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Former Fresno City College wrestlers excel at the next level

Mar 31, 2021

Year in and year out, California Community College wrestlers move on to the four-year level for the sole purpose in which they were recruited: to help their new team succeed. That sentiment holds true the most for former Fresno City College wrestler Abner Romero, who helped Lindenwood University to a third place finish at the NCAA Division II National Championships. Romero, a 2018 CCCAA State Champion at 174 pounds for the Rams, matched that feat for the Lions, as he won the National Championship. The senior followed up an NWCA (National Wrestling Coaches Association) All-American season as a junior with his national title and second All-American honor.

"I predicted this," Romero told the Lindenwood athletics website. "A year ago today, I had this moment taken from me. I know things were out of everyone's control, but everything happens for a reason. This is not random. I worked harder than everyone else and just believed that I was better than everyone else. I'm better than I was a year ago, and all the hard work I put in paid off. I stayed ready so I didn't have to get ready."

A pair of former Fresno City wrestlers took seventh place at the NCAA Division III National Championships for their respective schools. Although it was not considered to be their official national tournament, that didn't prevent all of the competitors from giving it everything they had to offer. For 141-pound Louis Ramos of Central (IA) College, he registered a 7-0 victory over Luther College's Tyler DiFiore after opening with a tough 4-2 loss to Jalen Schropp of Loras College in his first match and finished in seventh place. With the Rams, Ramos took second place at the CCCAA State Championships at 141 pounds in 2018. Now wrestling for Loras College, Daniel Ruiz competed in a number of hard-fought matches at 157 lbs., recording a seventh place finish in a tough weight class. Ruiz started his tournament with victories over Ferrum College's Christian Hite and the United States Coast Guard Academies (USCGA) Anthony Ulaszek to gain a spot in the quarterfinals. After a setback, Ruiz rebounded and gutted out two victories to earn All-American honors and seventh place finish.

At the Big 12 Tournament, another former Fresno City wrestler Chris Gaxiola competed at 157 pounds and was pinned by Parker Simington of the Air Force in 6:54 in his lone match. While with the Rams, Gaxiola reached the CCCAA championship match at 149 in 2019, where his opponent in the championship match was Fresno City teammate Ruiz, who capped off a two-year career with his second state championship after a 1-0 win.

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