Five Cuesta College wrestlers will be competing in the CCCAA State Wrestling Championships today and Saturday at West Hills College in Lemoore.
The Cougars’ top hope to bring home an individual state title is 125-pound sophomore Matthew Correa, a graduate of Righetti High.
After finishing eighth at state last year, Correa is the only returning state qualifier for the Cougars when he finished eighth. This season, Correa is 27-4, ranked No. 1 in the state and is the reigning CCCAA athlete of the month.
Correa went 3-1 at the recent SoCal regional meet but remained the top-ranked wrestler in the state at 125. He has 55 career wins, second on the Cougars’ all-time list behind two-time All-American Jake Shields.
The other four Cuesta wrestlers competing at are 141-pounder Julian Purdy, 149-pounder Dolin Mininni, a former Morro Bay High standout, 165-pounder Jonathan Urango and 197-pounder Derek Jaurigue.
Jaurigue might be the most surprising state qualifier for the Cougars. The freshman from Calaveras High in San Andres was projected as a 165-pounder before the season began. He challenged teammates for a regional lineup spot at 174 and 184 pounds but was moved to 197 to fill out the Cuesta lineup at regionals.
At regionals, Jaurigue went 4-2 and finished fourth to qualify for the state meet. Ironically, the Cougars did not end up having a wrestler at 174 or 184 at regionals.
“Derek is a great kid and one of the hardest workers on the team,” Cuesta head coach Jon Dansby said in a news release. “I believe he can do great things.”
Purdy, a freshman from Nevada Union High in Grass Valley, is ranked fourth in the state at 133 but moved up a weight class for the postseason. He has a 22-17 record and went 3-2 to earn a sixth-place finish at regionals and qualify for state.
Mininni is enjoying a strong first season for the Cougars. He’s gone 14-7 and is ranked fourth at 149. He was third at the regional meet.
Also headed to state is Urango, a freshman from Camarillo, who spent most of the season at 174 and dropped to 165 late in the season to contend for a state berth. Urango was Cuesta’s top individual finisher at regionals, where he finished second with a 3-1 record. He’s 21-6 overall and 9-3 at 165 pounds.