, who was ineligible to compete to start the season, finished last weekend’s event with three pins in as many matches. He recorded fall times of 1:22, 1:12 and 1:02. He pinned Beckman’s Tyrone Perkins in the championship round after previously pinning Steele Canyon’s Garret Diem in the semifinals and Helix’s Andrew Silva in the quarterfinals.

The Trojan standout pinned his way to the championship title at the preceding weekend’s San Ysidro Invitational, recording four pins in as many appearances to earn the outstanding upper weight award.

That following Thursday, O’Connor put up his team’s only points in a 66-4 South Bay League dual meet loss to visiting San Ysidro on the strength of a major decision.

“He’s back to wrestling but there hasn’t been a lot of mat time because he’s been pinning everybody,” CPHS coach Robert Schertzer said, smiling.

O’Connor was able to practice with the team but not compete during his ineligibility period. He missed the Mar Vista and Mission Hills tournaments during that span.

“I’m starting a little later and right now I’m taking it one match at a time, though I am looking ahead to the end of the season,” O’Connor said. “I want to get to Masters and hopefully get to the state meet — that’s what I want.”

O’Connor finished runner-up in the 160-pound weight class at last year’s Metro Conference championship tournament. Look for improvement this season.

“I’ve worked on my technique and have more experience now because I’ve wrestled guys who were better than me,” he said.  “I’ve learned their tendencies and things to look for.”

Schertzer said it’s a toss up whether O’Connor’s lack of mat time will hinder him in post-season competition.

“Hopefully, he’ll be a lot fresher than the other guys,” the CPHS coach said.

Mat attack
Metro Conference wrestlers combined to steal much of the spotlight at last weekend’s 21-team Monte Vista Invitational. San Ysidro won the team title with a 44.5-point bulge over runner-up Helix while Mar Vista finished ninth, Castle Park tied for 11th, Montgomery 16th, Sweetwater 19th and Southwest 20th.

The six South Bay League teams combined to send seven grapplers to the championship round, winning four weight class titles.

Mar Vista freshman Aaron Olmos and San Ysidro’s Robert A La Torre, in fact, met to decide the 145-pound title. Olmos used three takedowns and an escape to post an impressive 7-2 victory to go up 2-1 in the wrestlers’ three match-ups so far this season.

“This was his biggest win of the season,” said MVHS coach Mario Olmos, Aaron’s father. “A La Torre is ranked No. 4 in the section, so both of these guys are among the top wrestlers in the section in this weight class. They should meet several more times before the season is over. We’re excited where we are.”

San Ysidro led the Metro Conference with three finalists and stepped off the mat with two individual champions. Miguel Flores, ranked No. 1 in the section, won the 132-pound title with a tight 3-1 decision over Morse’s Memo Lopez while Alan Garcia captured the 152-pound championship with a 4-2 decision over Morse’s Oscar Torres.

Montgomery had two finalists as Andrew Jaffe (160) and Miguel Ballesteros (220) both finished with second-place medals in their respective weight classes.

Jaffe, seeded third, dropped a 5-1 decision to top-seeded Walter Todd of Helix in the championship round while Ballesteros lost by a 2:51 fall to Monte Vista’s Brandon Rosete in the finals.

San Ysidro finished the tournament with 10 medalists. Also earning positions on the awards stand were Eduardo Silva (third, 106), Miguel Villa (third, 120), Jose Reyes (third, 126), Mario A La Torre (third, 138), Jorbel Alvarez (fifth, 113), Alexis Ramirez (fifth, 160) and Alejandro Cazares (fifth, 195).

Mar Vista had five medalists. Joining Olmos in the hardware parade were teammates Josh Walters (third, 132), Jacob Bingham (fourth, 152), Christian Winnie (fifth, 106) and Raymond Medrano (fifth, 170).

Erick Robles (fifth, 145) joined O’Connor on the awards stand for Castle Park while Sweetwater had two medalists: Ross Lopez (sixth, 152) and Justin Cerillo (sixth, 220).

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