Out of a group of eight, the La Cañada High wrestling team will be represented by two grapplers at next week’s CIF Southern Section Masters Meet.
That’s because seniors Alex Bache and Guillermo Padilla survived and advanced out of the second day of the CIF-Southern Section Eastern Division Individual Wrestling Championships held at Perris Citrus Hill High.
The 182-pound Bache finished third in his division, while Padilla won an elimination match for the fifth and final position out of the heavyweight class.
Bache began his Saturday with divisional championship aspirations.
Yet, that hope quickly dispersed when the Spartans wrestler was pinned by Hemet’s Tristan Sutton in 1:56 in the divisional semifinal.
The setback dropped Bache into the third-place bout versus Fountain Valley’s Quentin Gomez.
Even though Bache had already assured himself a Masters berth, he didn’t let up on Gomez and picked up a 7-4 victory for the bronze.
Prior to Saturday, the third-seeded Bache earned his way into the final day with three victories, two decisions, 4-0 and 9-1, versus the aforementioned Gomez and Oak Hills’ Jesus Madrigal, respectively, in between pinning Lancaster’s Zack Calderon in 1:18.
Bache will be joined by Padilla, who began Saturday in an elimination match versus Highland’s John Hall. Padilla picked up a scrappy 2-0 victory and appeared to have some momentum.
Yet, whatever mojo Padilla had was taken away by Sultana’s Justin Gillham with a pin in 1:40.
The defeat was the second for Padilla in the tournament and sent the heavyweight into a fifth-place do-or-die bout versus Citrus Hills’ Aaron Moreno-Martinez.
Padilla survived a back-and-forth affair with Moreno-Martinez in notching a 6-5 win, which qualified the two-way athlete for his second straight Masters Meet.
Overall, Padilla finished the two-day tournament with a 4-2 mark.
La Cañada’s two other second-day hopefuls, Jesse Leamon and Christian Tichon, were unable to extend their seasons.
Tichon, a 220-pound senior, opened with a must-win 4-1 victory over San Gorgonio’s Francisco Manzo.
Yet, Tichon came up just short in an elimination bout to Beaumont’s Damian Williams, 7-6.
Leamon, a surprise advancer at 138 pounds, received an injury default victory versus Rialto’s Jeremiah Trang in his first consolation bracket bout, but couldn’t parlay the rest into a roll.
Leamon was eliminated by Sultana’s Jacob Shurliff, 9-4.
With two qualifiers, La Cañada finished 18th in the Eastern Division standings with 63.5 points.