For one, the 2016 GMAC wrestling tournament was more of the same with South Dade dominating once again.
On the other hand, the event was unique with the inaugural girls’ bracket.
With six male wrestlers winning individual GMAC titles — and one girl — 10-time state champion South Dade recorded 325 1/2 points, good enough to beat second-place Southwest by more than a 100-point margin and notch the seventh consecutive team GMAC title for the Buccaneers on Saturday at Doral Ronald Reagan High.
“They’re peaking at the right time,” South Dade coach Vic Balmeceda said. “To me, when GMAC starts, it’s considered playoff time. It’s a preview of what could happen in the regional championship.”
Heavyweight Kyron Taylor, also an offensive guard on the football team, capped off the night with a pin of Coral Gables’ Jaafari Stephens.
Two-time state champion Ozzy Lugo (145 pounds) hopes his third consecutive GMAC title can eventually be parlayed into a third state title in a row. The GMAC tournament is a producer of nostalgia for him.
“I remember being in the GMAC’s gym when I was 4 or 5 years old, watching bigger guys wrestle,” Lugo said. “Now those guys come here and watch me.”
At 190, Chei Hell, also an All-Dade defensive end in football, won a highly contested match with Southwest’s Adolfo Sotolongo to make it two GMAC titles in a row for the defending state runner-up.
Freshman Brevin Balmeceda (132), who won a state title as an eighth-grader at Keys Gate last season, won a decision at 132. He now has 138 career high school victories in a career that still has a long way to go. Elijah Varona started off the GMAC finals winning his 106-pound division 21-6.
Outside of South Dade’s core five, Peter Webb (120) benefited from avoiding Southridge’s Randy McCray, the defending state runner-up who was taking the SAT, in the semifinal and went on to win an 11-4 decision in the final.
The two that South Dade didn’t get in the finals were at 152 and 160 — losing each to a Southridge foe.
Southridge senior Marcos Perez defeated South Dade freshman Todd Perry in a 12-3 major decision at 152. At 160, Luis Rios recovered in overtime after surrendering a 6-4 lead in regulation to defeat Aaron Flores 8-6.
Columbus also had two champions with Kyle Mann (220), who doubles as a first-team All-Dade offensive lineman, and Chris Bentley (138).
Other individual GMAC title winners were Braddock’s Alex Victor (113), Southwest’s Franco Valdes (126), North Miami’s Deandre Chery (170) and Goleman’s Enrique Kelly (182).
The first four GMAC girls’ champions were crowned. They were Jackson’s Cynthia Aldama (120), Jackson’s Tisiana Jones (150), Reagan’s Mailliw Roman (180) and South Dade’s Brianna Powell —Jones, Roman and Powell with pins.
Team standings — 1. South Dade 325.5, 2. Southwest 231.5, 3. Southridge 217.5, 4. Columbus 205.5, T-5. Braddock 113, T-5. Coral Gables 113, 7. Miami Beach 111.5, 8. Killian 106.5, 9. Palmetto 101, 10. North Miami 88.5.
Boys’ championship results — 106: Elijah Varona (SD) tech. Charles Huffman (COL) 21-6; 113: Alex Victor (BRA) d. Angel Perez (SW) 8-1; 120: Peter Webb (SD) d. Edgar Martinez (COL) 11-4; 126: Franco Valdes (SW) pin Anthony Vizcaino (CG) 4:26; 132: Brevin Balmeceda (SD) d. Alex Urquiza (SW) 7-2; 138: Chris Bentley (COL) d. Emmanuel Nordelo (SM) 9-5 ; 145: Ozzy Lugo maj. d. Angel Delcuento (SW) 13-5; 152: Marcos Perez (SR) maj. d. Todd Perry (SD) 12-3; 160: Luis Rios (SR) d. Aaron Flores (SD) 8-6; 170: Deandre Chery (NM) pin William Santana (BRA) 3:58; 182: Enrique Kelly (GOL) d. Leonard Wooten (CR) 9-4; 195: Chei Hill (SD) d. Adolfo Sotolongo (SW) 4-2; 220: Kyle Mann (COL) pin Giovanny Mentor (KIL) 3:50;285: Kyron Taylor (SD) pin Jaafari Stephens (CG) 2:26.
Girls’ championship results — 120: Cynthia Aldama (JAC) d. Hilary Geffard (JAC) 4-0; 150: Tisiana Jones (JAC) pin Eunique Davis (PAL) 3:38; 180: Mailliw Roman (RR) pin Dhelsea Guillaume (NM) 3:52; HWT: Brianna Powell (SD) pin Julliet Vazquez (CG) 1:03.