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La Cañada wrestling clinches share of league title with victory over South Pasadena

Consistency has been the key to a successful run for the La Cañada High wrestling team in its journey to regain the Rio Hondo League championship.

In a league match against South Pasadena, the Spartans went on the road with a chance to take a big step in achieving their goal.

La Cañada was triumphant over South Pasadena, 69-12, to clinch a share of the league title on Thursday.

“I don’t know what the secret sauce is, but I’m very grateful for these wrestlers for sticking with it,” La Cañada coach Justin Luthey said. “I know they’ve been working hard for four years, and a lot of kids, when they start to drive and all that kind of stuff, they start to flake out, so I appreciate that.”

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The Spartans (14-1, 3-0 in league) captured their third league crown in four years after San Marino won the championship last season. A win against Monrovia on Tuesday will secure the outright league title for La Cañada.

La Cañada received a decision victory from 145-pound senior Jaitra Menon and pins from 152-pound junior Iman Behshid, 170-pound senior Steven Lee and 195-pound senior David Martoff.

“I think it’s an awesome win for the seniors, but also the consistency of our team week-in and week-out, and the consistency of these guys staying in wrestling and getting better for four years is really, really kind of what did it,” Luthey said.

Menon won the 145-pound bout against Alex Garza by an 8-3 decision with two escapes, two take-downs and two two-point near-falls.

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Behshid won his match in a first-round pin at the 1:35 mark, while Lee also registered a first-round pin in 51 seconds. Martoff tapped his opponent midway into the second round of their match.

CIF Southern Section Dual Meet Championships pairings will be released Jan. 30.

La Cañada will compete in Division III on Feb. 1.


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