It's 10 for 10 for Hoover High wrestling at Rio Hondo League finals

Wrestling: Tornadoes win two individual championships, qualify all their varsity wrestlers to the CIF-SS Individual wrestling finals.

February 01, 2014|By Andrew J. Campa,
  • Hoover High's Arthur Ghukasyan, left, defeated Monrovia High's Gabriel Onofre, 7-3, in the 160-pound class in the Rio Hondo League wrestling finals at Monrovia High on Saturday. (Raul Roa/Staff Photographer)
Hoover High's Arthur Ghukasyan, left, defeated…

MONROVIA — Heading into Saturday afternoon’s Rio Hondo League individual wrestling finals, there was no doubt that the Hoover High wrestling program was already enjoying its greatest season ever in its fledgling three-year existence.

Yet, the Tornadoes had even more to celebrate at Monrovia High, as the squad advanced five wrestlers into divisional championship bouts, won two titles and qualified all 10 of their varsity wrestlers to the first round of the CIF Southern Section Individual playoffs.

“This was always our goal, we wanted all our kids to look forward to this day, to this tournament,” said Hoover first-year Coach Dave Beard, whose team finished with a program-best 6-2 mark and third-place team finish within league. “This has been great because we lost a lot of kids over the season and for those still here, this is an accomplishment.”

Finals champions, runner-ups and third-place finishers from the league finals, which included competitors from La Cañada, Monrovia, San Marino, South Pasadena and St. Paul, all punched their tickets to the two-day long CIF Southern Section Eastern Division Individual Wrestling Championships at Perris Citrus Hill High, which begins Feb. 21.


Hoover’s first championship came in its third attempt as Arthur Ghukasyan won a hard-fought 7-3 decision over Monrovia’s Gabriel Onofre for the 160-pound title.

Ghukasyan opened with two takedowns in the first round in leading 4-1. While Onofre pulled within two points with an escape in the opening moments of the second round, Ghukasyan landed a third takedown in building a 7-2 lead en route to the win.

“Last year, I lost a hard one and I had to win, this was my shot,” said Ghukasyan, who avenged a 7-5 defeat to San Marino’s Adam Padilla in last season’s 145-pound final. “I’m ready for CIF.”

Like Ghukasyan, Hoover’s Sebastian Ghouliance also had a year to rethink how we would approach another championship bout.

Ghouliance, who fell to San Marino’s Brian Chang at 160 pounds in last year's final, traded in his silver for gold at 170 pounds, as he held off a late charge from San Marino’s Alex Knott to win, 9-5.

“I lost my grip at the end and that’s how he was able to make a move,” Ghouliance said. “I remember losing last year and I couldn’t let it happen again.”

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