LEMOORE — Enochs High freshman Sariyah Jones appeared to be an afterthought at the third annual CIF Girls State Invitational Wrestling Championship.
Jones, overlooked by the seeding committee before the tournament, responded with fight and spirit. Though she matched up with four of the top-rated girls in the 98-pound class, she went 3-2 and eventually reached the semifinals before she settled for fourth Saturday at Lemoore High.
"It was pretty hard because they (her opponents) were older than me," Jones said. "They were usually juniors and seniors and were stronger."
Jones, who has wrestled since she was 5, became the first Enochs High wrestler to earn a medal at the State Meet. Earlier this month, she reached the finals of the qualifying tournament at McNair High.
Jones finished the season with a 29-12 record, including a 5-6 record with four pins against the boys. Against girls, she was 24-6 featuring 22 pins.
"I'm happy," she said. "I just wanted to work hard and try to get to the top."
Jones and Lathrop's Jazmine Ivey (146) highlighted a list of nine Stanislaus District wrestlers who earned medals (top 8) during the two-day tournament. Ivey also qualified for the semifinals and took home a district-leading third-place award.
Other medalists: Sarah Phillips, East Union, fifth at 103; Gurleen Chahal, Livingston, fifth at 108; Natalie Brown, Grace Davis, sixth at 108; Kayla Sadler, Bret Harte, sixth at 146; Brianna Coronado, Livingston, eighth at 146; Marianne Schauer, Downey, fifth at 165; and Jessica Paasch, Calaveras, sixth at 235.
Sadler received her weight class's Pursuing Victory with Honor sportsmanship award.