The final run ep 2: Wrestling

Exploring seniors Hayden Ancheta and Aditya Mishra’s experiences with their last high school wrestling season and CCS Tournament

In the 2022-23 winter sports season, Boys Basketball, Girls Basketball and Wrestling all advanced to the CIF Central Coast Section playoffs. In this podcast, we will discuss Varsity Wrestling seniors Hayden Ancheta’s and Aditya Mishra’s experiences at CCS and their thoughts on their final season of high school.

Hayden Ancheta

EE: What are your thoughts on your personal performance throughout the season?

HA: I think throughout the season, from start to finish, it was pretty solid. I definitely had a pretty historic season. I didn’t end it off the way I wanted it to, which really does suck, considering how well I was doing during [the] season, but I just [have] to live with that and learn from it. I look back on it and it’s always going to sting, but I’m glad that I was able to show how good I was during [the] season. They say that it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish, and I didn’t finish the way I wanted to finish off, but I still got farther than anyone has at this school in the last two decades, so I think that that’s OK.

EE: Can you describe your full experience with qualifying and participating in CCS?

HA: For me the CCS tournament was a pretty easy tournament up until the finals. Put simply, Central Coast Section, in my eyes, wasn’t that hard. I went to higher caliber tournaments and won it, and the only reason I didn’t win CCS was mainly due to one person who I met in the finals during leagues, regionals and CCS, and he ended up becoming a state finalist. He was ranked number two in the state and I was ranked number five in the state, but if you put that into comparison with just CCS, CCS was not that big of a tournament for me, it was more of a ‘I’ve gotta get through this to get to state’ kind of thing. I feel almost bad saying that because I know it’s a really big deal to qualify for CCS for some people. For example, in the past four years we’ve only had four qualifiers for CCS, and I was two of them [in two separate years]. If we look on the grander scale of things, CCS is actually pretty small, because it’s just one step at a time and CCS is just in the way of that ultimate goal, which is a state title.

EE: You mentioned that your season didn’t end the way you wanted it to, what exactly are you referencing?

HA: I wanted to become a state champion, that was always the ending goal for me. I was ranked number five in the state going into the state tournament [and] took second at CCS right behind Antonio Rodriguez, who ended up becoming a state finalist this year, and things didn’t go as planned. I lost right before the quarters. I got upset by the number 12 in the state, 0-3 on a last second thing. Then, on the backside, I lost a round before bloods, which is the placing round, and I ended up top 16 in the state, which was a huge underperformance on my part. I totally underperformed on how I was expected to and how I know I’m capable of. Leagues is a qualifier for Regionals, Regionals is a qualifier for CCS, and CCS is the qualifier for State […] top three from CCS qualify for state, and I was a finalist this year alongside Antonio, so I went to State. I think it’s been seven years since someone from Monta Vista has qualified for a state tournament, even longer since someone was seeded at the State Tournament, but I didn’t place.

EE: What are your plans in the future in regards to wrestling?

HA: I’m going to nationals this year in the summer, and then after that I’m going to be wrestling at San Francisco State University. It was between that and Westpoint and I just felt like San Francisco State is a better fit for me and also some logistical things just weren’t panning out for me. Gonna be wrestling at SF, Division 2. My goal has always been D1, but I’m just taking the long road to get there. I think SF State is a great place. I love the community there, love the coaches, love the team, the team is amazing. It’s close to home and it’s nice. I like it a lot.

Aditya Mishra

EE: Can you briefly describe what the process is like to qualify for CCS?

AM: Initially, we have leagues, which [are] basically the 14 teams that are around us, and you have to qualify [in the] top seven in your weight category. So each person has to qualify for leagues and if you’re top seven in leagues, then you qualify for sectionals, which is another tournament where you have to qualify top eight and if you qualify top eight in sectionals, [you are] able to make CCS.

EE: What are your thoughts on your personal performance throughout the season?

AM: Overall, I was pretty disappointed. I think I could have been a lot better. I think winter [break] really threw me off because I was learning a lot this last season because it’s my senior year. I was putting in a lot more effort. I didn’t have as many distractions. And then [during] winter break, I was off [to] Spain. I came back and I was off weight and then the rest of the season, I was struggling with maintaining my weight and I think that added a lot [of stress]. But at the beginning of winter, I was able to find my flow and that’s when I was able to start to wrestle a lot better. And then I was right on time for leagues and sectionals which is why I was able to make CCS. 

EE: Can you describe your full experience with qualifying and participating in CCS matches?

AM: Qualifying for CCS was pretty huge. I really didn’t expect to [qualify]. I think this year was [pretty] tough for me, so I didn’t have a lot of expectations. But I think I went into sectionals. I just wrestled my game. [I] was in my fourth match and I realized I qualified for CCS and that was huge because I think it was only me and Hayden [who were] the two boys who qualified at that point. I was really happy about it and I was pretty excited to wrestle one more week [and] continue my season, and then going to CCS and being able to see all the best wrestlers, that was also really fun. Both of my matches at CCS were against two tough opponents.  I mean, I did lose but both matches were really fun, [especially] against two people [with] two different styles of wrestling I’d never seen before. So I think it just goes to show that CCS is a fun competition and I’m really glad I made it and I enjoyed it.

EE: Do you have any plans in the future to continue wrestling?

AM: I don’t, but I wouldn’t be closed off to it. I think in college, a lot of schools I’m currently [considering] are D1, which would [make it] hard to make the team, but if it’s casual wrestling or intramural, like clubs, I would definitely be open to doing that.