Women’s Wrestling wins State Championship to end historic season

Falcons takes home CCCAA State Championship trophy to end season


Claudia Santos

160-pounder Sianna Verdugo locks onto the opponent’s arm as she looks intently at her coach during the CCCAA State Championship game.

Samuel Chacko, Editor-in-Chief

The Falcons wrestling team hosted their first women’s wrestling CCCAA State Championship on April 22 at 10 a.m. and ended their first official season with the State Championship trophy in their trophy case.

Cerritos ended with nine All-America wrestlers, four State Champions with seven in the finals out of 10 weight classes, eight girls in the top three and 10 girls in the top five.

“Everyone rose to the occasion and they all wrestled really well,” CCCAA coach of the year Dustin Kirk said, “I always tell them to be bigger than the moment and they did exactly that.”

For the 102-pounders, Jessica Hong pinned Sacramento City Colleges’ Alexis Hazelton in 1:33 and won the first-ever CCCAA individual state champion.

Lucy Guadarrama made it to the finals due to being only three competitors in her weight class but took second place when an abrupt shoulder injury forced her out of the match.

“I am super proud of my team for everything they accomplished this season,” Kirk adds, “I believe they are all proud to be a Cerritos College Falcon and that means I’ve done my job.”

116-pounder Alyssa Rodriguez also captured the state championships by pinning Miya Galvan of East Los Angeles College and Hailey Teodoro of Mt. San Antonio.

Moving to the 123-pound weight class, Jewelysa Funakoshi took third place for Cerritos and 136-pounder Jaylene Martinez took third place after pinning her two opponents.

Jewelysa Funakoshi got wrist control on the Mt. San Antonio opponent during the April 22 CCCAA Championship game. (Claudia Santos)

Nile Jernigan took her first state championship and added yet another state championship wrestler for the Falcons as she only crushed the competition but sang the National Anthem.

Aine Drury was named the Most Valuable Wrestler at the state championships and Falcons head coach Kirk called Drury, “the most outstanding wrestler.”

“I’m really proud of us as a team,” Drury said, “We really worked hard all season and are always taking care of each other. Today feels good.”

Looking back to the first-ever Women’s Wrestling season at Cerritos College, Coach Kirk said the season went great and trusted the process.”

“We had four major goals. First ever CCCAA dual, first-ever CCCAA dual state championship,” he pointed out passionately, “I believe this season was a success and I am excited to build off this season with all of the new incoming recruits.”

Falcons 136-pounder Jaylene Martinez secures the take down and the referee is looking to see if Martinez got the pin. (Claudia Santos)

The Falcons’ first-year head coach said his future goal is to continue to grow women’s wrestling and push toward progress.

“For the Cerritos College Women’s Wrestling team, it’s the, “what’s next mentality!” Coach Kirk emphasized, “For Cerritos, my goal is to bring in 30 girls for next season and work towards another championship.”

“I’d like to help double the number of participants in the state and do my part in growing the sport.”

The Falcons ended their 2023 inaugural season only losing their first game and going on a 10-game unbeaten streak.