Vikes wrestlers Trent Munoz and America Lopez stay perfect on the season

It’s a little over two months into the prep wrestling season and Valencia has two wrestlers, neither of which are seniors, who remain undefeated: Trent Munoz and America Lopez.

The Vikings boys team wrestled at the Tournament of Champions on Friday and Saturday at Sonora High School, where Munoz picked up a handful of wins to improve to 24-0 this season in the 160-pound weight class.

Munoz wrestled Lakewood’s Jetro Preciado for the title and won 9-0. The two previously met in the semifinals at the Ed Springs Holiday Classic in mid-December, with Munoz coming out on top in a 6-0 win.

“It was good to see how I improved,” Munoz said. “On being able to score more points on him, so definitely shows that I’m improving my wrestling game. I feel like I was under control more. I was able to control more throughout the entire match which is a big confidence booster for me.”

Munoz didn’t qualify for the CIF State tournament last year as a sophomore. He’s striving to get there this time around and hopefully, claim a spot on the podium.

“This year, it’s gonna be different,” Munoz said. “I’m gonna be wrestling harder. I’ve been wrestling harder. I’m going to be wrestling a good tournament this weekend to really test my abilities.”

In addition to Munoz winning his weight class, Alex Munoz (145) and Braden Smelser (170) came in third in their respective weight classes. Lucas Paschia and Kyle Roth also wrestled in the tournament and helped Valencia to a 10th-place finish out of 66 schools.

The Vikings girls team competed in the South Hills Girls Winter Classic on Jan. 2 at South Hills High School. Lopez, a junior, claimed first in the 189-pound weight class and was also awarded tournament MVP.

After the tournament, Lopez’s record improved to 11-0.

She’s happy with the results so far this season, but is working on improving her strategy in matches as opposed to relying solely on instinct. She’s been watching film more often and learning from her mistakes.

“My shots,” Lopez said of what she’s focused on improving most. “I need to learn on how to set them up and like, when the right moment to shoot is. I just need to practice on that right now because I’m not doing good. I’m not right now but you know it’s gonna come.”

Lopez is looking to return to the CIF State tournament once again after finishing sixth last season. Her season continues at the Lady Top Gun tournament at Bonita High School on Saturday.

The Vikings boys team will also compete this weekend at the 5-Counties tournament on Friday and Saturday at Fountain Valley High School.

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