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CV lady wrestlers claim WAC dual-meet title
Hawks win tiebreaker over Livingston Wolves, Los Banos Tigers
Seniors Emily Mendoza, Nayeli Pelayo, Julia Avila and Olivia Chaboya have helped lead Central Valleys varsity girls wrestling program to new heights this winter. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Central Valley's varsity girls wrestling program has accomplished another one of its goals.

The Hawks claimed the Western Athletic Conference dual-meet season title on Senior Night last week.

Central Valley won the championship thanks to its forfeit victory over crosstown-rival Ceres High on Wednesday and Los Banos' win against Pacheco.

"We dropped the ball the week before losing to Livingston," Hawks coach Rob Beckhart said. "Fortunately, Los Banos was able to come through for us. We would have lost the tiebreaker to Livingston if Pacheco beat Los Banos."
"I'm super excited," Central Valley third-year grappler Nayeli Pelayo said. "It's my senior year. It's our last year in the WAC. Everybody wanted to make a mark. We broke records. We made history."

Central Valley (4-1) finished in a three-way tie for first place in the WAC standings with Livingston and Los Banos.

The Hawks (84 points) won the tiebreaker versus the Wolves (74) and Tigers (73).

"We had more team points then they had against us," Beckhart said.

Ceres High compiled an 0-5 record.

The Bulldogs had a thin lineup.

"The bi-law says you have to have five girls to compete," Beckhart said.

Pelayo and fellow seniors Julia Avila and Olivia Chaboya were recognized before the start of the Central Valley-Ceres High exhibition dual.

"They were really pleasant to be around," Beckhart said. "If we didn't have them in our lineup this year, it would have been a lot tougher for us to win."

Chaboya won by pin (0:38) versus Suzy Rodriguez at 160 pounds.

Central Valley's Ellena Markham won by pin (1:06) versus Ceres High's Briahnna Canales at 116 pounds.

The Hawks finished first at the WAC Championships on Jan. 27 in Los Banos.

Central Valley struggled as a team in the past due to a lack of numbers.

The Hawks competed with a full lineup for the first time in program history this season.

"I don't know who the ringleader was," Beckhart said. "But someone went out and made a concerted effort to get more girls on our team."

"We had a lot of pressure on us," Pelayo added. "Everyone took the sport seriously. Nobody was messing around. We worked really hard."