SAN LORENZO -- In the inaugural West Alameda County Conference wrestling championships at Arroyo High, Castro Valley, which had seven individual champions, edged San Leandro for first place with 209 points. San Leandro finished with 182 followed by Albany (149.5).
Leading the way for Castro Valley was 134-pounder Diego Lazares. The junior claimed his second straight league crown -- he won the now-defunct Hayward Area Athletic League title last year -- with a pin in 3 minutes, 52 seconds over Mt. Eden's Jonathan Sturholm.
"I've definitely done more conditioning this season and I feel ready," Lazares said of his run into the postseason.
The top three finishers advanced to the North Coast Section Championships next week at Newark Memorial. A year ago, Lazares went 2-2 at NCS at 120 pounds. Ranked No. 40 in the state according to www.thecaliforniawrestler.com, Lazares has one thing on his mind.
"My goal when I was a freshman was to make state my junior year," he said.
He began this year at 145 pounds and then dropped to 138 around the midway point of the season and now to what he considers his ideal weight at 134.
"It's helped me out a lot," Lazares said of dropping weight classes. "A lot of moves I was doing then wasn't working and they're working now."
The most thrilling match of the day came at 197 pounds as Bob Ely of Albany outlasted Michael Ponce of Hayward in two overtimes, 6-5.
Easily the second-best match was another overtime cliffhanger that saw Arroyo's Ben Sira beat Albany's Alex Malanche at 184 pounds with a takedown in overtime for a 6-4 victory. It was Sira's second straight league crown.