HomeBlocksFront-TopSpartan Boys, Girls Capture League Crowns

Spartan Boys, Girls Capture League Crowns

It’s another milestone set for the La Cañada High School wrestling team after the boys’ and girls’ squads handily defeated Monrovia High in a Rio Hondo League dual meet on Jan. 23.
The Spartans boys had nine winners in a 54-21 victory over the Wildcats, while the La Cañada girls were unbeaten against Monrovia with a trio of winners.
The sweep closed out the league campaign, with the boys securing their fifth, straight league title with the win, according to coach Justin Luthey.
“I’m just proud of that — that I can be part of a long-lasting line of league champs,” La Cañada senior Clive Fernando said.
The Spartans boys’ and girls’ teams will now gear up for the CIF Southern Section Dual Meet Wrestling Championships beginning Jan. 27. The teams will follow that up with individual league championships on Friday, Feb. 2.
“It’s interesting timing because we have this end-of-the-team season, but then all these wrestlers have their individual goals, so we don’t want to overthink anything or overstress anything” Luthey said. “We just want to use it as another opportunity to go out and get better at wrestling and definitely try to win.”
The Spartans boys will be competing at Redondo High in the Division III bracket. They are ranked No. 5 in the latest CIF polls. The La Cañada girls await their fate following the bracket release set for Thursday, Jan. 25.
Fernando was among the six grapplers to win their matchups by submission in the boys’ meet. He won his 138-pound bout by a second-round pin.
Spartans sophomore Jude Kliegl won the 120-pound matchup via second-period pin, junior 126-pound grappler Michael Manzano also pinned his counterpart in the second round and junior Bryan Green secured a second-round submission in his 215-pound bout. La Cañada seniors Ben Riesberg (150) and Maxwell Rosen (175) won their matches by first-round pins. Spartans sophomore Levi Goldworthy (165), junior Dylan Baetsle (190) and senior Geoffrey Butler (heavyweight) all won by decision.
“There were so many great wrestlers ahead of them that they looked up to when they were freshmen and sophomores, so, for them it’s really been about continuing the tradition,” Luthey said. “… Everyone’s pulling together. I think that tradition has elevated that boys’ team for sure.”
The girls who participated in the final meet were Emme Seely, Jianna Lee and senior Allison Ingrassia.
“We’re still sort of a new program,” said Luthey of the girls’ team. “We haven’t had a large group of girls for many years so they’re just trailblazing and they’re not looking in the rearview mirror at all. They just got their sights set high on everything.”
Seely won her 110-pound bout through a second-period pin, and Lee tallied six takedowns in her 120-pound showdown and ended the battle with a second-round pin.
Ingrassia, who has been part of the girls’ wrestling team for four years, made quick use of her match and pinned her opponent in the first round.
“I’m really glad with the way our whole team has performed, and our team has gotten a lot closer this year, which is really, really nice,” Ingrassia said. “And just for me, personally, I feel like I’ve gotten a lot better my senior year. I’ve just been doing better in competitions overall.”
Individual wrestlers will take part in the Rio Hondo League finals on Feb. 2 at Monrovia High, fighting for a chance to qualify for the CIF Individual Wrestling Championships held the week after.
“I’m the most excited about it,” said Ingrassia of the individual championships. “I’ve never placed at CIF so I’m looking forward to it. I’m feeling really good about it, and I’m just excited to finish up my senior year and, hopefully, I place. I’m genuinely so excited to have done it all four years.”

First published in the January 25 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.


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