The Golden League sent 56 wrestlers into the Southern Section Central Division individual championships Friday at Brea Olinda High, where action concludes today, with 14 weight-class finals scheduled between 5 and 7 p.m. Antelope Valley (16-4), which won its first league title since 1987 and advanced to last week’s Div. V Dual Meet title match, is represented at Brea Olinda by 11 wrestlers, including returning Masters Meet qualifier Eric Timson and five other league champions. Three-time league champion Josh Purpus leads a team-maximum 14 qualifiers for Highland (32-9), which finished second in the Golden League and lost 34-30 to champion Royal of Simi Valley in the Div V Dual Meet tournament. Two-time league champions Jeff Merrill (112) and Kevin Plunkett (215) lead an eight-entry Lancaster contingent. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant Quartz Hill (seven entries), Palmdale and Knight (six each) and Littlerock (five) also opened postseason individual competition at Brea Olinda, with the top five wrestlers in each class advancing to the Feb. 24-25 Masters Meet at Fountain Valley. Timson, who has gone 34-3 with 24 pins at 140 pounds this season, came within one victory of qualifying for the state meet last season, then won his first league title this season, following three consecutive second-place finishes. Timothy Javines (145), Myron Castro (160), Justin Paulson (171), Luis Michel (189) and Willie Carranza (103) are the Antelopes’ other league champions at Brea Olinda. Purpus, Jon Vaughn (119), Gerry Galaviz (135) and Ryan Gifford (152) are league champions for Highland. Other Golden League champions at Brea Olinda are Lancaster’s Irvin Garcia (130) and Palmdale’s Giovanni Sarran (heavyweight). Dual Meet finals: Antelope Valley and Highland made a strong showing at the 16-team Div. V Dual Meet finals at Kaiser last week, the Antelopes reaching the title match for the first time and three-time section dual-meet champion Highland giving two-time champion Royal its closest match of the day. “It was our toughest match of the whole tournament, I thought,” said Kevin Dunn, Royal’s junior standout, who is ranked No. 2 in the state at 119 pounds. Antelope Valley received another solid performance from Timson and a huge win from Javines, whose near-fall in the closing seconds of the final bout against No. 2 seeded Cajon secured a 37-36 semifinal victory that gave the Antelopes their first section title-match appearance. “I knew that I had to win so that we could get to the final,” said Javines, a senior who took a 34-6 record into section individual competition. “I did my thing and I ended up winning.” Javines said the Antelopes’ success at the Dual Meet finals exceeded what he thought they could accomplish this season. “We thought we could win league,” he said, “but we surpassed our expectations.” Looking ahead: Highland coach Mike Young is looking forward to next season after doing better than he expected with a young team that had seniors in only half of the 14 starting weights. “We had a lot of young kids in our lineup,” Young said after the quarterfinal loss to Royal. “I was real proud of the way they wrestled. When you’re the eighth seed you face the first seed in the second round, and we gave it a heck of a go.” Royal, which lost just once all season, didn’t clinch the win over Highland until the next-to-last bout of the match. “This team is a young group of kids in a year that was supposed to be rebuilding,” Young said. “Granted, we’re second in the league in a tie, and, granted, we’re out in the quarterfinals in CIF to the top seed, but I don’t think we have anything to be ashamed about this group. “I tell you what, look out for this group next year. Some my top kids are coming back next year – Randy Wallerstein, Gerry Galaviz, Ryan Gifford, Mike Larkin.” Dave Shelburne, (818) 713-3609 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!