By Sandy Grossman & Jordan Xiao
Despite strong performances by several South Pasadena athletes, the wrestling team took fifteenth place out of 30 schools at the Juan Enriquez Memorial tournament from Friday to Saturday, January 9 to 10. Four out of 11 competing Tigers placed in the top eight for their respective weight classes, with the two SPHS subteams earning a combined total of 119.0 points.
Senior Harry Yun seized second place in the 113-lb class after three consecutive wins, two of which were pins, ultimately losing by one point in his final match against a wrestler from Downey. Junior Caleb St. Julian (120 lbs) led the Tigers in total pin count, flooring four out of five opponents to take fifth place in his class.
Senior Nour Elsayed (132 lbs) advanced to the quarterfinals before being eliminated by his class’s first place seed from Santa Fe. Fellow senior Angel Amaral, wrestling in the same class, lost his second match in the main brackets, but made a recovery in the runoffs with three wins to take eighth. Senior Julian Lopez (152 lbs) placed seventh in his weight class, leaving the tournament with a match score of 2-2. Lopez fell out of the bracket in the fourth round on the tournament’s second day.
“For my performance, I made some small technical mistakes, but with more practice things will become flawless,” Lopez said. “[My placing] is giving me a lot of hope for what I can achieve for the rest of the season. I believe things are going to get better from here.”
Junior Parker Bell (170 lbs) offered the Tigers’ best performance in the upper weight classes, with two wins. Though sophomore Michael Zepeda (285-lb) did not perform as well, he sees the tournament as an opportunity to gain experience as a heavyweight.
“Overall, the team did okay, but we made several mistakes our opponents capitalized on” Zepeda said. “Personally, I didn’t do so well, but I won’t start to improve until I get used to my new weight class.”
The Tigers are currently 0-2 in league, and with a home Rio Hondo dual meet against Monrovia on Thursday, January 15 they hope to improve their record to 1-2. The team will also participate in the Amat Classic Frosh/Soph tournament at Bishop Amat High School the following weekend.