Locked, loaded, loose. That’s the mindset San Fernando’s wrestling program has as the Tigers turned its eye toward next week’s Dual Meet city championship after both the boys and girls teams defeated Panorama City.
San Fernando girls freshman Sam Larios turned heads with the quickest pin of the day over Jasmine Miranda in just 25 seconds. Larios squared up Miranda with her hips and executed a take down before finishing the match on top.
“It was weird, I came in feeling very hungry,” Larios said after wrestling at 126 pounds. “I just had a ton of energy and I went for it.”
Larios will be a face to watch in what will be a loaded girls division in LA City Section. This year City Section will be allowed to send the top two wrestlers from each weight class to compete at the state tournament. San Fernando also has two time city champion at 160 pounds Sandra Castrejon, defending city champion Paris Valencia at 103 and 2016 city champion Jessica Vasquez at 106.
Panorama City earned its lone victory from Jessica Flores-Rodriguez at 160 pounds who pinned Samantha Ochoa in 1:07 of the second period.
“She was getting tired and she kept saying how she couldn’t breathe,” Flores-Rodriguez said. “So I took advantage of that because she wasn’t fighting back and I pinned her from there.”
San Fernando’s boys wrestling was led by Trenton Gill who won via pinfall over Manuel Pineda in 39 seconds of the first period and Kobe Lepe who pinned Daniel Cardenas in the second period.
“Our goal every day is just to train hard, make weight and do the things that we need to do as a team to win,” Lepe said. “We just need to keep working and get prepared for what’s ahead.”
San Fernando’s Albert Del Toro the two-time city champion at 132 pounds is looking to add another crown to his resume, but says his goal is to win state. His coach Fernando Gonzalez says the key for Del Toro is staying with the process.
“He just needs to stay healthy, stay fit and it’s all up to him,” Gonzalez said. “He is capable just like all of our wrestlers at competing at the highest level.”
The state tournament is only accepting the champion this year from each division in city section. Gonzalez doesn’t think the additional pressure will rattle his team.
“We have a ton of young talented freshmen,” Gonzalez said. “We have four seniors too, but they like to keep it loose. We are going to get some work in this week and continue to prepare.”
Written by Ethan Hanson