Ceres High varsity girls wrestling training partners Vanessa Sanchez and Kyara Rodriguez both extended their seasons this past weekend by virtue of their top-eight finishes at the Sac-Joaquin Section South Regional Tournament at Central Valley High School.
“Having competition in the room is a good thing,” coach Julie Pata said. “They’re always helping each other out. The motivate each other. They push each other to the extreme.”
Sanchez, a senior, placed fifth in the 235-pound weight bracket.
She also amassed a 1-2 record.
Sanchez beat Central Valley’s Hannah Duncan (pin, 4:04).
She lost to Tokay’s Cassidy Curtiss (pin, 1:25) and Lincoln’s Aneisha Goodlaw (pin, 0:40).
Sanchez was sidelined during the Western Athletic Conference Championships the previous week with a leg injury.
“I knew she’d be able to move on to Masters because of her work ethic and wrestling IQ,” Pata said. “She doesn’t quit.”
Rodriguez, a senior, took seventh at 189 pounds.
She posted a 1-2 record.
Rodriguez beat Atwater’s Nelly Martinez (decision, 7-4).
She lost to Buhach Colony’s Laura Gonzalez (pin, 1:29) and Merced’s Maria Hernandez (pin, 4:25).
“Winning WAC gave her more confidence,” Pata said. “It also added a little more pressure. There were some amazing wrestlers in her weight bracket. She was ready for the challenge.”
Junior A.C. Lugo, and sophomores Angelique Alvarado, Jazzmin Suarez and Suzy Rodriguez had their seasons end at the South Regional Tournament.
“They worked hard. They were warriors on the mat.”Coach Julie Pata
“They worked hard,” Pata said. “They were warriors on the mat.”
Lugo won one of three matches at 143 pounds.
She beat McNair’s Sierra Guthery (pin, 2:35).
Lugo lost to Gregori’s Savannah Van Natta (pin, 1:39) and Chavez’s Jericka Renner (pin, 1:27).
Alvarado won one of three matches at 121 pounds.
She beat Lincoln’s Marissa Jaime (forfeit).
Alvarado lost to Sierra’s Natalia Aguilar (pin, 3:19) and Livingston’s Myriam Lopez (pin, 0:25).
Suarez dropped two matches at 137 pounds.
She lost to Oakdale’s Faalia Martinez (pin, 0:47) and Lathrop’s Kristina Rose (pin, 1:26).
Suzy Rodriguez dropped two matches at 170 pounds.
She lost to Stagg’s Angel Vasquez (pin, 0:42) and Atwater’s Jackie Martinez (pin, 0:09).
Ceres High finished 34th overall in the team standings.
“Considering most of our girls are first-year wrestlers, they did amazing,” Pata said. “They improved a lot this year.”
Newcomers to the sport of wrestling, Sanchez and Kyara Rodriguez will represent the Bulldogs at the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Tournament, Feb. 15-16, at Lincoln of Stockton.
The top six finishers in each weight class advance to the CIF State Championships. “It blows my mind seeing these girls get to where they’re at,” Pata said. “They’re pretty similar as far their work ethics. They have positive attitudes all the time. It makes me proud I got an opportunity to coach them. I just want to see them wrestle the way I know they can. I want to see them have fun.”