A successful first home outing

Competing for the first time in its home gym in three years, the Cerritos College wrestling team came out with a win against Palomar College 22-15, on Wednesday, Oct. 30 in the Cerritos Falcons Gymnasium.

Starting out the night with the team’s first win was 125-pounder Gabe Ballesteros who opened with a pin on Palomar wrestler Ty Mata at 4:28. Following Ballesteros, 133-pounder Dustin Kirk and 141-pounder Greg Barrera came out with wins.

Barrera said about his overall performance, “I did alright, I won but I mean my conditioning wasn’t all there. I could’ve done better and I’ll just (have to) mentally prepare better next time.”

He said as far as specific improvements, he needs to manage his weight a little bit better, mentally prepare and wrestle with more intensity.

Following Cerritos College’s three wins, Palomar College came back with three wins as well, with losses from 149-pounder Michael Behnke, 157-pounder Keanu Tom and 165-pounder Tim Garnica.

Barrera said that even though Garnica lost, he was one of the better performers in the meet.

“That last takedown that he got, even though he was losing, he still had respect for the team. He closed the gap so (Palomar) wouldn’t get bonus points so instead of three points, Palomar only got four.”

Having to make up for the three-in-a-row losses, 174-pounder Max Kumashiro, 184-pounder Jeremiah Gerl and 197-pounder Christina Milian came back with defeats over Palomar.

However, it was Gerl who had a surprising win, making a comeback in the last few seconds of the match.

He said that he had gone up against his opponent Drasko Bogdanovich in the previous match, losing 11-4.

This time, losing at 4-0 in the beginning of his match, Gerl slowly came back with an escape and a penalty point after an out of bounds shove by Bogdonovich in the first period.

Gerl said, “I just knew that I had to come back and work hard so I just pushed it to the end.”

In the second period, he recorded a reversal at 18 seconds. By the third period, the score was tied 5-5. With an escape at 1:01 and a takedown at six seconds, Gerl came out successful.

He defeated Bogdanovich, 7-6.

Gerl said his strategy going into his match was not to give up any extra unnecessary points and pushing the pace.

He said that his coach mentioned how the team hasn’t lost this dual meet in the last few years so it had instilled some fire in the team to win.

Ending the night’s matches, 285-pounder Keith Thompson lost to Charlie Rassel with a pin at 5:26.

Palomar head coach Brody Barrios said of his team’s overall performance, “It went as poorly as it could’ve gone. Every individual guy needs to improve on the small aspects of their game.

“Everything we’ve been preaching, they did wrong today and it was just poor performance all around from top to bottom.”

Garnica said, “It’s kind of like the turning point of the season, we have State (Championships) around the corner so I’m happy with our performance.”

The team will travel to Reno, NV to compete in the Lassen Tournament on Saturday, Nov. 2.