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CdM's Forrest seeks state finals

Corona del Mar junior 215-pounder wants to reach state finals, or he's leaning toward making this his last season as a wrestler.

February 24, 2011|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza, david.carrillo@latimes.com
(Kent Treptow / Daily…)

Coach Gary Almquist checked inside the Corona del Mar High wrestling room Thursday. He wanted to make sure the heater was running.

He was getting the room ready for Cody Forrest.

The 215-pounder was on his way to campus for a light workout in the afternoon before taking off for his next tournament.

The temperature inside the room gets as high as 85 degrees. While it is warm inside, Forrest said he is losing the burning desire to continue with the sport.

Wrestlers competing around this time of the year usually want to keep going because they have worked so hard to get to this point. Forrest is the lone CdM wrestler at today's CIF Southern Section Masters Meet in Temecula Valley.

Whether the junior returns to the Sea Kings' program next season depends on how he does at the two-day tournament.

"I'm not 100% positive yet," Forrest said of next season because he "gets burned out sometimes" with wrestling.

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"I need a break. I've been doing wrestling … for like three years. I haven't done any other sports for a while. It's just the same thing over and over."

Forrest said Almquist is aware that he might not be back next season. Almquist's best hope to convince Forrest to return is to see Forrest reach the CIF State Championships.

No wrestler in Almquist's 15 seasons at CdM has advanced to state. Forrest can break through and be the first.

Can Forrest pull it off? He must place in the top nine for an opportunity to move on to Bakersfield, home of the state finals.

Forrest thinks he has driven through the town before, but does not remember the reason why. Getting back there for a chance to wrestle is something he will never forget.

Getting to Bakersfield will also have a huge impact at CdM.

"I think if I get to state this year, I'd definitely wrestle next year," said Forrest, adding that if he does not make it to state, there is a 40% chance he does not wrestle again.

Almquist believes Forrest has a shot to qualify for state. He showed signs of what it takes last week.

Forrest, the Daily Pilot Athlete of the Week, turned it on at the CIF Southern Section Coastal Division tournament after dropping his first match. One more loss and he understood he was done at Pacifica High in Oxnard.

A long drive back home was all Forrest had to look forward to if he lost again. He fought his way out of the consolation round, winning five straight matches to place in the tournament and move on to Masters for the first time.

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