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CV grapplers compete at CCC Championships
CV Girls wrestle in Merced
Central Valley’s girls wrestling team placed second at the Central California Conference Championships on Friday in Merced. The Hawks claimed 13 individual medals.

The Espinoza sisters, Brianna and Alicia, claimed individual titles while representing Central Valley High School’s girls wrestling program at the Central California Conference Championships on Friday at El Capitan.

Brianna, a sophomore, placed first at the CCC finals for the second year in a row.

Alicia, a freshman, matched Brianna’s accomplishment from a season ago.

“It was amazing to watch,” said Coach Brandy Cordova.

Hawk teammates Vanessa Mendoza Balbuena, Giana Breashears, Micaela Martinez, Jayden Corona, Evalyn Zombrano, Keilany Torres, Tarnjot Kaur, Samantha Padilla, Destiny Marron, Taylor McGuire and Soria Corona were also awarded medals after finishing in the top four in their respective weight brackets.

Brianna Espinoza took first with a 2-0 record at 235 pounds.

She notched wins against Atwater’s Ruby Rosas (pin, 1:09) and El Capitan’s Angel Hill (pin, 1:11).

Espinoza continues to improve on the mat.

“She’s become more aggressive and worked on her technique,” Cordova said.

Alicia Espinoza took first with a 2-0 record at 170 pounds.

She beat El Capitan’s Yajaira Hidareda (pin, 1:18) and Buhach Colony’s Iris Reyes (pin, 0:54).

“The drive for her was to follow in her sister’s footsteps,” Cordova said.

Just a freshman, Mendoza Balbuena took first with a 1-0 record at 189 pounds. She beat El Capitan’s Odalys Ornellas (pin, 3:56).

“Vanessa used all the technique she learned through the season to win that match,” Cordova said.

Breshears took second with a 1-1 record at 143 pounds. She beat El Capitan’s Ann Marie Wade (pin, 4:47).

Martinez took second with a 1-1 record at 131 pounds. She beat Merced’s Valerie Sanchez (pin, 5:47).

Jayden Corona took second with a 1-1 record at 111 pounds. She beat El Capitan’s Isabella Sandoval (pin, 2:18).

Zombrano took second with an 0-1 record at 153 pounds.

Torres took second with an 0-1 record at 106 pounds.

Kaur took third with a 4-1 record at 121 pounds. She beat El Capitan’s Keirsten Molinar twice (10-5, 1:40), and Patterson’s Abigail Rosales (pin, 1:01) and Buhach Colony’s Pearla Estrada (pin, 3:42) once.

Kaur was also named Central Valley’s CCC Sportsmanship Award winner.

“Win or lose, she has the best attitude,” Cordova said. “She always gives 150 percent on the mat.”

Padilla took third with an 0-1 record at 116 pounds.

Marron took fourth with an 0-2 record at 160 pounds.

McGuire took fourth with an 0-2 record at 137 pounds.

Soriah Corona took fourth with an 0-2 record at 101 pounds.

Central Valley totaled 165 points en route to a second-place finish in the team standings at the WAC finals.

Atwater (181) took first.

“We’re excited to see the girls were able to place high enough to get medals,” Cordova said. “We would have liked to place higher in team points.”

Central Valley shared the CCC overall championship with Atwater this winter.

The Hawks were guaranteed a share of the title after winning all six of their conference duals for the second straight season.

Central Valley will host the Sac-Joaquin Section South Regional Tournament this Friday and Saturday.

“We have several girls that should be advancing to Masters,” Cordova said.

Hawks advance 

Central Valley High School’s boys wrestling program will be sending 10 grapplers to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-III Tournament later this week in Roseville.

Samuel Deleon, Trey Anderson, Angel Melgoza, Adan Garcia and Joey Zuniga earned individual berths by virtue of their top-four finishes at the Central California Conference Championships on Friday at El Capitan High School.

Hawk teammates Makhai Smith, Kenneth Orrin, Elijah Lee, Albert Gonzales and Caleb Beckhart will compete as alternates. They placed fifth in their respective weight brackets at the WAC finals.

“The kids did what they were supposed to do,” said Beckhart. “Right now, it’s about qualifying for the next tournament. We’re going to finish the season off as strong as we can.”

Deleon claimed the 285-pound championship. He was seeded third. He won both of his matches.

Deleon defeated Atwater’s Roberto Dominguez (pin, 2:47) and Patterson’s Josef Skoien (pin, 1:30).

“He was a lot more aggressive,” said Coach Beckhart. “He was focused and determined. He had the right mindset.”

Anderson placed third at 184 pounds. He won one of his two matches.  Anderson defeated Patterson’s Aiden Phillips (pin, 4:31).

Melgoza placed third at 154 pounds. He won two of his three matches. Melgoza defeated El Capitan’s Evan Webster (pin, 2:28) and Merced’s Marcel Partida (decision, 3-2).

Garcia placed third at 140 pounds. He won three of his four matches. Garcia defeated Buhach Colony’s Christian Ramirez twice (3-1, 6-2) and Patterson’s Daniel Linares one (major decision, 13-3). 

Zuniga placed third at 128 pounds. He won three of four matches. Zuniga defeated Buhach Colony’s Jacob Hathaway (decision, 14-7), El Capitan’s Parker Gibson (pin, 1:50) and Patterson’s Gavin Ross (decision, 7-1),

Smith placed fifth at 222 pounds. He won two of his four matches. Smith defeated Atwater’s Logan Bettis (pin, 0:38) and Patterson’s Tripp Skoien (pin, 1:13).

Orrin placed fifth at 172 pounds. He won two of his five matches. Orrin defeated Atwater’s Conner Riggle (decision, 6-2) and Patterson’s Jaden Arredondo (decision, 13-9).

Lee placed fifth at 147 pounds. He won one of his three matches. Lee defeated El Capitan’s Jacob Schwesinger (decision, 8-5).

Gonzales placed fifth at 132 pounds. He won one of his three matches. Gonzales defeated Patterson’s Ivan Martin Heredia (forfeit).

Beckhart placed fifth at 115 pounds. He won one of his three matches. Beckhart defeated Patterson’s Jesus Chavez (decision, 13-9).

The Hawks placed sixth as a team at the CCC Championships.

Central Valley totaled 115 points while finishing ahead of last-place Atwater (32).

“The kids did well,” coach Beckhart said. “I’m proud of them. I don’t have any complaints. They worked hard.”