By Yolanda FengJunior team captain Giovani Thai (right) prepares to attack an opponent from Galileo on Feb 7. Photo by Christina Johnson
Lowell’s varsity wrestling team defeated the Galileo Lions in their last home game of the season on Feb. 7, with a shockingly close score of 37–36.
At the start of the dual meet, the Cardinals were already down by 18 points due to forfeits. The Cards currently lack wrestlers in the 182-, 220-, and 285-pound weight classes, resulting in six free forfeited points per weight class for the Lions. With a huge disadvantage, the Cardinals had to aim for pins, which gives the winning wrestler of the match additional points to their win.
The night’s lineup began with the 160 weight class up to the 285, and then from the 106 class to the 152 weight bracket.
Senior co-captain Sanchez O’Leary kicked off the game by representing the 160 weight class. O’Leary won by a pin, despite his performance not having been his best, O’ Leary said.
Freshman Caden Chan attempts to pin his opponent. Photo by Christina Kan
After this win, the Cardinals’ performance consisted of multiple losses and forfeits. Freshman Jack Cost (170) was defeated by a Lion due to a technical fall. Freshman Antonio Vasquez (195) lost his match by pin. Freshman Finley Logan (106) lost by major decision, finishing his match with a score of 9–1.
At this point in the match, the Cardinals were down 33–6. Senior Brittney Dare (113) won by major decision 15–7, adding four points for the Cards. Following that, junior co-captain Giovani Thai was unable to beat his opponent, losing his match by decision, 4–3.
Sophomore Daniela Romo injured her knee during her match, but did not lose her focus, allowing her to eventually pin her opponent, taking the Cardinals to 16–36. Romo’s win was the turning point of the game, according to head coach Michael Wise.
Senior Jacob Goldstein (132) won by pin.
Sophomore Michael Ryaboy (138) won by forfeit. The Lions had a wrestler in the 138 class on the team, but did not put the wrestler in to compete.
Junior Slavik Gevorkyan (145) won by pin.
Freshman Caden Chan (152) won 6–4 due to overtime in his match. Chan’s victory allowed the Cardinals to secure a close 37–36 win, destroying previous expectations of losing to the Lions.
“There’s no question that without both Brittney and Daniela in the line-up, Lowell would not have won this dual.”
Despite competing against male opponents, female wrestlers Dare and Romo displayed spectacular performances. “There’s no question that without both Brittney and Daniela in the line-up, Lowell would not have won this dual,” Wise said.
This intense match had everyone in the gym on the edge of their seats. As O’Leary was first to finish his match, watching his teammates complete was an emotional rollercoaster, according to O’ Leary. Seeing the team overcome its deficit and restart the momentum almost left him in tears, O’Leary said.
On Feb. 14, the Cardinals failed to beat the Washington Eagles, resulting in a 40–36 match score. This loss kept the Cardinals tied with the Lincoln Mustangs in the Academic Athletic Association league. However, the team still clinched first place by virtue of their win over the Mustangs. The Cards will compete in the All-City Tournament at 9 a.m. on Feb. 17 at The Academy.