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COMMUNITY COLLEGE STATE WRESTLING : Cypress’ Lopez, Stegall Win Championships

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Although host Cypress College finished eighth in the team competition of the California Community College Wrestling Championships Saturday night, two Chargers managed to win some of the biggest and smallest individual titles.

Sam Lopez, 5 feet 3, 118 pounds, won one of Cypress’ two individual state championships with a 2-0 victory over Brian Ramirez of Fresno in the lightest weight class.

Ken Stegall won his state title with a 9-5 victory over Tony Flores of Moorpark in the 190-pound class, one division below heavyweight.

Lopez ended his community college career winning 34 consecutive matches. He was the only undefeated wrestler in the state tournament.

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His victory was also a form of redemption, because Ramirez knocked Lopez out of last year’s state championships after officials disqualified Lopez for an illegal throw.

“This year’s win for Sam shows he was the cream of the crop for the past two years at 118 pounds,” Cypress Coach Ray Haas said.

Delfino Ochoa, named top wrestler of the tournament, gained a 4-3 victory over Orlando Montero of Cerritos in the 126-pound class to clinch the team title for Moorpark. Moorpark finished with 92.25 points, Lassen was second with 88 and Fresno third with 77.5.

Cypress finished with 43.75 points and Rancho Santiago was 10th with 36.5 points. Rancho Santiago’s Pat Kinney and Ryan Owings earned All-American honors; Kinney placed third in the 128-pound class and Owens finished fourth in the 158-pound division.

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