The Otay Ranch High School wrestling team remained undefeated in Mesa League dual meet competition but it wasn't without a battle from a host Chula Vista Spartan squad Thursday (Jan. 27). The Mustangs led 30-6 halfway through the match-up but ran into a buzzsaw in the middle weights before finally settling for a 39-35 victory.
"I knew they were going to be tough -- our whole league is tough," ORHS head coach Troy Vierra said.
The Spartans gave the Mustangs 12 points via a pair of forfeit wins, making the Otay Ranch win even more perilous. Chula Vista forfeitted at 160 and 215 pounds. Coupled with pins by Albert Lopez at 152 pounds and Jon Henkel at heavyweight and a triple overtime win by Larae Burton at 189 pounds, the Mustangs led 27-6 after six weight classes.
Marcos Santana pulled out a win by minor decision at 103 pounds to boost the Otay Ranch lead to 30-12.
But the Spartans got going after that as Damian Alcala pulled off an upset pin against Otay's Tommy Espinoza at 112 pounds.
Eddie Estevez remained undefeated on the season with a victory at 119 pounds to push the Mustangs ahead 33-12.
"We had to win one of our last five matches," Vierra said. "It almost went down to the last match."
Kyle Petrin finally secured the victory the Mustangs needed to close out the dual win with a pin at 140 pounds.
Chula Vista won the final match at 145 pounds to offically end the teams' dual, though it did not figure in the outcome.
"We had a couple of guys who came through for us," Vierra said.
Santana was one and Butler was the other, the ORHS coach noted.
Santana defeated CV's Johnny Hewuse, a second-place finisher at the Monte Vista Invitational earlier this month.
Butler, meanwhile, tied his match in the final seconds of regulation to force overtime, which went into the sudden-death phase.
"That was a big victory for us, even though we didn't know it at the time," Vierra said.
Eastlake remained undefeated in Mesa League dual meet competition following its 71-0 victory over Mater Dei Catholic on Jan. 27. Sophomore Casey Stanko (135), junior Eduardo Hernandez (145) and heavyweight Gabe Casillas all won their matches by pin while senior Abraham Sanchez (130) recorded a technical fall and sophomore Stevie Cervbantes (160) won by a 15-4 major decision.
In two tight match-ups, EHS senior Gabe Nelson out-pointed MDC’s Efren Roman by an 8-5 minor decision while Titan senior Omar Mercado claimed a 3-2 decision over his Crusader opponent at 215 pounds.
In the South Bay League, Olympian defeated San Ysidro, 45-27, to remain undefeated in league duals.
Otay Ranch will co-host the second annual South Bay Invitational Feb. 5. The Metro Conference championship meet is Feb. 12 at Olympian High School.