Trinity Classical Academy sophomore wrestler Hudson Sweitzer kicked off the new year with his first tournament victory of the year at the Juan Enriquez Memorial held this past weekend at John Glenn High School in Norwalk.
Sweitzer pinned all five opponents he faced en route to the title at 190 pounds. Four of his opponents were subdued in less than a minute, with only his first-round opponent able to make it past that mark — 22 seconds more, to be exact.
“I wouldn’t say it was easy,” Sweitzer said in a phone interview. “I would catch them and put them on their back. So, it wasn’t really like me doing anything. It was more catching what they would do wrong.”
Sweitzer said there were a few wrestlers he saw who looked like they could be tough opponents, but once he got on the mat, he was able to rise above the competition.
“When you go up against them, at first you think it’s gonna be crazy,” Sweitzer said. “And then once you get wrapped up and you’re both using your strength, I kind of realized I could actually do it.”
Valencia High School had three wrestlers place at the sametournament: Dayle Cailles took second at 113 pounds; Henry Egami took second at 157 pounds; and Jairdan Chopra took fifth at 215 pounds.
As a team, Valencia racked up 117 points as the Vikings finished 12th out of 38 teams. Trinity finished 27th with 36 points despite having only Sweitzer as a participant.
Cailles pinned his first four opponents to make it to the final before dropping a 6-2 decision to La Mirada’s Christian Gijon. Cailles didn’t need to finish his semifinal with a pin, leading 4-2, but was able to force the referee’s whistle with two seconds left.
All six of Egami’s matches ended in pins, with his first three taking less than a minute each. He was bested by Mira Costa’s Alastar McRae in the final.
Chopra kicked things off with a major decision in the first round before winning by fall in the second. He pinned his first two opponents in the consolation bracket before being pinned himself in the consolation semifinal. He was able to bounce back with a pin in the fifth-place match.
The Vikings were without freshman Slater Hicks in Norwalk as he was in Clovis for the Doc Buchanan Invitational. He finished fifth in the 123-pound bracket, winning via a 6-2 decision in the fifth-place match.
Hicks won his first three matches, including a third-round victory over St. John Bosco’s Nathan Carrillo via a 5-4 decision. Hicks, a St. John Bosco transfer, also bested Carrillo in the finals at the Tournament of Champions at the end of the December.
Sweitzer and the Valencia wrestlers are scheduled to compete at the Willemstine Classic at Ontario High School on Saturday.
Sweitzer is looking forward to showing what else he can do as the postseason is coming up in about a month.
“I’m excited for it,” Sweitzer said. “Especially compared to last year, I can’t wait to see how I perform.”