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CV, CHS athletes claim medals
Hawks, Dawgs combine to win 4 individual titles
Central Valleys Julia Avila, Brianna Quiroz, Emily Mendoza and Nayeli Pelayo all placed at the Western Athletic Conference Championships this past month in Livingston. - photo by Contributed to the Courier

Ceres High's and Central Valley's varsity girls wrestling programs had a combined nine grapplers medal at the Western Athletic Conference Championships on Jan. 27 at Livingston High School.

The Bulldogs and Hawks placed fourth and fifth, respectively, in the team standings.

Pacheco, Livingston and Los Banos finished first, second and third.

Patterson took sixth.

"I'm really happy with the results," Ceres High coach Steve Festa said. "We had two champions. Every girl that competed placed. We're moving in the right direction."

"Every girl that we took medaled," Central Valley leader Rob Beckhart said. "I'm happy for them. Hopefully, it will generate more interest on campus."

Ceres High's Julia Pata and Talia Mauricio, and Central Valley's Nayeli Pelayo and Emily Mendoza placed first in their respective weight classes.

Pata won all three of her matches while claiming the 160-pound title.

"When it comes time to compete, she gets a look in her eyes," Festa said. "Being second is not enough. She wants to be the best. It's been a pleasure to be able to coach her even if it's just for one year."

Mauricio won both of her matches at 170 pounds.

"She's really progressed," Festa said. "She started as a stat keeper for us two years ago."

Pelayo posted a 2-0 record at 191 pounds.

"She performed like we expected her to," Beckhart said.

Mendoza compiled a 2-0 record at 113 pounds.

"This is the first tournament she's actually won," Beckhart said. "She wrestled tough. She gained some confidence. She's doing a good job learning her technique and improving."

Central Valley's Brianna Quiroz (145s, 1-1) and Ceres High's Alyssa Clindaniel (170s, 0-2) both placed second.

Quiroz lost 2-1 in the finals.
Brianna gave up one point for not having her shoes tied and another for stalling.

"She could have easily been a WAC champion," Beckhart said. "Those are mistakes that can be eliminated."

Central Valley's Julia Avila (113s, 2-1), and Ceres High's Lauren Cooper (150s) and Arienna Cooper (116s) all finished third.

"Julia wrestled really well for giving up weight and not being seeded at all," Beckhart said.