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Last week was the last major weekend of high-level wrestling tournaments in Southern California, including the prestigious Five-Counties Tournament at Fountain Valley High, the Battle for the Belt Tournament in Temecula, and the Sam De John Invitational at San Fernando High.
At the Five-Counties Tournament, Chaminade’s Zeth Romney won his second tournament of the season, taking top honors in the 113-pound classification. In the final, the sophomore narrowly defeated St. John Bosco’s Maxximus Martinez, 8-6.
Romney’s other tournament win occurred at the beginning of the season at the Newbury Park Invitational. He also finished in seventh place at the Doc Buchanan Invitational in Clovis two weeks ago. Romney is currently ranked second in the state at 106-pounds by The California Wrestler.
Valencia had two wrestlers hit the medal stand. Brandon Smelser suffered an early loss on the first day of the tournament to Valor Buck of Servite. The senior rebounded with a solid showing in the second day and finished in fifth place at 170 pounds.
In his final match of the day, Smelser pulled out a 5-3 win over West Torrance’s Baron Gaunt.
Teammate Trent Munoz also earned a medal at the tournament, finishing in the seventh place at 160 pounds. In the seventh-place final, Munoz defeated Servite’s Neil Carter 5-1. Smelser is ranked 10th in the state at 170, and Munoz is ranked 19th at 160.
At the Battle for the Belt Tournament, only one area wrestler was able to hit the medal stand. Birmingham’s Jairo Rivera finished in fourth place at 182 pounds. In the quarterfinals, Rivera suffered a third-period loss by pin to Noah Gallardo of Shadow Ridge High of Arizona.
Rivera’s performance enhances a strong resume, which includes victories at the Downey Tournament, West Coast Classic at Rosemead High, and Black Watch Tournament at Upland High. The junior is ranked 17th in the state.
Several local wrestlers turned in outstanding performances at the Sam De John Tournament. The host school, San Fernando, had four wrestlers take first place, the most of any school.
However, it was Alemany that won the team championship with 140 points.
San Fernando’s Andy Del Toro won the 122-pound title with a first period pin over Saugus’ Andres Sanchez. It was the first tournament win of the season for Del Toro. Also winning this first tournament of the season was the Tigers’, Cris Loera. The junior took down the 128-pound championship with a second-period victory over Alemany’s Frank Gonzales.
Michael Rubio gave San Fernando it’s third individual championship as he had little trouble dispatching Peninsula’s Jordan De La Cruz, 23-10 in the 140-pound final. Michael Jimenez capped off a big day for the Tigers as he won the 220-pound title with a narrow 3-2 win over Luke Torres of Carson.
Alemany had two wrestlers win individual titles. Adam Trejo lived up to the billing as the top-seeded wrestler at 108-pounds with victory over Santa Paula’s Juan De Jesus by a second-period pin. It was the second tournament title for Trejo.
Alemany coach Richie Garcia does a solid job in developing upper weight wrestlers, and he looks to have another solid prospect in Eddie Fuentes. In the 285-pound final, Fuentes defeated teammate Eric Chavez by a pin in the second period.
Granada Hills Charters’ Triston Eugenio snatched the 115-pound title with a 13-6 victory over Ryan Woods of Palisades.
In girls wrestling, Royal’s Katja Osteen won her second tournament of the season at the Napa Valley Girls Classic at Northern California. In the 170-pound final, Osteen defeated BaoAhn Perez-Duncan of Clovis High with a 6-2 decision. Osteen is a state champion (from 2018) transfer from Chaminade.