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CCS , Championships

Date of competition: Saturday, February 21, 2009

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Gunn senior Zack Blumenfeld, who didn't even win his bracket at the SCVAL Championships a week earlier, more than made up for that by winning his first Central Coast Section title at the annual championships on Saturday in San Jose.
Blumenfeld is also the first Gunn wrestler to win CCS wrestling title in 30 years. The last to accomplish that was Dan Gebbens in 1979. Certainly not to be overlooked in the "first" department, Blumenfeld is now headed for the CIF State Meet for the first time. Those championships will be held March 6-7 at Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield.

"Since I started coaching at Gunn (again) six years ago," said coach Chris Horpel, "we have produced several great wrestlers. However, none has ever quite been able to win the CCS. Lots of seconds and thirds, but no champions. What was interesting to me was that Zack may have been one of my most unlikely winners in that he was only ranked fifth and had to defeat opponents in the semis and finals that had pinned him earlier this year. I knew what he was capable of, however, because of what I saw in the practice room every day. No one on my team works harder. It's very gratifying to see someone compete with all of his potential, which does not happen often."

The fifth-seeded Blumenfeld defeated Terra Nova's Jason Lucchetti, 7-4, to win the 171-pound division. The victory avenged a previous loss to Lucchetti. Blumenfeld upset top-seeded Omar Al-Helew of Santa Teresa, 7-6, in the semifinals to start out Saturday's action. That win over Al-Helew also avenged an earlier loss, also by pin.

On Friday, Blumenfeld registered three pins to reach the second day of competition. He opened with a pin of Anthony Mitchell of Bellarmine in 3:12. In the second round, Blumenfeld pinned Kyle Derring of Monterey in 2:40 and in the quarterfinals it was pin of Jordan Rivera of Prospect in just 1:08.
Palo Alto senior Patrick Sheehan, who did win a SCVAL individual title a week ago, came out on the short end of a 10-2 major decision to top-seeded Dominic Kastl in the 160-pound finals. Sheehan had reached the title match with an 8-2 decision over Tyler Edwards of Monterey. Sheehan opened Friday's first day with a pin of Avinder Sahota of Silver Creek in just 40 seconds of the first round. In Round 2, Sheehan posted a 12-2 major decision over Benjamin Torricier of Gilroy. In the quarterfinals, Sheehan had another major decision -- 12-3 over Enrique Calderon of Los Altos.

Sheehan will join Blumenfeld at the CIF State Meet along with Gunn's Phil Park. Competing at 285 pounds, Park finished fourth following a 3-2 overtime loss to Ben Duca of Riordan. In the consolation semifinals, Park decisioned Evan Swenson of Palma, 2-1. Park finished the two-day tournament with a 5-2 record.

posted by Palo Alto Online on Feb 23, 2009 at 3:21 pm


Gunn senior Zack Blumenfeld is congratulated by coach Chris Horpel after winning the 171-pound title at the CCS Wrestling Championships on Saturday. Photo by Bob Drebin.

Palo Alto senior Patrick Sheehan finished second at 160 pounds at the CCS Wrestling Championships, earning a trip to the CIF State Meet. Photo by Bob Drebin.

Gunn senior Phil Park (right) finished fourth at 285 pounds at the CCS finals, earning a trip to the CIF State Meet. Photo by Bob Drebin.

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