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Upperweights reign at Rio Hondo League wrestling finals for La Cañada High

Wrestling: Spartans claim four championships, advance eight grapplers to Eastern Division Championships.

February 01, 2014|By Andrew J. Campa, andrew.campa@latimes.com
  • La Cañada High heavyweight wrestler Guillermo Padilla pins St. Paul High's Justin Urquidez in the Rio Hondo League individual wrestling finals at Monrovia High on Saturday. (Raul Roa/Staff Photographer)
La Cañada High heavyweight wrestler Guillermo…

MONROVIA — Perhaps as expected, the La Cañada High wrestling program was consistent to a fault at Saturday afternoon’s Rio Hondo League individual wrestling championships at Monrovia High.

On a day in which the Spartans dominated the upperweights in winning four championships, second overall to the six titles won by powerful San Marino, there was still a feeling that perhaps more could have been accomplished, especially at the middle and lowerweights.

In any event, the Spartans still qualified eight wrestlers to the CIF Southern Section Eastern Division Individual Wrestling Championships at Perris Citrus Hill High, with the two-day tournament beginning Feb. 21.

What is unknown is if La Cañada, the Rio Hondo League team runner-up with a 4-1 record, will participate at the CIF Southern Section Division VI Dual Meet Wrestling Championships at Redondo Union High on Feb. 8.

The 10th-ranked Spartans applied for one of five at-large berths within the division and will be informed if they have been selected when the pairings are announced by the CIF office on Thursday at 1 p.m.

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“We’re hoping to get that bid and I think we deserve it. We wrestled well this season,” La Cañada first-year Coach Justin Luthey said before making a near 180. “As for today, we did not wrestle well.

“In fact, we kind of did what was expected and that’s disappointing. I thought we’d have some other guys step up like the younger guys and it didn’t happen. The older guys, the seniors did what they were supposed to and I thought others would follow their lead.”

Two such Spartans seniors followed each other’s cue in 220-pounder Christian Tichon and heavyweight Guillermo Padilla.

Tichon claimed the league’s 220-pound crown when he pinned South Pasadena’s Aaron Phillips in 1:36.

“I’ve been waiting for this since my sophomore year,” said Tichon, who took a brief 2-0 lead before applying the pin. “I feel like I’ve kind of been cheated out of it. I got second my sophomore year and I got injured last year. I’ve really been waiting for this.”

With only a two-tenths-of-a-second differential, Padilla also pinned his opponent, St. Paul’s Justin Urquidez, in 1:36 after taking a 2-0 advantage with a takedown all while giggling before landing the fall.

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