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Cal High’s Kelly Escamilla wins CIF wrestling championship

WHITTIER – Cal High wrestler Kelly Escamilla, who has been highly ranked the last two years, capped off a successful 2020 season with a championship in the girls 126 Lb. weight class in the CIF-Southern Section Regional, finished third in the state qualifier and ended the year with a sixth place in state.

In the state semifinals, Escamilla was tied 3-3 with 30 seconds remaining but the eventual state champion, Adaugo Nwachukwu of Silver Creek high in the Central Coast, won the last four points for the, 7-3 win.

Escamilla, who was seeded fifth in the state, pinned all three of her opponents in the first minute and a half before the semifinal match.

“Kelly comes from a great family and expects a lot out of herself,” Cal wrestling coach Doug Loo said. “We’ll be better prepared next year.

“It’s a tough competition right there at state. Kelly was right there tied with her (Nwachukwu), but that girl took advantage of the moment.”

In the CIF Southern Regional Championships at El Toro high, Escamilla breezed through the bracket, pinning her first three opponents in the first two minutes of the match and pinning her final two in the semi’s at 3:39 and the championship match against Devora Delgadilloof Garden Grove in 2:25.

Escamilla finished third in the CIF State qualifier by defeating Solana Mottola in a close 3-1 decision.

Boys CIF Results:

In the boys wrestling competition, the Del Rio League was represented in the top 10 with Cal (84 points) and Santa Fe (82.5) finishing eighth and ninth, respectively, in the CIF Central Division finals.

The DRL was represented in the top five in seven of the 14 weight classes and two more in the top eight: 120 Lbs. – Diego Garcia, La Serna (4th); 126 – Ben Salas, Santa Fe (5th); 138 – Isaac Barragan, SF (5th); 145 – Felix Osorio, SF (3rd); 152 – Paul Garcia, Cal, (5th); 160 – Edgar Antonio, Cal (5th); 182 – Freddie Mancina, SF (7th); 195 – Jordan Patterson, Cal (2nd) and 285 – Patrick Silva, LS (8th).

Patterson, who won his first three matches by way of a pin in the first minute and a half and semifinal at the 5:30 mark, advanced to the championship against the No. 1 seed Tristen Wilson of Servite. “That kid is at a different level,” Loo said of Wilson.

“Jordan has made a big improvement since his freshman year,” Loo said. “As a freshman, he was third in league on JV and now he is second in CIF.

“I’m proud of my boys and two of the three placers will be back next year. I’m expecting a real solid team next year.”

ALL-CIF Football Honorees

The All-CIF football team was named recently and seven La Serna players are on the list – Andrew Henriquez, QB; Chandler McCaffer, RB; Jake George, WR; Esteban Mendoza, OL; Joey Bustos, LB; Austin Burrows, DL; Milo Lopez, DB.

La Serna, which lost in the CIF-SS Division 6 championship game to Pacifica (Oxnard), was led by Henriquez at quarterback. “It was an honor to be awarded All-CIF, especially with six of my teammates,” Henriquez said. “It was one of my individual goals prior to the season, so it was awesome to receive this award.”

A stalwart on defense was Bustos, who also ran the ball on offense, echoed what Henriquez said.

“I want to start by thanking God for my great season and for allowing me to be able to receive this award,” Bustos said. “It is truly a blessing. Thank you to all of my friends, family, coaches and fans who supported my brothers and I along the way this season. And for helping me to push harder each and every day and receive this award as a result.”

Also from the DRL was the naming of the All-CIF Division 11 selections – El Rancho: Chris Andrade, QB; Roman Rojas, RB; Nicholas Caamano, DL.

Girls Water Polo

Both La Serna and Cal high recently became CIF champions and received a berth in the CIF Southern California Regional championships. La Serna, seeded No. 7, fell in the first round last week to No. 2 seed San Clemente, 12-9, who went on to win the So Cal championship.

Cal, seeded No. 8, lost to top-seed Cathedral Catholic, 21-3, in the first round.

“All of the hard work, sacrifice and dedication paid off,” La Serna girls water polo coach John Pringle said. “This team deserves to be champions.

“Bianca (Borunda) had a stellar performance. She led us like she has all season. None of this is possible without her.”

The All-CIF selections will be named March 16.

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