Wrestling finishes third in first tournament
Comets family and friends,
This past weekend, we started our regular season off at the Mt. San Antonio College Dual tournament. This was a great test for our guys to see where they stack up against some of the best teams in the state. We ended the weekend with a 2-2 dual record and a third-place team finish.
Palomar defeated Mt. SAC White 31-18
Rio Hondo defeated Palomar 29-24
Mt. SAC Maroon defeated Palomar 44-3
3rd Place - Palomar defeated Sierra College 38-15
Here's a rundown on the starters' performances:
125 - Denzel Ayala (1-3): Denzel has an impressive natural "wrestling feel" and is able to move well. This guy is talented, and if he keeps putting in the work, I'm sure he will see it pay off. The main area of focus for Denzel needs to be getting bigger and stronger, as he is giving up weight on pretty much all of his opponents.
133 - CJ Howard (1-3): CJ has shown that he has developed and is on his way to becoming a more well-rounded wrestler. I think the biggest thing holding him back (and some of the other guys as well) from making the jump to the next level is confidence and chain wrestling (particularly on the bottom). Making these adjustments will help CJ turn a corner this year.
141 - Owen Wilson (3-1): Win, lose, or draw, Owen makes wrestling fun to watch. I always tell the team that no matter what the outcome is, make sure that person never wants to wrestle you again – Owen embodies this principle as well as anyone. Owen dominated three matches and had the state champ on the ropes. He always brings the fire to every match and is right where he needs to be at this point in the season.
149 – JJ Gutierrez: (3-1): I thought JJ looked fantastic this weekend. He is tough to stop when he's moving and getting to his offense and re-attacks. He undoubtedly led the team in takedowns and made a statement that he is a force to contend with at 149. I'm excited to see JJ make a run this year.
157 – Randy Lockwood (1-3): Randy was a bit flat-footed this weekend and struggled to find his groove at his new weight class. When he pulls the trigger on his offense, he's hard to stop, as we saw in his match against Rio Hondo. However, he needs to keep himself in matches by being more offensive and sprawling on defense. This guy is all heart and has no shortage of work ethic, so I'm sure he'll respond the way he needs to.
165 – Hassan Alexander (1-3): Hassan showed us a glimpse of what he's capable of. He put together an excellent finish to beat his opponent from Rio Hondo but made some critical mistakes in his other matches and ended up getting pinned. Once he figures out what his ideal match looks like, he'll be right there.
174 – Daniel Hernandez (4-0): As I told him this weekend, "Daniel Hernandez has arrived." Daniel went 4-0 on the weekend but, more importantly, wrestled each match with intelligence, confidence, and patience. I'm very proud of the work he's put in to get to this point, and I'm looking forward to seeing him get even better as the season progresses.
184 – Arian Tabatabaei (2-2): This guy is extremely fun to watch. As a judoka, Arian is dangerous from tie-ups and can toss anyone on their back. I love the aggression and tenacity that he showed this weekend, and as we develop his baseline wrestling skills, he will only get better.
197 – Celso Silva (1-3): Despite going 1-3, Celso looked solid, especially considering he is up at a higher weight class and wrestling much bigger opponents. Celso was winning two of the three matches he lost before making several mental errors and getting stuck on the bottom. Once he gets in better shape, goes down a weight class, and gets more mat time, I'm sure he'll be a contender.
285 – Javier Montoya (1-2): Javier had a slow start at the beginning of the day, dropping his first two matches. He is giving up some size at heavyweight and will need to get stronger and improve his positioning to stay in these matches. He rebounded with a good win at the end of the day, and I'm confident he'll keep putting in the work to get where he needs to be.
285 – Angel Bello (2-0): Angel put together two excellent matches this weekend, winning both convincingly. Other than a few locking hands calls on top, I thought he wrestled well on both offense and defense. I'm excited to see Angel's skills progress as he gets more competition experience.
I'm very proud of our guys' fight, attitude, and teamwork this weekend. With that said, we have plenty of work to do to get where we want to be.
Up next, we'll head up to the Santa Ana Invitational tournament on October 1st. This will be a good chance for these guys (and the others who didn't get the start this weekend) to make some adjustments and get some more mat time. 1% better every day!
-- Head Coach, Tim Box