Los Alamitos' Alex Redmond, center, pins Canyon's Ahmad Sunda during their match in the heavyweight division at the finals of the Five Counties Invitational wrestling tournament at Fountain Valley High School on Saturday.

Los Al's Redmond makes his presence felt


FOUNTAIN VALLEY – Alex Redmond, Los Alamitos' senior heavyweight, said he wanted to make a statement at this year's Five Counties Invitational.

Mission accomplished.

"I tried," Redmond said.

Redmond, participating in his first two-day tournament of the year, topped the competition in his weight class, winning five matches by fall, including the finals when he pinned Canyon's Ahmad Sunda in 18 seconds on Saturday night at Fountain Valley High.

He was awarded Upper Weight MVP honors.

"He was focused," Los Alamitos coach Kenny Torres said of Redmond. "I've never seen him so serious. He's kind of a jovial, fun-loving guy, but man he was focused this week. There was no nonsense. He was here early for weigh-ins and he was ready to go."

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Redmond entered the tournament ranked 19th in the state and unranked in the county.

"I wrestled the best I've wrestled," Redmond said. "I feel like I can keep getting better from here on out ... it is going to be a fun season."

It might not be fun for his opposition.

"This is the last big tournament before the postseason and I think he had to take advantage of the situation and let people know who he is. He's on the map and he should be looked at in the state," Torres said.

Redmond and teammate Mason Kumashiro (195) were the first two finalists for the Los Alamitos program at the tournament. Kumashiro defeated Chase Barber of Centennial of Las Vegas, 5-2, in the finals.

"They both wrestled really, really well," Torres said.

Max Kumashiro placed fourth at 182 pounds for the Griffins.

Fountain Valley's Steele Escobedo (145) became the first Barons wrestler to win a title at the tournament in more than 30 years when he defeated Ricky Padilla of Northview of Covina, 3-2, in the final.

Escobedo, the second seed, trailed 2-1 in the third period before scoring a reversal with 15 seconds remaining.

"To be the first champion (for Fountain Valley) in 30-plus years, that's a good feeling," Escobedo said. "I feel I keep progressing every week and we just have to keep going from here."

As soon as Escobedo had his hand raised and was awarded his championship belt, he was swarmed by his Fountain Valley teammates, carrying him off of the mat.

His brother, Stone, finished seventh at 160.

Also in the finals, Marina's Colin Navickas defeated Kyle Barnett of Great Oak of Temecula, 5-4, at 160 pounds. Servite's Johnny Beltran (182) was defeated by Ian Baker of La Costa Canyon, 4-1, in the finals.

Laguna Hills led all county teams with sixth individual medalists on its way to a second-place finish in the team standings, the best among county teams.

Northview, with 226 points and eight medalists, won the tournament for the second consecutive year.

Los Alamitos finished fifth and San Clemente seventh in the team standings.

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