Local wrestlers help West Hills College Lemoore take sixth place in state championships

From West Hills College Lemoore
Local wrestlers help West Hills College Lemoore take sixth place in state championships

West Hills College Lemoore came up big in the 2021 California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) at Cerritos College in Norwalk finishing in sixth place in the state as three Golden Eagles won titles. The Golden Eagles were led by individual titlists Wayne Joint, Lupe Ayon, and Angel Solis. West Hills College Lemoore totaled 84.5 team points to finish in sixth place at the 2021 championships.

The two-day event wrapped up the season on Saturday night.

The sixth-place showing at the state championships was West Hills' best since finishing third at the 2012 finals.

Leading the way for the Golden Eagles was former Lemoore High School Tiger Wayne Joint, who defeated Sacramento City’s Kendal Frank in the championship match at 141 pounds. The win had to come in overtime for Joint to take top honors in the 141-pound weight class.

Joint’s win was the wildest of the night as it appeared as though Frank recorded a buzzer-beating takedown to win the state title, officials ruled that that takedown did not happen in time, sending the match to overtime.

Presented with a second chance, Joint took Frank down with just 23 seconds into the extra period to win the state championship. Trailing, 7-6 with less than a minute left in the third period, Joint got a takedown with just 36 seconds left for an 8-7 lead, only to see Frank escape with 10 seconds left and set the table for the wild finish.

In the 149-weight class, Lupe Ayon (West Hills) defeated Juan Lopez (Mt. San Antonio), 6-1. It was a match that pitted a pair of No. 1 seeds. The two were locked in a tight battle, each realizing that one mistake could cost the title. Ayon struck first in the first period with a takedown, with Lopez escaping with just one minute remaining in the match.

The two started in a neutral position for the second period, with neither one able to add to their score. Ayon increased his lead to 3-1 with an escape point and clinched the championship with a takedown with only 27 seconds left in the match. It ended with a 6-1 finish while a riding point made it a 6-1 score.

Former standout wrestler Angel Solis, now competing for West Hills, won a championship at 197 pounds. He defeated Mt. San Antonio’s Nate Kendricks in a wild match, but Solis managed to win it in the opening period with a pin.

West Hills Justin Tripp placed fourth at 184 pounds. He reached the third-place match but suffered a 7-3 loss to Luke Hansen of Moorpark. By finishing among the state's top four, Joint, Ayon, Solis, and Tripp all earned All-American honors.

Also placing for the Golden Eagles, Taven Avila was sixth after dropping out of the fifth-place match because of injury.

Armando Martinez (125) and Will Torres (141) both qualified for the state championships but did not place.

Mt. San Antonio College won the team championship with 167 points. The Mounties were followed by host Cerritos in second with 138.5 points, Fresno City College in third at 117 points, and Sacramento City College in fourth with 107.5 points. Bakersfield College edged out West Hills for fifth, finishing a half-point ahead with 85 points (West Hills 84.5 points).

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