Hoover High wrestling's Ghukasyan concludes banner season at state

A historic season and playoff run ended for Hoover High senior Arthur Ghukasyan on Friday evening.

The 160-pound wrestler finished a 3-2 run on the first day of the two-day long CIF State Wrestling Championships at Bakersfield’s Rabobank Arena and did not qualify to Saturday’s finale.

Ghukasyan reached a do-or-die consolation match on Friday evening versus Liberty High senior Jake Maas, ranked 25th in state, who applied a pin in 2:42.

"He had a great season, but it was a long day," Hoover Coach Dave Beard said. "He wrestled five guys and just lost at the end, otherwise he'd be wrestling Saturday."

The fall advanced Maas in Saturday’s consolation quarterfinal.

"I'm disappointed because I know I should have done better," Ghukasyan said. "My goal was to medal and I didn't do that."

As for Ghukasyan, the area’s lone representative at state finished his season with a 24-5 record.

Prior to advancing to state, Ghukasyan won the Rio Hondo League championship at 160 pounds, becoming his school’s third-ever league titlist.

Ghukasyan also made history when he finished second at the CIF Southern Section Eastern Division Championships, his school’s highest finish, while becoming the first-ever Tornadoes wrestler to advance the Masters Meet, where he finished fourth.

The 20th-ranked Ghukasyan began his day on a strong note, defeating Exeter High’s Tyler Coker, 4-1, in the first round at 9 a.m.

The victory preceded a pin of Oakland Section champion Ebert Diaz, a junior from Leadership Public School of Richmond, in 1:26.

Ghukasyan’s triumphs sent him into the path of state fifth-seeded Joshua Hokit of Clovis.

Hokit, a sophomore Central Section champion, became only the second of three people this season to record a fall versus the Hoover senior when he won in 1:19.

The defeat, however, didn’t mark the end for Ghukasyan on Friday.

Ghukasyan defeated Palma High senior Martin Martinez, 5-0, to advance to the next round against Maas.

"I felt good in my first match, but after that I didn't feel well," said Ghukasyan, who has been battling the flu this week. "That's not what you want, but that's what happened."

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