April 19, 2024
Central Coast Section powerhouse Gilroy, led by MMA star Daniel Cormier, finishes third in boys team standings, fourth in girls competition.

It was another memorable season for Gilroy’s wrestling team, capped by its strong showing at the California Interscholastic Federation championships on Saturday in Bakersfield.

The Mustangs finished third in the boys team standings after three of their wrestlers captured individual titles.

Cody Merrill at 285 pounds, one of the all-time greats, finished his high school career with a 3-2 victory over St. John Bosco-Bellflower junior Nicholas Sahakian in the final.

After Merrill placed first in his weight class at the Central Coast Section championship last weekend, Gilroy coach Daniel Cormier called his star “the greatest wrestler in Gilroy history” — enormous praise given the high level talent that has come through the Mustangs program through the years.

Merrill is headed to wrestling powerhouse Oklahoma State for college.

Gilroy junior Daniel Zepeda, who competes at 138 pounds, also raised his arms in triumph on Saturday after he toppled Poway senior Paul Kelly 6-2 in the title match.

In the next weight class up, 144, Gilroy senior Moses Mirabal celebrated a state title when he edged Buchanan-Clovis sophomore Joseph Toscano 2-1 in the final.

Gilroy also had a strong showing on the girls side, finishing fourth as a team.

Three girls from the Bay Area News Group’s coverage area finished as runners-up in the finals: Oakland Tech junior Shayna Ward (120 pounds), Gilroy sophomore Tamara Grace (130) and Santa Clara junior Angelinah De Leon (155).

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Poway finished first in the boys standings. Walnut captured the girls team title.