Central Valley High School senior Carla Martinez walked out of Stockton Arena on Saturday with no regrets.
Martinez just missed earning her second straight trip to the CIF State Meet.
Martinez placed seventh while competing in the 160-pound weight bracket at the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Tournament.
The top-6 finishers qualified for state.
“I’m not mad about how I performed,” Martinez said. “I don’t think I could have done any better. I’m still proud of myself. You can’t get this far by luck.”
Martinez won three of her five matches.
She earned a hard-fought 2-1 win victory against Nevada Union’s Myra Walker during the seventh-place match.
She also bested Atwater’s Yadira Flores (pin, 1:36) and Monterey Trail’s Elizabeth Reynaga (decision, 4-).
Martinez lost in double overtime to Durham’s Tiyanna Leal (decision, 5-4) and was beaten by Elk Grove’s Bianca Pesole (decision, 8-2).
Leal (third) and Pesole (sixth) both qualified for state.
“The competition was very tough. I pushed myself. I won my last match. I went out there and had fun. I don’t regret anything.”Carla Martinez
“The competition was very tough,” Martinez said. “I pushed myself. I won my last match. I went out there and had fun. I don’t regret anything.”
Central Valley senior teammate Nia Caraway compiled an 0-2 record at 143 pounds.
She lost to Live Oak’s Izabella Fredericks (pin, 1:43) and West Campus’ Lillian Huang (pin, 2:26).
Martinez posted a 19-7 overall record, advanced to Masters and claimed the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-III title during her final season with the Hawks.
She was a state-qualifier at 131 pounds as a junior.
“I really wanted to get better and win,” Martinez said. “I put in a lot of extra hours outside. I had really supportive coaches. It’s really crazy what you can do when somebody believes in you. I don’t know what the future holds for me. If there’s an opportunity for me to wrestle, I’ll take it. I don’t want it to end.”
Martinez will be remembered as one of Central Valley’s all-time greatest female wrestlers.
Just five other Hawks have qualified for state, including Brianna Quiroz, Nayeli Pelayo, Rose Moore, Lexy Cordova and Malynda Lomeli.
“I didn’t expect to get this far,” Martinez said. “I definitely surprised myself. I was never really an athlete before high school. Wrestling helped me get to know myself better. It made me a fighter.”