WATCH: Wrestling brings home seven medals from All-City champs

Originally published on March 18, 2015

Amidst the cheers of parents and the grunts of wrestlers, the Cardinals manage to pull in third at the All-City championship on Feb. 21, with a total of 134 points.

The Cardinals took home four gold medals, two silver medals and one bronze.

With a team mostly made up of first-year wrestlers, Lowell competed against nine other high schools with ten wrestlers — seven of whom placed as semi-finalists in their weight classes. The Cardinals took home four gold medals, two silver medals and one bronze. Galileo seized first with 189.5 points, and Washington followed with 143 points.

A highlight of the match included sophomore Marco Kwan’s victory by decision, or winning with less than eight points, in the 113-pound weight class. “He was wrestling a guy that [senior captain] Aldren Pasol lost to twice, and managed to beat him four to three with only 10 seconds left on the clock,” head coach Michael Wise said.

Sophomore Chris O’Neill wrestles against a Galileo Lions opponent during All-City on Feb. 21. O’Neill clinched first place in the 106-pound weight class. Lowell placed third with a total of 134 points behind the Lions and the Washington Eagles.

Others who placed in their weight classes were sophomore Christopher O’Neill in the 106-pound weight class, junior Asa Jungreis in the 126-pound weight class and senior Cris Sanchez in the 195-pound weight class. Pasol and sophomore John Cedrick Dente placed second in the 120-pound- and 182-pound weight classes, respectively.

With the Cardinals placing in seven weight classes, they were on-par with their high expectations. “I definitely expected that we would place first in several weight classes,” Pasol said. “Going in, I expected everyone to do their best and they did, and I’m proud of them for it.”

Junior Asa Jungreis overwhelms his opponent in the finals match, winning the 126-pound weight class. Photo by Kelley Grade

Throughout the season, the team had grown tremendously, according to Wise. “It’s like being with family,” Wise said. “You don’t realize that they are growing until you look back and check their progress.”

“I just want Lowell to have more kids in the team, especially in the mid- and heavy-weights.”

With so many new additions to the team this year, veteran wrestlers stepped up to fill in leadership roles. “It doesn’t matter how many leaders you have,” Pasol said. “It’s about being the best role model you can be, since everyone looks up to you.”

Next season, Wise plans to focus on expanding the team even more. “I just want Lowell to have more kids in the team, especially in the mid- and heavy-weights,” he said.

With the season coming to a close, the team looks ahead to a positive future. “The first years surpassed my expectations,” Pasol said. “If this core group stays together, I can definitely see them winning All-City next year.”

MVP: Chris O’Neill

The Lowell has chosen O’Neill as the wrestling team’s Most Valuable Player this season. Photo by Kelley Grade

After finishing with a strong season, sophomore Christopher O’Neill easily pins down the spot for Most Valuable Player.

For his first year, O’Neill has come out with multiple successes from the season. “In addition to winning the SF Section Championship in a dominating fashion, O’Neill has also competed in nine tournaments this season and medaled in every single one of them,” head coach Michael Wise said. “Nobody else on the team came close to that accomplishment.”

“Nobody else on the team came close to that accomplishment.”

O’Neill attributes his success to the motivation he gets from his team. “[My teammates] put so much faith in me when we go to tournaments,” O’Neill said. “Like, when we go to a tournament and at the tournament, people on the team lose their first match, they say that they know I can get the first win for the team and get things fired up. And then I actually do it.”

With the season coming to a close, O’Neill looks ahead to the next season with high hopes. “For the future of the team, my goal is to have all of us winning All-City and going to State,” he said.