| California defeats Washington, 32-23, in the Junior Duals final.
Photo: John Sachs, tech-fall.com
It’s the second-straight national duals championship for the squad and seventh overall. California also captured the Cadet and Junior freestyle team championships this week as well.
“Two years ago, Washington beat us here in the finals, and we knew it was going to be a tough match,” California coach Mike Duran said. “Washington has a good group of girls and quite a bit of finalists so it was point for point. It was a tough match. We knew it was going to be like that and went out and gave it 100 percent.”
Although Washington forfeited the final two matches, the dual was tightly contested with the two teams splitting the first 10 bouts, all of which were decided by either a technical fall or pin.
Pins were exchanged to kick off the dual with Maria Reyes of Washington sticking Niaa Phan in 5:31 at 97 pounds and Alleida Martinez of California pinning Leah Olsen in 1:11 at 105 pounds.
Washington’s Cameron Guerin, fresh off a Junior Nationals championship, teched Aleeah Gould, 10-0, in less than five minutes.
Brenda Reyna, a Junior women’s champion a day earlier, followed up with another tech fall for Washington, defeating Nguyet Tran, 10-0, to help Washington build a 13-5 lead.
California responded with wins at 121 pounds and 125 pounds to regain the lead.
At 121, Gracie Figueroa, who picked up Cadet and Junior national titles earlier this week, eased her way to a win, scoring 10 quick points over Natalie Smith.
At 125, Gabby Garcia earned a fall against Erin Redford in 2:20, racking up eight fast points before putting her shoulders to the mat.
California and Washington spent the next three matches trading the lead.
Washington’s Emma Bruntil won an 11-0 tech fall over Jenna Garcia at 130 pounds.
California’s Marilyn Garcia earned a first-period tech fall over Sierra Joner at 139 pounds, scoring the final takedown with four seconds left in the period. California would take an 18-17 lead with the victory.
Lena Flanagan pinned McKenna Hutchison with one second left in the first period at 148 pounds in Washington’s final win of the dual, giving the team a 22-18 advantage.
At 159 pounds, California’s Solin Piercy took the match against Abby Lees, picking up eight points in the first period and six in the second in the 14-3 tech fall.
Leading by only one point after 159 pounds, Washington forfeited the last two bouts to Ophelia Lara and Victoria Espinoza at 172 pounds and 198 pounds, respectively, giving California the win.
“[The win] keeps us pushing,” Duran said. “It keeps us pioneering, and it keeps us out front and on top. That’s where we want to be. Team California wants to be on top, leading the way in wrestling and as far as our leadership goes in the growth of women’s wrestling.”
Texas defeated Wisconsin in the third-place bout, 32-25.
Fargo action continues tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. (CT) with Cadet and Junior men’s freestyle.
All matches from the 2016 ASICS/Vaughan Cadet and Junior National Championships can be viewed live on Flowrestling.com with a FLO PRO account. Complete brackets, results and team scores can be found on Trackwrestling.com.
2016 ASICS/VAUGHAN CADET AND JUNIOR NATIONALS
July 20 at The Fargodome in Fargo, N.D.
California 32, Washington 23
97 – Maria Reyes (Washington) fall Niaa Phan (California), 5:31
105 – Alleida Martinez (California) fall Leah Olsen (Washington), 1:11
112 – Cameron Guerin (Washington) tech. fall Aleeah Gould (California), 10-0
117 – Brenda Reyna (Washington) tech. fall Nguyet Tran (California), 10-0
121 – Gracie Figueroa (California) tech. fall Natalie Smith (Washington), 10-0
125– Gabrielle Garcia (California) pin Erin Redford (Washington), 2:22
130 – Emma Bruntil (Washington) tech. fall Jenna Garcia (California), 11-0
139 – Marilyn Garcia (California) tech. fall Sierra Joner (Washington), 10-0
148 – Lena Flanagan (Washington) fall McKenna Hutchison (California), 2:59
159 – Solin Piercy (California) tech. fall Abby Lees (Washington), 14-3
172 – Phelia Lara (California) wins by forfeit
198 – Victoria Espinoza (California) wins by forfeit
Junior Women’s Duals Champions
2005 – Texas
2006 – California
2007 – California
2008 – Texas
2009 – California
2010 – Not held
2011 – California
2012 – California
2013 – New York
2014 – Washington
2015 – California
2016 – California