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Central Valley’s Quiroz, Martinez qualify for CIF State Meet
Brianna Quiroz and Carla Martinez will represent Central Valley’s girls wrestling team at the CIF State Meet this week in Bakersfield. Quiroz and Martinez both placed second at Masters. - photo by Dale Butler

Central Valley’s varsity girls wrestling program will have two representatives at the CIF State Championships.

Senior Brianna Quiroz and junior Carla Martinez punched their tickets after finishing in the top six in their respective weight divisions at the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Tournament this past weekend at Lincoln High School in Stockton.

“It’s a testament to their work ethic and commitment,” head coach Rob Beckhart said.

“There was a lot of pressure,” Quiroz stated. “That made me wrestle harder.”

“I have the best coaches,” Martinez added. “They helped me get there.”

Quiroz won three of four matches while placing second in the 150-pound bracket.

She beat Nevada Union’s Mira Walker (pin, 1:31), Live Oak’s Roxy Lopez (major decision, 16-3) and Shasta’s Lindsey Patrick (pin, 5:05).

Quiroz lost to River City’s Michelle Kamyshin (pin, 5:47).

“I made it to the finals. That was surprising and overwhelming because I’ve never placed at a high tournament like that.”
Brianna Quiroz

“I made it to the finals,” she said. “That was surprising and overwhelming because I’ve never placed at a high tournament like that. I’m not upset I lost. She was really good.”

Quiroz, who improved her overall record to 25-7, qualified for state for the second year in a row.

“It’s been tough,” Quiroz said while talking about the grind of the 2018-19 wrestling season. “We haven’t had a break in a while. We worked through Thanksgiving, Christmas and the new year.  This is the most dedicated I’ve been. It’s my senior year. That’s what’s pushed me.”

Martinez took second at 131 pounds. The second-year grappler also compiled a 3-1 record.

She beat Vista del Lago’s Isabelle Fagalde (pin, 3:11), Natomas’ Leilani Sanchez (decision, 7-6) and Ripoon’s Katelyn Cardoza (decision, 5-2).

Martinez lost to Bella Vista’s Emily Alderman (major decision, 8-0). 

“Honestly, I’m really surprised,” she said. “I didn’t expect to make it to state. My main goal for this year was Masters. I just wanted to win one match.”

Martinez’s sophomore season ended at South Regionals.

“Last year, I was just trying to survive my matches,” said Martinez, who has a much-improved 24-12 overall record as a junior. “I had a lot of losses. I worked harder this season because I had actual goals for myself. I learned how to control my strength. I gained technique. My mentality also changed.”

Central Valley had a total of six grapplers compete at Masters this year, including Quiroz, Martinez, Nia Caraway (143 pounds, 1-2 record), Angelina Sanchez (189s, 1-2), Samantha Espinoza (170s, 0-2) and Hannah Duncan (235s, 0-2).

Caraway beat Natomas’ Renee Young (injury default). She lost to El Dorado’s Trista Morkowski (pin, 3:00) and Del Oro’s Maicie Lockyer (pin, 2:00).

Sanchez beat Yuba City’s Frances Valadez (pin, 0:44).She lost to Tokay’s Hitza Almaraz (pin, 1:45) and Del Oro’s Abigail Veske (pin, 4:59).

Espinoza lost to Live Oak’s Rosie Lopez (pin, 3:00) and McClatchy’s Linda Contreras (pin, 4:27).

Duncan lost to Elk Grove’s Annika Miles (technical fall, 16-0) and Antelope’s Alycia Namosimalua (pin, 0:52).

The CIF State Meet will be staged Feb. 21-23 at Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield. 

The top eight individuals in each weight class will be rewarded.

“I’m really motivated,” Quiroz said. “I want to stand on the podium and get a medal. It’s not going to be easy.”

Added Beckhart: “I like her chances.”