SAN DIEGO – High school wrestler Ian Baker has a grand plan for his senior year at La Costa Canyon.
“I kind of want to win everything. I want to get the league patch, first team all-league and I want to be a CIF champ again and then a master’s champ. I want to be a state champ, then hopefully a senior national’s champ,” Baker said.
The 195-pound wrestler has made great strides towards pulling off those lofty goals.
He currently ranks No. 1 in California in his weight class and he specializes in pins.
Baker set the school record for most pins in a season and a career, using a move that he perfected over the past four years.
“I’ve kind of been working on the same type of pinning combination since my freshman year and I don’t want to say I mastered it, but I’m pretty good at it – especially for a high schooler,” Baker said.
“Ian is the pinning machine. He has pinned guys pretty much since his sophomore year,” said Drew Karson, a senior who wrestles in the 152-pound weight class. “The matches haven’t even been close. I’ve seen maybe one match all year that hasn’t ended with him pinning somebody.”
While Baker hasn’t won a state title, he did win a national championship after his junior year.
He has also impressed in the classroom and plans to wrestle for Princeton next year.
“It’s been a privilege and an honor to coach him. It’s been great to see him grow on and off the mat,” Coach Dwayne Buth said. “When I first got him as a freshman, he was just a regular old, long, lanky kid who weighed 152 pounds. It wasn’t like he stepped on the mat and all the sudden like, ‘hey, this guy’s going go to be a state champ.’”
Baker said he thinks only one thing can keep him from reaching his goals.
“I just need to keep working, keep improving in every way. I can and I think that the only person that can beat me is myself at this point,” Baker said.