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Finals determine Rio Hondo League's best

Wrestling: Area's top wrestlers battle for league titles, trips to CIF in Rio Hondo League Finals at Monrovia Saturday.

February 04, 2012|By Andrew Shortall, andrew.shortall@latimes.com

MONROVIA — With the top team decided Tuesday, it was time to determine the league's top wrestlers in the Rio Hondo League Finals at Monrovia High Saturday.

La Cañada, San Marino, South Pasadena and Monrovia's wrestlers battled through two matches to determine the best wrestler in each weight class and who'd earn a trip to the CIF Individual Tournament, with spots given to the top two wrestlers in each class.

The Spartans came out on top Saturday, as they did as a team in the league standings, with seven league champions and three second-place finishers.

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"Seven league champs is always good and we have 10 going to CIF," La Cañada Coach Gavin Williams said. "I am proud of them, proud of all of them. It shows all the stuff we tell the guys about working hard. My guys just fight, that's all I ask them to do."

The Tigers, who finished third as a team in league, and Wildcats each had three league champs with South Pasadena sending four other wrestlers onto CIF with second-place finishes, including Charlie Barrone (132).

"I kind of envisioned this is how we would do," South Pasadena Coach Al Shuton said. "Overall, I am pretty content. I can't really complain, I am taking seven to CIF and most of my team is young."

San Marino senior Andrew Barth repeated as the 160-pound champ with a quick pin over South Pas' Zach Gershman.

"Both titles are just as sweet. Last year the other guy was the favorite and the senior," said Barth, who was top dog this year. "My guy was tough this year, but I came out ready and did what I needed to do."

It was a tough day for San Marino outside of Barth's dominance, as the Titans, who finished second in league, sent six wrestlers to the final round but only Barth had his hand raised in the end.

"We had some ups and downs today — some guys fell short of the expectations we had," San Marino Coach Joe Gallardo said. "I am not disappointed with them, but I think some of them realized this was a new pressure they never had to deal with before and they started doubting themselves. You can't doubt yourself because it's over at that point."

The Spartans' Daniel Wyatt earned his second straight league title at 113 pounds by pinning the Titans' Paul Krimmel early in the second period on a wild reversal after Krimmel scored a near fall to start the second.

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