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Varsity wrestling dominates in “King of the Hills” dual-meet

Brian Harward staff writer

Varsity wrestling defeated Lawndale, Calabasas and Torrance high schools in the King of the Hills tournament on Wednesday, Nov. 28.

The team began with a close win over Lawndale, defeating the Cardinals 47-27. Then they dominated Torrance and Calabasas, with final scores of 66-18 and 54-18, respectively. The meet commenced with senior co-captain Sebastian Fanucci, who pinned his opponent in the first 16 seconds of the match.

“My match felt good. I went in confident and I had a gameplan. I mean, my coach maybe wanted me to have the match go a little longer, but I really wanted to start the tournament off with a bang,” Fanucci said.

The next wrestler, however, found less success in his first match. Senior Mateo de Camargo Hanley lost his match by pin in the second round.

“My match felt not so great. It was the first match of the season and I had a lot of nerves going in. I expect a lot of myself, and for me my struggle is translating from practice to competition, and that match was me easing into competition,” Hanley said.

Halfway through the match against Lawndale, the team was down by a point. Coach Ryan Faintich points to the younger wrestlers stepping up as what won them that match.

“The less experienced guys won the matches for us. After [the] 106 [weight class], we were down by a point and it was a nail biter, then from 113 to 138 [weight classes] we didn’t lose a match. A lot of those guys are all sophomores,” Faintich said.

Junior co-captain Daniel Heller, who was 3-0 in matches during the meet, took away many positives from the strong showing of his team during the meet.

“I’m just really excited to start the season off on a positive note. I’m glad with the way that whole dual meet turned out, and I’m glad with the result of my match,” Heller said.

Other wrestlers also found success. Senior Jack Schulman was 3-0 with three pins, junior Max Vasquez was 2-1 and sophomore Daniel Winn was 2-1 in matches. Going into the meet, Faintich was excited for the team’s first taste of competition, and was proud of the result.

“We wanted to get our toes wet in this meet, but at the same time we wanted to set the tone for what’s expected for the rest of the year,” Faintich said. “You want to go out there and dominate, win the right way and, for the most part, our team got it done.”

Wrestling’s next varsity meet is on Dec. 2 at the Beresford Invitational at Rim of the World High School. The team sees themselves as having a chance at placing in the top 5, something not accomplished by the wrestling team at a major tournament since the Nixon era.

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