Eastlake mat men post third-place finish at Hilltop varsity duals

Eastlake’s Estevan Hernandez recorded a pin in his final match to earn a silver medal in his 141-pound weight class at last weekend’s Hilltop varsity dual tournament. Photo by Phillip Brents

Eastlake High School’s wrestling team finished third at last Saturday’s seventh annual Hilltop varsity dual meet tournament with a 4-1 record, defeating the Mt. Carmel Sundevils, 51-24, in the bronze medal match.

The Titans’ only loss in the 10-team field was to tournament champion Mira Mesa, which captured its sixth title in the event’s history with a 52-21 victory against City Conference rival Patrick Henry.

Overall, it was a good showing for underclassmen-heavy Eastlake, according to head coach Dean Tropp.

“We have a very young team,” Tropp said. “We have three seniors on the boys team, four or five juniors and the rest are either freshmen or sophomores. We’re very young but we have a lot of spirit. We’ve wrestled some very good teams.”

The Titans, who won the preceding weekend’s frosh/soph duals tournament hosted by Hilltop with a 5-0 sweep braced by nine gold medalists, logged two gold medalists, three silver medalists and four bronze medalists at last weekend’s varsity duals.

Eastlake High School wrestlers Richard Inzunza (163 pounds) and Tristan Curby (185 pounds) show off the gold medals they captured at last Saturday’s Hilltop varsity dual meet tournament in helping the Titans to a third-place team finish. Photos by Phillip Brents

Gold medalists included Richard Inzunza (163) and Tristan Curby (185).

Silver medalists included Tomas Jacobo (115), Estevan Hernandez (141) and Gabe Duran (155) — all with 4-1 records.

Bronze medalists, all with 3-2 records, included Nathaniel Lamadrid (109), Victor Eberle (148), Luke Bigalk (198) and Nick Pultorak (223).

Curby, who improved his season record to 16-7, finished 5-0 on the day while Inzunza (13-5 overall) finished 3-0 on the mat.

“We did well last year but our goal is to do better this year,” said Inzunza, who previously placed eighth in his weight class at the high profile La Costa Canyon tournament on Dec. 6-7 to face off the season. “We’re more conditioned. Our goal is to have placers at CIF and medalists at Masters.”

Eastlake opened the Hilltop varsity tournament with a 55-3 win over Mountain Empire, then absorbed a 59-6 setback against Mira Mesa before closing out the pool round with victories against Central Union (60-0) and San Ysidro (60-9).

Hilltop and Otay Ranch joined Eastlake and San Ysidro at last weekend’s Hilltop varsity duals. The tourney-host Lancers finished 2-3 in their five duals following a 42-24 loss to San Ysidro (which finished 3-2 on the day). Otay Ranch defeated Mountain Empire, 48-30, to finish 1-4.

Hilltop logged five medalists: Carlo Arreola (109), Jared Juarez (115), Christian Aguilera (122), Brett Soto (173) and Aaron Adams (173).

Mira Mesa finished 5-0 in last weekend’s Hilltop varsity dual meet tournament to win its sixth tournament title in the history of the event. Photo by PhilliP Brents

Mat attack
Mira Mesa, which finished the tournament with a 5-0 dual record, recorded nine gold medalists, two silver medalists and three bronze medalists.

Gold medalists included Luca Pasto, Calel Velasco, Michael Trinidad, Andy Nguyen, Matthew Bui, Gavin Kaminski, Devhante Hayes, Kurtis Modlin and Ethan Nelson/Andy White.

Of note, at 128-pounds Nguyen defeated San Ysiro’s Israel Ramirez, ranked second in the section to start the season, by a 9-5 decision.

The Marauders, eight-time defending City Conference champs, have been busy piling up trophies this season.

Mira Mesa started the season with a second place finish (to San Clemente) at the Costa Mesa Classic on Nov. 23, then won team titles at its own tournament, the 32nd annual Marauder Invitational, on Dec. 7 and the West Coast Classic Dec. 20-21 in Rosemead.

Mira Mesa head coach Craig Van Dyke said commitment, desire and focus remain the core values of the program, which has clearly elevated itself into the section’s top echelon.

The Marauders placed second to Poway at last year’s Division II finals and are looking to expand their horizons this year with a move up to Division I.

“Our expectations are to win league and conference and see if we can bring back another trophy from CIF,” said Van Dyke, whose team competes in the Western League.


Hilltop Varsity Duals Scoreboard

Jan. 4 at Hilltop High School

Round 1
Patrick Henry 67, Mt. Carmel 10
Palo Verde 48, Otay Ranch 36
Eastlake 55, Mountain Empire 3
San Ysidro 30, Central Union 28

Round 2
Mt. Carmel 42, Hilltop 30
Patrick Henry 66, Otay Ranch 9
Mira Mesa 59, Eastlake 6
San Ysidro 32, Mountain Empire 30

Round 3
Mt. Carmel 66, Palo Verde 6
Patrick Henry 59, Hilltop 18
Eastlake 60, Central Union 0
Mira Mesa 84, Mountain Empire 0

Round 4
Mt. Carmel 48, Otay Ranch 28
Hilltop 43, Palo Verde 42
Eastlake 60, San Ysidro 9
Mira Mesa 78, Central Union 36

Round 5
Patrick Henry 66, Palo Verde 12
Hilltop 37, Otay Ranch 36
Central Union defeated Mountain Empire
Mira Mesa 81, San Ysidro 0

Round 6
Mira Mesa 52, Patrick Henry 21
Eastlake 48, Mt. Carmel 24
San Ysidro 42, Hilltop 24
Palo Verde 48, Central Union 30
Otay Ranch 48, Mountain Empire 30


Pool Records
Pool A: Patrick Henry 4-0, Mt. Carmel 3-1, Hilltop 2-2, Palo Verde 1-3, Otay Ranch 0-4

Pool B: Mira Mesa 4-0, Eastlake 3-1, San Ysidro 2-2, Central Union 1-3, Mountain Empire 0-4


Champion: Mira Mesa

Runner-up: Patrick Henry

Third place: Eastlake

Fourth place: Mt. Carmel