Jimmie Lopez, Ricardo Bribiescas and John Riffle all took home individual titles en route to propelling the Christopher High wrestling team to a second-place finish at its home tournament Saturday at the second annual Bert Mar Invitational.
The final leaderboard was filled with local squads, including Gilroy High, which took first, and Live Oak, which placed third. CHS head coach Alecxis Lara, still reeling from an exhausting weekend, said that aside from a few hiccups, the tournament, which included 24 teams, proceeded along rather smoothly.
Lopez, a sophomore who is currently the section’s No. 1-ranked 106-pounder, won his second straight Bert Mar title. Bribiescas, three days removed from lifting the Cougars to a narrow victory over Watsonville in an Monterey Bay league dual meet, followed up last season’s fourth-place with a first-place showing in the 132-pound bracket.
“Ricardo was in a dog fight in the semifinals, but survived,” Lara said.
John Riffle, who has steadily climbing the CCS ranks and sits at No. No. 4 as of Monday, took home the top prize at 220 pounds.
“As a team they surprised me because we still have some key starters out. But a lot of guys are starting to steep up and it’s a good evaluation of where they are at this point of the season.”
Steven White, who is the section’s No. 5-ranked 285-pounder, defeated Homestead’s Dominick Jackson in the semis before falling in the finals and settling for runner up. Despite not winning the championship. Lara said he was impressed with White’s performance in the semifinals.
“He has wrestled that kid about four times in his career and never came close to beating him,” Lara said. “He went out there and wrestled very smart – he was very strategic.”
White ended up victorious, 2-1.
Gilroy High’s Aaron Gonzalez collected the Mustangs’ lone individual title at 138 pounds. However, GHS was able to muster enough team points to finish first overall.
Other notable placers: GHS – Jesse Vasquez (106, 2nd); Victor Daza (120, 3rd); Antonio Duran (145, 6th); Lupe Jimenez (152, 3rd); Matt Penyascek (160, 2nd); Julian Carbajal (160, 4th); Stephen Marquez (160, 5th); Mark Penyascek (170, 4th); Julian Marquez (7th, Hwt.) CHS – Ben Crawford (106, 6th); John Hodges (132, 6th); Josh Aguilera (195, 6th); Matt Ayala (220, 5th); Navi Pannu (220, 6th.)
106: Jimmie Lopez – Christopher
113: Alfredo Salas – Gonzales
120: Kenji Young – Westmont
126: Kyle Young – Westmont
132: Ricardo Bribiescas – Christopher
138: Aaron Gonzalez – Gilroy
145: Tyler Peterson – Live Oak
152: Jose Cardenas – Seaside
160: Charlie Guittari – Burlingame
170: Douglas Medrano – San Jose
182: Karnveer Gil – Homestead
195: Michael Whittaker – MVC
220: John Riffle – Christopher
Hwt: Jonathan Tuiolosega – Seaside