A total of seven San Marino High wrestlers were crowned champions and five others qualified for the CIF Southern Section Individual Wrestling Champions following a days-long run of grappling at the Rio Hondo League finals at Monrovia High on Feb. 2.
Five members of the San Marino High girls’ wrestling team and seven from the boys’ squad earned a spot at the CIF Southern Section Individual Wrestling Championships, which will take place over two days starting Friday, Feb. 9, across six different school sites. Wrestlers will participate in the semifinal and championship matches on Saturday, Feb. 10.
Top finishers will qualify for the CIF Southern Section Wrestling Masters Meet held at Palm Springs High School on Friday, Feb. 16.
Titans sophomores Malia Manibog and Leah Lopez, and San Marino junior Maila Arambula won league titles in the girls’ competition.
Manibog made it two straight league crowns after defeating Arra Cho of La Cañada in the first round of the 100-pound championship match. She is a returning CIF finalist and a Masters Meet qualifier.
Lopez is now also a two-time league champion after a second-round victory in the 105-pound championship matchup against Austin Desai of Burbank. Lopez, a returning Masters qualifier, reached the title match following an opening-period triumph over Talia Manasian of La Cañada in the first round of the 105-pound bracket.
Arambula secured her first league title in the 155-pound matchup against Heidi Palacios of Burbank. The junior defeated Palacios in the second round of the title match.
Titans junior Ava Tung (110) and freshman Chloe Souza (145) finished runner-up in their respective league divisions.
There were four league champions among the boys as Titans senior Ryder Yoshitake, sophomore Mikel David Uyemura, junior Julian Solis and junior Matthew Negroe all came away as winners in their respective divisions.
Yoshitake, a Cornell commit, secured his second consecutive league championship in the 144-pound division after defeating Ben Riesberg of La Cañada in the first round of the title match. The senior advanced to the championship following a first-round win against Edwin Nazarian.
In the 150-pound matchup, Uyemura was crowned champion for the second year in a row after defeating Dylan Simon of Village Christian following a 20-1 decision in the championship matchup. The sophomore booked a spot in the title match after defeating Aiden Elizalde of Monrovia in the third round of the 150-pound semifinal.
Solis won his third, straight league title following a 3-2 decision in the 215-pound championship matchup against La Cañada’s Bryan Green. The junior defeated Francisco Zamora of Monrovia in the opening period of the semifinal matchup.
Negroe was crowned heavyweight champion for the first time after defeating Maxim Pogosyan of Burbank in the opening round of the 285-pound title matchup. The junior earned a championship spot after an opening-period win over Joseph Webster of Monrovia in the first round.
A pair of Titans grapplers finished as league runner-up and qualified for CIF.
San Marino freshman Santiago Perez was bested by 126-pound champion Charles Martinito of Hoover by a 16-3 decision after defeating Mateo Rose-Galan of La Cañada in the first period of the semifinal.
In the 120-pound championship match, Titans junior Richard Ma fell to Michael Manzano of La Cañada. Ma advanced to the title match following a 9-1 decision over Dominic Simon of Village Christian in the 120-pound semifinal.
San Marino freshman Henry Kang also secured a spot at the CIF championships after winning the 106-pound third-place match in what Titans coach Morris Bird called the most exciting battle of the day.
Kang lost to eventual champion Sasha Kliegl of La Cañada in the opening round of the 106-pound bracket, and faced Argisht Mamikonyan of Hoover in the third-place matchup. The freshman won the bout on a 6-5 decision, earning a trip to the CIF championships.
First published in the Feb. 8 issue of the San Marino Tribune