Moorpark College sends two wrestlers to the state championship after going to 2-3 during the regular season

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Moorpark College sends two wrestlers to the state championship after going to 2-3 during the regular season

Coach Lindley Kistler talking to the wrestlers before practice for the State Championships. Photo credit: Alex Behunin

Coach Lindley Kistler talking to the wrestlers before practice for the State Championships. Photo credit: Alex Behunin

Coach Lindley Kistler talking to the wrestlers before practice for the State Championships. Photo credit: Alex Behunin

Coach Lindley Kistler talking to the wrestlers before practice for the State Championships. Photo credit: Alex Behunin

By Alex Behunin

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Despite having a losing season, Moorpark College has two wrestlers in the Junior College State Championship.

“I’m not happy about our record this season, we could have been 4-1 easily,” said Lindley Kistler, head coach of the Moorpark College wrestling team. “Injuries really cost us this year. We should have had at least five or six wrestlers in the state championships.”

Moorpark College, in just their second year back with having a wrestling program, finished 2-3 in the Western State Conference. Moorpark held its own in a tough conference, with colleges going undefeated and only losing one dual. Moorpark had few heartbreaking losses to Bakersfield and East Los Angeles with the dual coming down to the last match.

Sophomore Robert Flores who wrestles at 174 pounds qualified at the Regional Tournament by taking fifth place to compete in the Junior College State Championship. Flores went undefeated at home and finished with a record of 15-7 and is ranked fifth in the state.

Robert Flores

Robert Flores shooting on teammate during practice. Photo credit: Alex Behunin

“I really enjoyed this season. I felt there was more camaraderie with the team, and I really grew and had more confidence from last year,” said Flores. “There were some matches this year where I let my mind get the best of me, and at this stage, if other wrestlers see that weakness, they take advantage of it.”

Getting coached

Coach Lindley Kistler giving Robert Flores some wrestling pointers during practice. Photo credit: Alex Behunin

When asked what his expectations are for the state championship Flores said, “I definitely want to win state but right now realistically I just want to win every match that is in front of me.”

Sophomore Devin Top who wrestles at 165 pounds, also qualified for the Regional Tournament by taking third place to compete in the state championship. Top is ranked seventh in the state.

Pre game planning

Coach Lindley Kistler showing Devin Top some footage of his opponent ahead of his match at state to help him prepare. Photo credit: Alex Behunin


“I did not have the best record, but I progressed [in] this season a lot,” said Top. “Nothing went wrong this season, I would like to say. I just kept getting better and better which was my goal at the start of the season. Now my focus is to wrestle very well at the state championships and hopefully I will win.”

Finding the motivation at the end of the season can be very tiresome because the wrestlers are looking forward to having some time off to rest their bodies.

“After practice, I work out some more and go on a run to ensure I will be in the best shape for the state championship.”

This is the second year in a row that Moorpark College has sent two or more wrestlers to the state championship. Last year there were four wrestlers that qualified, including Robert Flores.

The brackets are set for the state championships that are at Cerritos College on December 8, 2018.

Top who is the third seed wrestles against Kevin Garcia from Chabot College in the first round.

Flores is the fifth seed wrestler against Isaac Bertalotto, from Sacramento City College in the first round.

Wrestling practice

Devin Top and Robert Flores wrestling before state championships Photo credit: Alex Behunin

As for the upcoming off-season, Moorpark College will most likely lose Flores and Top because they will be committing to four-year universities.

“We will have some weight classes up for grabs this off-season because we will be losing a few wrestlers,” said Kistler. “The wrestlers who red-shirted this year will have a chance to lock up a weight class.”

Luke Troy, a division 1 wrestler, has committed to Moorpark College for the 2019 season.

“Me and my brother coached Luke Troy since he was very young. He is a special individual and is someone you can build a team around,” Kistler said.

The Junior College State Championship is at Cerritos College and started on Friday, Dec. 7 at 8 a.m. and goes through to Saturday, Dec. 8 at 8:30 p.m.

For more information on the championship, please visit their website.

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