Cerritos College
Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

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Men’s wrestling heating up after cold start

The men’s wrestling team started down 13 team points after losing three matches in a row to open up their first home dual but eventually came out on top with a final score of 37-13.
Emily Maciel
Noah Zuniga wrestling at 157 lbs faces the crowd with arms wide open to celebrate his win over his opponent.

The Cerritos College men’s wrestling team hosted their first conference home dual of the season against the Rio Hondo Roadrunners on Oct. 11 where they came out victorious in the end, but things weren’t so smooth the entire way through.

After a few wrestlers put up losses for the team total, they flipped the switch and cruised their way to a 37-13 win.

Two of the first three Cerritos wrestlers lost their matches due to technical falls, which is in essence a mercy rule because the opponent was up by 15 or more points.

Things started to change when sophomore Mario De La Torre who wrestled at 149 lbs. pinned his opponent.

Every other Cerritos wrestler won their match after this which included three pins, two technical falls, one defeat and one win by forfeit.

De La Torre who is ranked first in the state and one of the team captains wasn’t necessarily trying to set the tone for his team but it just kind of turned out that way.

“I want everybody to be able to wrestle to the best of their abilities, whether it’s the first match or the last match,” said De La Torre expressed, “But if that’s the role I have to play then I’m fine with doing that.”

Freshman Noah Zuniga wrestled at 157 lbs. and almost pinned his opponent in the first period, but the Rio Hondo wrestler was saved by the bell.

Zuniga said, “I thought that was really funny, the fact that I was right there.”

This match went to the second period where Zuniga then ended it by a technical fall with a score of 20-3.

“It was kinda bad for our team because we didn’t get that extra point that I wanted but I knew I mentally beat him,” said Zuniga.

The crowd went crazy when he got his hand raised and stared at the fans with arms wide open and a stone-cold reaction.

Head coach Donny Garriott said the team didn’t prepare very well for this home dual because they have been so focused on getting ready for the Southern California Regional Team Duals coming up this weekend since the winner of that would get to compete in the State Dual Championship.

“I also kind of think we were maybe looking past Rio Hondo a little bit and you could see in the first three matches we came out kind of slow and cold,” said Garriott.

He was surprised in a good way with the way a couple of the younger guys in the upper weight classes performed because they have been having to make the big change from a high school to a college setting.

Zack Harkey at 174 and Ben Setum at 184,” he said, “Those are two weights where we needed guys to kinda start stepping up and they are, they’re starting to progress, so I was really happy with how they wrestled.”

Setum is in his freshman year of college and said he was a bit nervous before the dual started, but he made sure to calm himself down like he normally does.

He was really happy with the atmosphere and overall experience of his first college dual.

“It was exciting because in high school we didn’t have much of a crowd,” Setum said.

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About the Contributor
Emily Maciel
Emily Maciel, Co-Sports Editor
Emily Maciel is the Co-Sports & Co-Social Media Editor for Talon Marks as she returns for her second semester with the newspaper. She is in her third season of working for the Los Angeles Angels as well as her second season with the Cerritos College baseball team. She plans to transfer to a University for the Fall 2024 semester and work for the MLB one day.
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