Chino boys wrestling edges Western for CIF-SS Division 5 dual meet crown
ANAHEIM — The blaring noise level rarely subsided throughout the entirety of the CIF Southern Section Division 5 Dual Meet Team Championship final between the Chino and Western boys wrestling teams Wednesday night at Western High School.
Teams on both benches were pumped and so were the fans in the bleachers, and it was easy to see why.
Many individual bouts featured lead changes and so did the running team scores.
It was no surprise the match wasn’t decided until the final bout, when Chino’s Jordan Mallo came away with a first-period pin of Angel Ramirez in the 145-pound weight class to give the Cowboys a 37-35 victory over the Pioneers.
The team championship is the first for the Cowboys.
“The kids fought their hearts out,” Western coach Robert Elias said. “They are relentless. We’re hoping to regroup. It was a fun dual. For us, the future is bright.”
Chino had a 31-29 lead going into the 138-pound bout prior to the last match.
Western’s Angelo Andrade was losing when he scored on a reversal and then pinned Nathanael Gonzalez, giving the Pioneers a 35-31 lead and setting up the drama in the final bout.
“It was a see-saw match,” Chino coach Alex Angulo said. “We were up, we were down. Then it came down to one of our leaders (Ramirez), buckling it down and getting the fall.”
The match started with the 152-pound bout where Alex Sanchez won a majority decision to give the Pioneers a 4-0 lead.
Chino’s Julius Soria came away with a pin in the 162-pound match to give the Cowboys their first lead at 6-4.
Western’s Asael Cruz answered with a second-period pin at 170 to put the Pioneers back in front, 10-6.
Chino then won the next three bouts, one by a majority decision and two by pins to take a 22-10 lead.
The Cowboys led 25-19 when a pin from Isaac Gonzalez tied the score for Western with four bouts remaining.
The Pioneers then took a 29-25 lead on Valentin Galicia’s majority decision at 126.
Chino’s Nathan Cauwel scored on a pin at 132 to give the Cowboys a two-point advantage going into the final two bouts.
The Pioneers were making their third consecutive finals appearance and had moved up from Division 6.
Western finished second to Corona del Mar in the 2022 dual meet finals and defeated the Sea Kings to capture the Division 5 championship in 2021.
“They are a seasoned team,” Angulo said of Western. “We knew we would have our work cut out for us.”