San Marino wrestling earns berth to Dual Meet Championships
Rio Hondo League champion San Marino Titans hope to make deep run in Saturday's CIF-SS Division VI tournament.
ARCHIVE PHOTO: San Marino Tino Maese won the 195 lb. match vs. South Pasadena earlier this season. (Raul Roa/Staff Photographer)
The similarities between this year and last, however, end there for the Titans, who head into the 11 a.m. first round against Downey Calvary Chapel not as an at-large team, but as the Rio Hondo League champions, something the program hasn't been able to boast since 1998.
"I think this year's team has a little more confidence," Titans co-Coach Joe Gallardo said. "Last year was our first time, but this year, we know what to expect and who we're going to be going against and are more excited."
Last season, the Titans made a quick exit, falling to Tri-Valley League champion Santa Paula, 60-21, in the first round.
Perhaps fortune is on San Marino's side this time, as the Titans open with Prep League champion Downey Calvary Chapel, which fell to Rio Hondo League champ La Cañada in the first round last season, 52-21.
"I just saw our bracket and we look good and I think we have a chance to get to the semis," Gallardo said. "I won't say anybody is easy and we're going to have to work, but we have a chance to go far."
Should San Marino (6-0) advance past the first round, then the Titans would either face Mountain Valley League champion and fourth-seeded Rim of the World (4-1) or Arrowhead League titlist Hamilton (13-5) around 3 p.m.
If San Marino moves beyond the second round and into the semifinals, then it's more than likely the Titans will be in the crosshairs of top-seeded host Carter (11-1), the San Andreas League champion.
Rio Hondo League individual champions Evan (113 pounds) and Zander Wick (126), Julian Flores (120), Dominick Magana (138), Adam Padilla (145) and Brian Chang (160) lead San Marino.
The Titans are the league's lone representative this year as runner-up La Cañada declined to file for an at-large bid.