Aquartet of La Cañada High wrestlers will attempt to prolong their season beyond this weekend and earn a major accomplishment when the second day of the CIF Southern Section Eastern Division Individual Wrestling Championships gets underway at Perris Citrus Hill High.
The goal for Spartans junior Jesse Leamon and seniors Alex Bache, Christian Tichon and Guillermo Padilla is now set on earning a berth to next week’s CIF-SS Masters Meet in Ontario.
“I thought overall we had a good day,” Spartans first-year Coach Justin Luthey said of Friday’s first day. “We won some matches that I don’t think we expected and we lost close ones that were difficult. The good thing is we still have four guys going.”
Not only do the Spartans have a handful of wrestlers still vying for Masters berths, but Bache is still alive for a possible championship.
The 182-pound senior, the divisional third seed, advanced to the championship semifinals after a 3-0 first-day run and will face Hemet’s Tristan Sutton, the second seed, at noon.
“I really don’t think Bache is surprising anyone,” Luthey said. “He had some tough draws, but battled through them and now has a chance.”
Bache defeated Fountain Valley’s Quentin Gomez, 4-0, in the first round before pinning Lancaster’s Zack Calderon in 1:18.
In his final match of the day, Bache punched his ticket to the semis with a 9-1 victory over Oak Hills’ Jesus Madrigal.
The area’s biggest lock to advance heading in, Spartans senior Padilla, has a fight on his hands.
The second-seeded Padilla opened championship bracket action with a bye before pinning Serrano’s Chris Valois in only the third total bout Padilla has engaged in this year.
That rust, though, caught up to Padilla in his next bout as the two-way athlete was beaten by San Juan Hills’ Gilbert Johnson, 7-2.
The defeat thrusts Padilla in a do-or-die bout versus San Gorgonio’s Demonyae Williams at 11 a.m. with the loser going home.
Padilla’s teammate, 220-pounder Tichon, is also in the same predicament as Padilla after opening with pins over Dylan Mukhar (2:41) of Lancaster and Eric Kidwell (2:33) of San Juan Hills.
Tichon ran into a buzz saw in Citrus Hill’s Matthew Ruvalcaba, who collected a pin in 3:04 of their quarterfinals match.
With the loss, Tichon was dropped into the consolation bracket where he’ll face San Gorgonio’s Francisco Manzo.
Perhaps the Spartans’ most pleasant surprise came from 138-pound junior Leamon.
The Rio Hondo League runner-up is moving on to Day Two after a 2-1 run through the championship bracket.
Leamon picked up a pin versus Quartz Hills’ Matthew Haerle in the first round before notching a second fall, this in 5:47 versus Newport Harbor’s Paul Champol.
The two-victory spurt put Leamon in the crosshairs of divisional top-seeded Dominick Magana of bitter league rival San Marino.
Magana topped Leamon again, this time with a pin in 2:16.
The victory dropped Leamon into consolation bracket action at 11 a.m. versus Rialto’s Jeremiah Trang.
“I’m not surprised by Jesse,” Luthey said. “He had an off day at Rio Hondo League finals, but he’s been working hard and he’s capable of moving on.”
On the surface, Spartans senior Peter Garfield appeared a shoe-in for Saturday.
The 195-pounder was a Rio Hondo League champion and looked solid at the CIF Dual Meet Championships.
However, Garfield was more beaten up than he let on and paid the price with an 0-2 exit.
“In all truthfulness, he was carrying an injury into today and it just didn’t work out,” Luthey said. “He had some close matches, but it didn’t work out.”
For La Cañada 106-pound sophomore Sean Consolo, it didn’t figure that league competition would come back to bite him, but that was the case Friday.
Consolo went 1-1 in championship bracket action, defeating San Gorgonio’s Christian Nuno, 15-0, while being pinned in 12 seconds by Apple Valley’s Austin Almendarez.
The loss dropped Consolo in the consolation bracket, where he first defeated South Pasadena’s Joel Navarro, 14-0, before running into San Marino’s Russell Chang, who pinned the sophomore in 4:22 to extend his season at the cost of Consolo.
“Sean was actually leading in the score before the pin,” Luthey said. “It was too bad.”
Maybe no Spartans wrestler had a tougher trek than did 170-pound junior Daniel Bade, who opened versus top-seeded Ryker Coppa in the first round.
Coppa picked up a fall at 2:30. Yet, the defeat didn’t stop Bade.
The Spartans grappler bounced back in the consolation bracket with a 7-3 win over Knight’s Pedro Antonio and a pin in 40 seconds versus Ridgecrest Burroughs’ Antonie Herrera.
Bade’s run ended, though, after a pin by Littlerock’s Denzell James in 1:55.
Spartans 113-pound freshman Andrew Aghadjanians suffered a quick exit, first being pinned by Barstow’s Jose Rubio before Victorville’s Raymond Correa pinned him in the consolation bracket in 16 seconds.