Ayala didn’t just claim an outright Palomares League championship on Tuesday night.
The Bulldogs steamrolled their way to a second consecutive title.
AHS won 13 of their 14 matches, and defeated their visitors from Claremont, 78-6, in the regular season finale.
Eleven of their 13 wins came via pin fall.
The dual started at 106 pounds.
Jayren Chan (106) and BK Martinez (113) opened the evening with consecutive pins, and a 12-0 lead.
Jacob Kim (120) secured a pin, and Ezekiel De la Rosa (126) was awarded a victory by forfeit.
Claremont won by pin at 132 pounds, and the AHS lead was 24-6.
Ayala’s next six matches would result in pin-fall wins and 36 team points.
That list included Haiden Caroline (138), John Gonzales (144), Diego Eligio (150), Mason Eligio (157), Jacob Rosales (165) and 175-pound Jeshua Hennerty.
Alex Ramirez (190) won via forfeit, and the Bulldogs closed the title with pins by Brandon Townsell (215) and heavyweight Carlos Britt.
I asked Ayala coach Grant Brunier for his thoughts on the championship, and the 2023-24 season thus far.
Said Coach Brunier: “This team has been working hard ever since last year. We had a lot of inexperienced wrestlers, and we spent all summer training and getting stronger as a team. These kids work hard for each other, and they set goals and accomplish those goals as best as possible. Each one of these kids are hard workers.
Jayren Chan, our 106-pounder, spent all last year under size. He wrestled 106 at 94 pounds and he didn’t break the 100-pound mark until CIF last year. With the new added weight from the summer, he has been undefeated in league and placed at every tournament but one this year.
BK Martinez is one of our more outstanding wrestlers. Her work (and results) speaks for itself. She is a two-time state qualifier (looking to make her third this year), A CIF champion, and a multi-time all-American. She is a force to be reckoned with.
Jacob Kim has been a solid wrestler for us this year.
Diego Eligio is one of our team captains, and he’s been an outstanding wrestler for us this season. He’s undefeated in league and he’s placed at every tournament that he’s wrestled.
Jeshua Hennerty is another talented multi-sport athlete, and we’re very fortunate to have him. He has been pinning his way through tons of matches this year.
Brandon Townsell is our big enforcer in the upper-weight division. The young man is not afraid of hard work. He lives there for the moment, and he doesn’t shy away from it. We hope for big things from him this postseason.
Carlos Britt has worked his tail off to be able to wrestle. He has been dieting since the summer to get his weight down.
I’m so proud of each and every young man and woman in our program. We would not be the Palomares League champions without each of them. The next step is to see how many we can get through to CIF.”
Up next: The Bulldogs get their CIF-SS team dual first-round opponent in the next couple of days, and they will complete on Saturday.
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