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State Wrestling Tournament : Sims, Mollkoy, Pastorello, Cooper Win Titles to Lead County Showing

Times Staff Writer

This was for the state wrestling championship, wasn’t it? It was hard to tell the way Woodbridge High School’s Heath Sims ripped through the competition--if you want to call it that.

Sims (55-1), who won the 132-pound championship last year, was one of a record four Orange County wrestlers--which included Katella’s Chris Mollkoy (154 pounds) and Joe Pastorello (175) and Canyon’s Zach Cooper (191)--to win a state title Saturday during the CIF state wrestling tournament at the University of the Pacific.

Sims pinned Monte Vista’s Dustin Harless just 1:05 into the 138-pound final. En route to the title, Sims pinned one opponent and beat the other three by a combined score of 42-8. He won his semifinal match, against San Jose’s Chung Le, 19-4.

Does the phrase “no sweat” ring a bell?

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“I was wrestling so well,” Sims said. “I felt great the whole tournament. My confidence was real high.”

Sims was so dominant that, though he was the school’s only state qualifier, Woodbridge finished 13th in the team standings with 30.5 points.

Just as impressive was Katella’s team of Mollkoy and Pastorello, who placed their school in a tie for third with Clovis with 51.5 points.

Clovis West, which had five wrestlers in the tournament, won the team title with 57 points points. El Monte’s Arroyo finished second with 52.5 points.

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Mollkoy (43-2), after falling behind, 2-0, early in the 154-pound final against Yosemite’s Caleb Roope, took command to win, 7-5.

“You know, I really didn’t think I wrestled that well,” Mollkoy said. “But I won, and this is what I’ve been aiming for since the first day of practice.”

Pastorello had a much more difficult time in his final against Westlake’s Bill Hunter. Pastorello performed an escape early in the second period, and made the 1-0 score stand up for the title.

It was the third time these two had wrestled this season, Pastorello had taken the first two--at the 4-A finals and Masters meet--8-1 and 5-2.

“He (Hunter) learned some new tricks,” Pastorello said. “He’s really improved.”

In what might have been the finals’ most exciting match, Cooper defeated Clovis’ Renee Carlos, 7-6, in overtime on a reversal in the last 5 seconds.

“This is incredible,” said Cooper, who finished his season 45-0.

Canyon finished sixth with 45 points.

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“He’s the toughest guy I’ve wrestled this year,” Cooper said. “He’s got to be so bummed right now.”

Canyon’s Ravi Ramsamooj lost his semifinal match to Covina’s Tony Trujillo, 3-0, the same score of their Masters final last week. Trujillo went on to win the 112-pound championship.

Ramsamooj beat El Camino Real’s Greg McMurray, 11-5 in the third-place semifinal, but lost to El Camino’s Michael Grubbs in the third-place match, 9-2.

Savanna’s Tony Okada lost to Overfelt’s Javier Gonzales in the semifinals, and lost again in the third-place semifinals, 2-0, against Poway’s Dale Hanover. Okada, a sophomore, placed fifth when his fifth-place opponent, Bullard’s DeWayne Zinkin, defaulted because of injury.

Okada’s teammate, Mike Verbeck, lost his semifinal match to Arroyo’s Elfrin Gonzales, 7-2 and lost the third-place semifinal, 5-0, to North Bakersfield’s Joe Cemo. Verbeck took fifth place when his opponent, Rio Mesa’s Rob Cook, defaulted.


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