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Yorba Linda continues its postseason winning streak

ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

WESTMINSTER – First came first place in the Empire League followed by a championship in the Division 5 duels.

The Yorba Linda wrestling team just kept it going at the Coastal Division championships Saturday at Westminster High.

In a battle for first that wasn't decided until the second-to-last weight class, the Mustangs won the team championship, edging Santa Ana, 152-148.5. Crespi (135.5) finished third.

"Very nerve-wracking," Yorba Linda coach Brian Fortenbaugh said. "I'm ecstatic right now... I don't think anyone really thought we could do it."

Going into the final round, the Mustangs had eight wrestlers vying for medals and were leading by 5 1/2 over the Saints, who had seven wrestlers alive.

It came down to 220-pound championship between Santa Ana's Anthony Farias and El Dorado's Dante Duke.

A victory by Farias would have given Santa Ana enough points to take the lead.

But Duke won the scoring fest, 20-14, ensuring Yorba Linda's team title.

Yorba Linda won the tournament, despite not having a wrestler finish first.

Westminster heavyweight Alejandro Ruelas was named upper-weight MVP after pinning all five opponents, including a second-period pin against Canyon's Ahmad Sunda in the championship match.

Lower-weight MVP honors went to La Quinta 113-pounder Roy Galvan, who scored four pins and one major decision en route to his title.

Galvan pinned Valencia's Jake Langenwalter early in the second period of the championship match.

The most closely contested final was the 132-pound match between Santa Ana's Gil Gutierrez and El Dorado's Gino Roman which went into three overtimes before Gutierrez scored for an 11-9 victory.

Cypress' Nathan Mabale won the 103-pound championship with a second-period pin against Minh Nguyen of Westminster.

El Dorado's Gress Lawson, son of Golden Hawks' coach Steve Lawson, won the 195-pound championship with a 6-2 victory over Chase Lemmerman of Palm Desert.

Contact the writer: lponsi@ocregister.com


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