Despite winning the SCVAL Championships in wrestling a year ago, Gunn faced a stiff challenge this weekend while attempting to defend its title at Monta Vista High in Cupertino.
"Wilcox is the team to beat, and Gunn, Monta Vista and Fremont will challenge," Gunn coach Chris Horpel said earlier in the week. "Not sure we have the overall manpower this year to get the job done, but we shall see."
Horpel wasn't far off on his prediction as SCVAL De Anza Division dual-match champ Wilcox did indeed pin down the league meet title on Saturday with 225 1/2 points. Fremont was second with 189, followed by Monta Vista (177) and Gunn (175 1/2). Palo Alto finished sixth with 104 points.
Gunn had three individual champions with senior Cadence Lee winning her first league crown at 113 pounds, junior Ian Cramer taking the 132-pound title and senior Stephen Martin winning at 182.
Palo Alto also had three champions in freshman Seth Goyal (123), junior James Giaccia (129) and senior Josh Deckelman (155). They advance to the Central Coast Section Championships along with teammates Eric Oshima (sixth at 148) and Kevin Schumacher (fifth at 173).
The top six in each weight division qualify for the CCS finals on Feb. 28-March 1 at Independence High in San Jose. Gunn qualified nine and have an additional two first-alternates. Lee, however, will miss the boys' CCS meet in order to defend her girls' state title the same weekend.
Lee, who finished third at 106 last year, went 3-0. After a bye, she pinned Sean Crisostomo of Milpitas in just 38 seconds. In the semifinals, Lee decisioned Davey George of Los Gatos, 11-3. In the finals, Lee pinned Elvin Labucay of Santa Clara in 1:34.
Cramer, third at 120 last season, also went 3-0. After a bye, he pinned CJ Pumphrey of Cupertino in 31 seconds. In the semifinals Cramer pinned Arjun Gill of Homestead in 1:41. In the title match, Cramer decisioned Max McCann of Monta Vista, 8-2.
Martin, meanwhile, also won his first title after finishing second last season. He needed only two matches to claim the 182-pound crown. Two byes put him in the semifinals, where he pinned Benito Serrano of Wilcox in 1:25. In the finals, Martin decisioned Tijani Karaborni of Monta Vista, 8-1.
At 106 pounds, Gunn's Michael Abramovitch went 2-1 and finished second. His brother, David, was seventh at 120 with a 3-2 mark. At 126, Gunn's Tanner Kerrins went 3-2 and placed fourth. Teammate Tavor Baharav went 3-1 and placed third at 133. At 152, Gunn's Cedric Linares was 3-3 and placed sixth. Ben Bianchini (2-2) placed seventh at 170, Eric Calderon was 3-2 at 220 and Kirill Demyanenko was 1-1 and placed second at 285 pounds.