When the college wrestling season began more than three months ago, Cuesta College head coach Joe Dansby believed redshirt freshman Alex Garcia could content for an individual state title.
The 174-pound Garcia navigated a remarkable season with a 32-2 overall record, capped with a victory at the California Community College Athletics Association State Championships on Sunday at Victor Valley College.
A former standout at Gilroy’s Christopher High School, Garcia won all three of his matches at the state tournament in impressive fashion. His first round match resulted in a 22-6 technical fall. Garcia won his semifinal (14-7) and final (9-6) matches by decision, becoming the first Cougar to win a CCCAA state title in 12 years.
Garcia’s only loss to a fellow community college wrestler this season came against 165-pound state champion Derek Lee-Loy of Sacramento City, who was selected as the CCCAA State Wrestler of the Year.
In the championship match, Garcia defeated Reed South of Mt. SAC. According to the CCCAA website, the two “had an eventful first period, with Garcia earning a takedown and two reversals and took a 6-4 lead into the second period. It was 7-4 when he added a pair of late reversals to clinch the title.”
Cuesta freshmen Leif Dominguez (133 pounds) and Isaac De La Cruz (184) each finished seventh individually. Dominguez went 3-2 at the state meet, concluding his first collegiate season with a 13-11 overall record. De La Cruz also went 3-2, capping a 16-19 overall record across three weight divisions this season.
Cuesta scored 40.5 points to finish eighth at the 20-team competition.
Fresno City won its state-leading 14th team championship with 158.5 points, followed closely by Cerritos at 153.5. Sacramento City was third at 119.5.