Sunnyside wrestler Cristian Rivera commits to Air Force

(Rivera graphic)

Sunnyside is not only churning out state championships. The Blue Devil dynasty is also producing college wrestlers at a strong rate.

Sunnyside senior Cristian Rivera, a two-time state champion, committed to the United States Air Force Academy on Saturday.

The Blue Devils have earned 36 state titles, including the last six years under coach Anthony Leon.

Rivera’s commitment means he will join his older brother Jaime Rivera Jr. (West Point) next season as one of 12 female and male wrestlers from Sunnyside competing in college. One of them — Michael Avelar — is in his first year at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs (Colo.).

The list:

Roman Bravo-Young – Penn State

Anthony Echemendia – Ohio State/Iowa State

Rico Robles – Arizona Christian

Jesse Ybarra – Iowa

Sebastian Robles – Iowa

Jaime Rivera Jr. – West Point

Rene Fragoso – Arizona State

Tatiana Hernandez – Northern Iowa Area Community College

Fernando Villaescusa Jr. – Iowa State

Michael Avelar – Air Force Academy

James Armstrong Jr. – Grandview

Cristian Rivera – Air Force Academy

In addition to his two state championships the last two years, Cristian Rivera is an Academic All-American, maintaining a 4.2 GPA in Advancement Placement (AP)/Honors courses.

He won the state title at 132 pounds in 2021 and at 144 last season.

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