Best of 2001: Best High School Sports Program

Poway High School Wrestling

In 2001, Poway High School's wrestling team, under the direction of coach Wayne Branstetter, won the California Interscholastic Federation San Diego Section Division I Championship with eight of its wrestlers taking first in eight of 14 weight classes. And the team finished fourth in the entire state, with Patrick Payne (121 pounds), Andy Kim (132 pounds), and Matt Cook (154 pounds) finishing sixth, second, and fourth in their weight classes. The crazy thing is, 2001 was a down year for Poway wrestling. They lost their first dual meet to a San Diego County team in 23 years. Rancho Buena Vista, the team that beat them, also deprived the Titans of a league title for the first time in 26 years. And RBV, with two wrestlers winning the state in their weight classes, finished a notch ahead of Poway in third. Still, Poway now has a streak of 15 consecutive CIF titles going (19 out of the last 20), it has won two state titles (in 1986 and 1999), and perennially, they are ranked among the top-five wrestling teams in the state. No other San Diego high school team, in any sport, can boast that kind of record.

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