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CV senior accomplishes her goal, advances to CIF Girls State Wrestling Invitational
Malynda Lomeli wasn't going to be denied again.

The Central Valley High School senior reached the apex of her sport this past week by qualifying for the CIF Girls State Wrestling Invitational.

"I'm super happy," Lomeli said. "Four years of trying and it finally happened."

Seeded fifth, Lomeli placed third in the 122-pound division at Regionals on Saturday at Stockton's McNair High School. The top four individuals in each weight class earned berths to state.

Malynda won four of five matches and improved to 32-5 on the year.

She lost 9-0 to eventual-champion Madison Fitzgerald of Whitney. Fitzgerald, a sixth-place medalist at state in 2012, ran her perfect record to 16-0.

"This is the best Malynda has wrestled all year," head coach Rob Beckhart said. "She was consistent. She was aggressive. She was smart. She didn't seem nervous at all. She was prepared."

A standout in three sports, Lomeli will be in the running for the Central Valley High School Female Athlete of the Year award. A banner listing past winners is displayed in the school's gymnasium.

Malynda had a 4.33 GPA during the first semester.

"I want my name to be up there," Lomeli said. "That's been my goal since I started high school."

Added Beckhart: "She deserves it."

Central Valley teammates Ashley Barnes-Berrios, Lexy Cordova and Zaira Reynoso had their seasons cut short at Regionals.

Barnes-Berrios and Cordova both finished in the top 12 in their respective divisions.

Ashley, a senior, posted a 3-2 record at 114 pounds.

Lexy, a junior, went 2-2 at 118 pounds.

Zaira, a junior, placed in the top 16 with a 3-2 record at 138 pounds.

"I'm proud of them all," Beckhart said. "I've seen a lot of improvement."

The state meet will be staged, Feb. 22-23, in Lemoore.

Lomeli's diligence paid off.

She trains up to five hours a day.

"I've always worked hard but I stepped it up a little more this year," said Lomeli, who managed to qualify for state this season despite being slowed by shoulder, knee and ankle injuries.

"This was expected," Beckhart said. "She accomplished her goal. The next step is to place."