The fifth annual CIF State Girls Wrestling Championships calls attention to one of the trends of the current athletic scene – the continued growth of girls wrestling.
The meet, held for the second consecutive year Friday and Saturday at the Visalia Convention Center, outgrew its original site at Lemoore High. A bigger venue, surrounded by more hotels, was mandatory.
The CIF reported that 752 girls competed statewide in wrestling in 2001. That number gradually rose to 2,286 in 2014, which was a sharp jump from 2013.
“We’ll be in Visalia for a while,” CIF spokesman Brian Seymour said. “This is virtually the center of California, and it’s perfect for the meet. We’re hearing increased turnout in every section.”
The Stanislaus District has qualified 13 for the state meet, led by juniors Sariyah Jones of Enochs and Marianne Schauer of Modesto.
Both won their respective weight classes at the Sac-Joaquin/Northern Section Championship – the girls Masters – earlier this month at McNair High.
Jones, who has competed on the international stage as a member of the United States Cadet World Team, captured the 106-pound title. She placed fourth in the state as a freshman but opted for training in Europe over the state competition last year.
Schauer marched to the 160 title with four wins by pin. This weekend marks her third consecutive trip to the state meet. She was fifth as a Downey freshman and seventh last year for the Panthers.
Other state qualifiers: Micaela Kent of Enochs (101), Mai Hill of Weston Ranch (101), Tiana Jackson of Central Catholic (111), Rory Coscia of Enochs (116), Miranda Lamela of Pacheco (126), Katrina Guevara of Enochs (131), Rose Beltran of Buhach Colony (137), Molly Wallace of Orestimba (143), Thalia Marines of Gregori (170), Courtney Juarez of Atwater (170) and Jalynne Hooker of Los Banos (235).
All qualifiers placed in the top five at the SJS/Northern meet. Enochs finished third in the team standings at McNair.
Matches in Visalia begin at 9 a.m. both days. The finals are scheduled for 6 p.m. Saturday. For more information, visit www.cifstate.org.
Wrestler of the Week – Merced High senior Romeo Medina, a 2014 Section Masters champion, is poised to make a major run Friday and Saturday in Stockton. Medina shook off a loss at the Central California Conference Championships and bounced back to win the 152-pound title last weekend at the Section Division I-AA Championships. He ripped through the bracket with 8-0, 16-4 and 6-0 victories before he pinned Del Oro’s Dustin Edwards in the final.