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Quiroz, Hawks wrestling teammates medal at South Regional
Central Valley junior Brianna Quiroz (middle) brought home a second-place medal from the Sac-Joaquin Section South Regional Tournament. - photo by Contributed to the Courier

Central Valley's varsity girls wrestling program turned in its best performance to date at the Sac-Joaquin Section South Regional Tournament earlier this month in Ceres.

The host Hawks racked up 87.50 points while finishing in fourth place at the 47-team tournament, staged Feb. 2-3.

Tokay (214), Lincoln of Stockton (140) and Buhach Colony (104.50) took first, second and third, respectively.

"It felt good that we beat so many teams," Central Valley 150-pound junior grappler Brianna Quiroz said.

The Hawks will send five of their 12 grapplers to Masters.

Quiroz, Nayeli Pelayo, Ellena Markham, Emily Mendoza and Natalie Torres finished in the top eight in their respective weight classes at Regionals.

"We didn't really focus on a team goal," Quiroz said. "We just worked on the things that needed to be worked on to try to get everyone through. But I think that us taking top four gave us a good feeling because we worked hard and finished on top."

Quiroz won three of four matches on her way to a runner-up finish.

She beat Patterson's Brisa Salas (pin), Ripon's Emily Ahuna (pin) and Ceres High's Hillary Ortega (pin).

Brianna lost to Gregori's Liliana Vergara (pin).

"I didn't have a set goal for myself, only to wrestle my hardest and do whatever it took to make it to the next level," she said. "I've never been in a final where I was in the middle of the mat wrestling for first place. It felt good. Although I took second, I'm happy with it. My opponent is a very talented wrestler and I'm glad I got to experience that match."

Pelayo (189s pounds, 2-1 record) also finished in second place.

She beat Stagg's Brianna Flores (default) and Chavez's Michelle Torres (technical fall).

Nayeli lost to Buhach Colony's Laura Gonzalez (pin).

Markham (116s, 4-3) and Mendoza (121s, 4-3) both placed sixth.

Ellena beat Mountain House's Alexia Bejarano (default), Ripon's Avery Thompson (pin), Los Banos' Kiana Daniels (pin) and Merced's Eriel Gonzalez (decision).

Markham lost to Gonzalez (pin) and Sierra's Cami Jarmon (pin).

Emily beat Atwater's Briseida Mendez (decision), Los Banos' Destiny Torres (pin), Livingston's Dioselyn Martinez (pin) and Mountain House's Amanda Kim (pin).

Mendoza lost to Lincoln's Christina Torres (6-4) and Edison's Maria Valente (pin).

Torres (170s, 0-3) took eighth.

Natalie lost to Atwater's Courtney Juarez (pin), Sierra's Citlali Chavez (pin) and Pacheco's Yareli Botello (pin).

Hawk teammates Julia Avila (106s, 2-2), Carla Martinez (137s, 2-2), Aryanna Jimenez (111s, 1-2), Vanessa Contreras (101s, 0-2), Isabella Pelayo (131s, 0-2), Esther Esceverri (143s, 0-2) and Olivia Chaboya (160s, 0-2) did not place.

Central Valley continued its unprecedented run of excellence as a team at Regionals.

The Hawks made program history earlier this season by taking first at the Western Athletic Conference Tournament and claiming the WAC dual-meet season title.

Central Valley struggled as a team in previous years because of a lack of numbers.

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

"We've worked hard for all of the accomplishments that we've had," Quiroz said.

The Masters tournament will be held, Feb. 16-17, at McNair High School in Stockton.