By Sandy Grossman & Jordan Xiao
Five wrestlers from South Pasadena High School advanced to CIF playoffs after participating in the Rio Hondo League finals tournament at Monrovia High School on Saturday, January 31. Freshman Irving Perez (106), juniors Emiliano Sornoso (145) and Caleb St. Julian (120), and seniors Julian Lopez (152), and Harry Yun (113) each placed in the top three for their respective weight classes and will represent the school in the next level of competition.
Perez won both of the matches he wrestled in order to advance to the final round that would determine his place in CIF. He suffered a tough 19-4 loss, however, to an opponent from St. Paul High School. Yun also advanced to the final match of his weight class, but was pinned thirty five seconds into the second period. Both wrestlers received second place. Sornoso, St. Julian, and Lopez all got third place in their weight classes, so they did not participate in the final match.
“I did a lot better than I expected, considering the injury on my left rib,” St. Julian said. “I’m happy to be going to CIF, but I’m not very nervous. To me, it’s just another tournament,”
This year’s competition is especially important to Lopez, as it will give him a chance to show everyone his true potential. After leaving last year’s finals only one point shy of placing in the top three, he is ready to prove himself.
“I placed fourth last year, so I didn’t go to CIF,” Lopez said. “This year I was happy I could redeem myself,”
The Tigers finished league season with no dual meet wins, as losses in the heavier weight classes offset the success of strong lower weights. However, the 2014-2015 season marks the first year the Tigers have consistently fielded a full team, and the wrestlers are optimistic for future seasons.
“I didn’t do great at this tournament, but I’m a freshman. Everything I learn now will prepare me for my next season,” varsity wrestler Brandon Yung said.
The CIF Coastal Tournament for individual wrestlers will be hosted at Adelanto High School from Friday, February 20 to Saturday, February 21.
“I’m really anxious. Last year I placed third, but I plan to do even better this year,” Yun said.