Sports

Palo Alto's Goyal pins his way to SCVAL wrestling title

 

Palo Alto's Seth Goyal won the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League wrestling title at 132 pounds Saturday at Fremont High. Paly's 120-pound Andrew Wang finished as the runner-up in his division.

Gunn's Thomas Chang-Davidson at 160, Dash Lee at 170 and Andy Maltz (285) were all runner-ups and helped the Titans place fourth with 146 points. The host Firebirds won the team title with 268 points.

In all, Gunn will send nine wrestlers and Palo Alto will send seven to the Central Coast Section championships, which begin Feb. 24 at Independence High. The seeding meeting will be held next Monday.

The top five in each weight class receive an automatic bid into the CCS tournament.

For Goyal, who was unable to compete at last year's league final due to injury, it was a special moment. The senior, introduced to the sport by an older sister, has been one of the top wrestlers the past few years.

In the championship match, Goyal pinned his opponent in 3:18 to earn the top spot on the podium.

Wang nearly gave the Vikings a second champion but he suffered a tough, 4-1, loss in the title match.

Chang-Davidson was beaten, 12-0, in his title match, Lee lost, 8-1, and Maltz was pinned in 4:15, his first SCVAL setback.

"I was impressed with our effort in this meet," Gunn coach Chris Horpel said. "We won some close matches and put ourselves in contention in many others. We were only one or two victories from taking second but I don’t think any of us could have beaten SCVAL champion Fremont this year."

Gunn's Tim Waymouth, recently back from a broken hand, earned his berth in the section tourney with a 9-2 victory in the third-place match at 145 pounds.

Palo Alto's Callum Day-Ham also won his third-place match at 113, 9-5.

Paly's Calvin Grewal (126), Gunn's Koh Suzuki (138), Gunn's Aaron Schultz (152), and Palo Alto's Alex Daw (220) all reached their respective third-place matches before losing.

Gunn's Steve Lassen (220). Gunn's Alex Feghhi (195), Palo Alto's Elliot Clark (170), Palo Alto's Aidan Gans (152) and Gunn's Ido Enav (132) each placed fifth to earn spots for the CCS.

Other placers (and CCS alternates) include Gunn's Berlaga, a seventh-place finisher at 106, Gunn's Travis Haro, who placed sixth at 120, Gunn's Eric Wei, a seventh-place finisher at 126, and Palo Alto' Jackson Clough, who placed eighth at 145.

The PAL championships are scheduled for Friday and Saturday at Menlo-Atherton High.

The girls' championships are slated for Friday, beginning at 2 p.m. and the boys go Saturday beginning at 8 a.m.

Menlo-Atherton is the reigning CCS champions, winning the event about 10 days ago. The Bears are sending five wrestlers to the state meet, including CCS champions Chelsea Wilson and Folashade Akinola, runner-up Abby Erickson and third-place finishers Anna Smith and Lauren McDonnell.

Terra Nova placed second at the CCS meet.

Rick Eymer

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