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Mustangs' Espinoza hikes high school wrestling mark to 26-0 Phillip Brents | Fri, Feb 03 2012 05:07 PM

Otay Ranch High School junior Tommy Espinoza continued to climb up the state wrestling rankings ladder, moving to the No. 3 spot in the 106-pound weight class entering last weekend’s 66-team Raul Huerta Memorial Tournament at Canyon Springs High School.

Espinoza didn’t do any harm to his reputation after winning his weight class to improve to 26-0 on the season.

“At least five or six of the top-ranked teams in the state were there, so that’s a big win for him,” Otay Ranch head coach Gabe Ruz underscored in regard to Espinoza. “He wrestled real well — he dominated.”

Espinoza defeated Bakersfield freshman Carlos Herrera by a 6-3 decision in the championship match to finish the tournament 5-0.

The Mustang matster collected two pins, a technical fall and a major decision along the way to earning his latest tournament title.

Espinoza was seeded first in the tournament. He opened with pins of 22 seconds and 1:51, recorded a 19-4 technical fall in the quarterfinals against Rancho Verde’s Sebastian Picazo and defeated Mt. Carmel’s Ben Kim by an 11-2 major decision in the semifinals.

Herrera was seeded second.

Espinoza entered the tournament ranked third in the state behind St. John Bosco freshman Zahid Valencia (first) and North Torrance senior Johnson Mai (second).

The Mustangs finished 29th in the team standings.

Poway finished first in the team standings, followed by Bakersfield.

Otay Ranch will host the South Bay Invitational tournament this Saturday. Action begins at 9 a.m. and is expected to run until about 5 p.m.

Ruz said about 20 teams are expected to participate.

The Metro Conference finals are scheduled Feb. 11 at Sweetwater High School.

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