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Hawk grappler Moore qualifies for CIF state championships
Rose Moore became just the second athlete in Central Valley High School's history to qualify for a state-meet competition.

The fourth-year grappler's accomplishment scrolled on an electronic marquee sign near the entrance of the campus earlier this month.

Rose will participate in the second annual CIF Girls State Wrestling Invitational this week in Lemoore.

"It's been my goal ever since last year," said Moore, who fell short of advancing to state by three matches as a junior. "A lot of people are making a big deal out of it. I haven't proven anything yet. It would mean something if I actually placed."

"People root for her because of the type of person she is," Hawks head coach Rob Beckhart said. "Everybody likes her. Win or lose, she always has a smile on her face."

Moore has won 23 of 27 matches this season.

Against boys, Rose has a 6-8 record. Three of her wins came at the varsity level.

She punched her ticket to state with a top-4 finish at the CIF Girls Regional Tournament, held Feb. 3-4, at McNair High School.

Rose, the No. 1 seed in the 114-pound division, compiled a 4-2 record. She was edged out for third place in quadruple overtime.

Moore was slowed by an ear infection and injured ankle.

Rose reeled off four straight wins after dropping her first match.

"I was beat up and sick so I didn't think I'd do good," she said. "I thought I was going to double out. I'm happy. I can't believe I made it to state."

Moore joined Central Valley's wrestling program during her freshman year.

"She used to have a habit of giving up easy reversals," Beckhart said. "She doesn't do that anymore."

Said Moore: "I love wrestling. The team is really fun to hang out with. Everyone's really close. We got the best coach. He doesn't focus on just one person. He cares about all of his wrestlers."

Rose won the majority of her matches while starring at Blaker-Kinser Jr. High School in the eighth grade.

Moore was allowed to wrestle thanks to the power of persuasion.

"I begged my parents," she said.

Cousin Veronica Martinez introduced Rose to the sport. Martinez, a 2008 Downey High School graduate and three-year wrestler, placed second at state in the 103-pound division.

"She got me into it," Moore said. "I got to see her wrestle and beat boys. It was really cool."

Claudia Martinez, Veronica's younger sister, has made a name for herself at the youth level with the Ceres Hawks Club.

She won titles at the Kids Folkstyle State Championships in 2011 and 2010. She placed second in 2009. Claudia took second twice and third once at the freestyle state competition.

"She's really good too," Moore said.

Mother Ramona and uncle Michael are among Rose's biggest supporters.

"It's always been like that," Moore said.

A number of college scouts will attend the girls state tournament, which will be staged Feb. 24-25 at Lemoore High School.

"Grades have never been an issue for her," Beckhart said. "She's never had an attitude problem. She's always worked hard. It wouldn't be a surprise to see her place at state. I expect that from her. She's a good wrestler. The key for her is to be confident and give 100 percent."

"I'm real excited," said Moore, who's considering joining the Army following graduation. "I can't wait to wrestle. I don't know what to expect because I've only seen competition in our area. I don't want to disappoint anybody."