It took four years for the La Cañada High School varsity wrestling team to recapture Rio Hondo League crown and the Spartans intend to keep the crown for another season. La Cañada put that determination on display against visiting San Marino and came away with a 48-30 victory last week.
“I’m happy with our performance,” said LCHS head coach Justin Luthey. “[San Marino is] a program on the rise with solid young talent, and we had to raise the bar. We knew it wouldn’t be easy. We don’t want our guys to get complacent.”
The Spartans received 30 points from five byes because San Marino didn’t have enough wrestlers. La Cañada won three matches down the stretch to secure the big win.
Will Henderson, Colman Trulik and Ben Donoho pinned their opponents despite competing in weight classes higher than they are accustomed to.
“When it came down to it, the guys who should have won did win,” Luthey said. “We had some close losses that could have been wins, but they showed that they can fight. That shows the depth of our guys. All of them wrestled up a weight class. The ’60s were up from ’52s, the ’70s from the ’60s and so on. They knew we needed that as a team to put ourselves in a situation to win.”
The Spartans improved to 7-1 (1-0 in league) on the season and went on to compete in the El Monte Arroyo Tournament during the weekend. La Cañada placed fifth in the team standings with 95 points. Arroyo won the team crown with 248 points.
Donoho finished a perfect 4-0 to win the 160-pound tournament. The Spartan pinned Jaden Barrett of Cerritos and then blanked Encino Crespi’s Taylor Evans, 10-0, to advance to the semifinals. Donoho pinned Ruben Soliz of Covina and then pinned Bryan Perez of Oxnard Rio Mesa in the first period to win the competition.
David Sarkisian took home the silver medal competing in the 145-pound division. He opened the tournament pinning John Castillo of Montebello and then pinned David Tovar of Arroyo. The Spartan downed Monrovia’s Daniel Orozco late in the match to advance to the final where Donoho fell to Jake Banks of South Hills.
Colman Trulik won three of four matches to take home a bronze medal in the 195-pound tournament. The Spartan pinned Kevin Huerta of Duarte and then edged Nate Enriquez of Whittier before falling to San Dimas’ Ben Tucker. Trulik rebounded in the consolation bracket and defeated Zion Longsine of La Verne Bonita.
Henderson finished fifth in the 152-pound bracket and opened with a pin over Hector Martinez of Blomington. The Spartan followed that with another pin over Monrovia’s Timothy Gutierrez but then fell to John Huther of Santa Barbara. He followed that with a loss to Joseph Jung of Westview.
Brandon Abboud finished seventh in the 138-pound bracket. He opened the tournament falling to Sebastian Anderson of San Diego Westview but bounced back in the consolation bracket. The Spartan pinned Matthew Zapata of West Covina and Victor Lorenzo of La Puente Bassett to take seventh place.
La Cañada will travel to South Pasadena for a Rio Hondo League match against its rival today at 3:30 p.m.