Azusa wrestling coming on strong

The Azusa High School wrestling team, under first-year coach Steve Esquer, got off to a slow start, but the Aztecs have found their second wind lately. Azusa, sparked by the emergence of heavyweight Bernardo Delgado and 215-pound competitor Colton Johnson, has come on in recent weeks. It is 5-2 overall in dual meets and 3-1 in the Montview League. The Aztecs have done it despite Esquer coming on board a little more than a month before the start of the season. “I just want to resurrect the program and see where it goes,” Esquer said. “Considering that I didn’t see these kids until late October, I think we’ve come a long way. I think we can finish the season strong and end it on a good note.”
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The Aztecs’ strength comes at heavyweight, where Delgado appears to be one of the top competitors in his weight class in the area.

The senior, who is undefeated in league, is 10-1 overall and finished second at the Brea Invitational in December.

“I can see him going to (the CIF state championships), if he can stay healthy,” Esquer said. “He just needs to stay focused and concentrate. He is very smart, very gifted.

“But the one thing I like the most about him is that he’s very coachable.”

Johnson also has been solid and advanced to the semifinals of the Brea Invitational, where he scored three falls before finishing sixth.

Others who have done well for the Aztecs are Juan Selgado (171), Pablo Vasquez (103), Javier Arellano (130), Quincy Chacon (145) and Candace Weir (130).

Azusa finishes up the league dual season with matches against Workman and Bassett before league finals early next month.

Delgado and Johnson also could make a run during the CIF-Southern Section individual championships, which are scheduled for late February.


West Covina’s Stephanie Lopez and Northview’s Brazel Marquez won individual titles at last weekend’s CIF State Southern California Regional girls championships at Oxnard High School.

Lopez won by fall over La Sierra’s Daisey Banea and scored a pin at 2:51 to win the 108-pound class. It was the senior’s fourth consecutive regional title.

Marquez also won by fall by pinning West Covina’s Samantha Ortiz at 5:10 to win the 114-pound title.

The Vikings also received runner-up efforts from Stephanie Pernillo, who lost 6-5 to Sherlyn Sabado of Laguna Hills in the 103-pound finals and Veronica Hernandez, who lost 3-1 to Anaheim’s Lizzette Tenorio in the heavyweight final.

West Covina’s Morgan Touhey also finished second after losing to Pioneer Valley’s Ashley Spencer by fall (2:51) in the 189 final.

Other solid efforts were turned in by Diamond Ranch’s Nicole Villanueva (third at 114) and Jade Medina (fourth at 138), Arroyo’s Angelica Bernal (third at 118), Northview’s Jocelyne Cabral (fourth at 146) and South Hills’ Angie Lazcano (third at heavyweight).

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