SAN LEANDRO — It was a bittersweet day for the Castro Valley wrestling team on Saturday afternoon. The Trojans took first place in the Hayward Area Athletic League tournament championships at San Leandro High.

With a final score of 239.5 points, the Trojans easily beat San Leandro (167.5). The victory also marks the third straight HAAL championship for Castro Valley. Eight individual titles were won by the Trojans, with the Pirates grabbing four.

"Everything pretty much went the way I was hoping it would," Castro Valley coach Josh Wheeler said.

However, the Trojans were dealt a big blow in the final of the 135-pound class. Castro Valley's Chris Mata went up against Mt. Eden's Jacob Cisneros with the title on the line.

With both wrestlers tied up, Mata came up with a serious injury to his ankle and was taken to the hospital to have an X-ray.

"That was very heart-breaking about (Mata)," Wheeler said. "He's been with us all four years. It's a shame his senior season had to end like this."

The top three finishers in each weight class advance to the North Coast Section championships. The Trojans will send 13 grapplers to the championships, which start next Friday at Newark Memorial High.

Christian Gascon (103), George Montesdeoca (125), Mike Busch (130), Ryden Ishida (145), Jonathan Dirnu (152), Ben Crosby (171), Shayne Bonsall (215) and Drew Ardito (275) won individual titles for Castro Valley.


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For San Leandro, Mark Jay Acosta (112) won his second straight HAAL championship, scoring a technical fall over Castro Valley's James Mata, 19-2 in the finals. Duy Tran (140), Farid Siddiqi (160) and Garrett Liang also won their respective classes for the Pirates.

Acosta expects a good showing at the NCS championships and has set lofty goals.

"I expect to win (NCS), and my goal is to make it and win in the state championships," he said. " I have to train hard and be mentally and physically prepared for it."

Arroyo's Kyle Smith beat Nathan Jacobowitz of San Leandro 2-0 to win the 119-pound class.

In one of the most exciting finals matches, Ardito met Mt. Eden's Jeffrey Brenner in the 275-pound division. Brenner fought back from an 8-5 deficit, tying the score at 10 heading into the final period. Ardito took control of the period, scoring six of the next seven points before pinning Brenner at the 5:40 mark.

Along with Acosta, Montesdeoca and Crosby were also repeat champions.

Arroyo, which finished third with 140 points, will send 10 representatives to NCS, while Mt. Eden and Hayward will send six and three, respectively.