USA Wrestling California Girls Sta...

California Girls States: National No. 1 Soto beats No. 2 Mendoza at 121, as 40 nationally-ranked athletes earn places

By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling | Feb. 29, 2020, 11:56 p.m. (ET)

Jennifer Soto of Orland High School after winning the California state title at 121 pound in a No. 1 vs. No. 2 national battle against Melanie Mendoza of Selma High School. Photo by Tony Rotundo, Wrestlers Are Warriors.

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – Dozens of nationally ranked girl wrestlers were featured at the 2020 CIF California state girls wrestling championships, which completed Saturday evening.

California has the most high school girl wrestlers in the nation, and in one of the oldest official state high school competitions. Girl wrestlers from California have traditionally done well at USA Wrestling national competitions, and many have gone on to star at the college and the Senior levels.

Overall, 40 nationally ranked high school wrestlers placed in the top eight at this year’s California state tournament for girls. Every weight class had at least one ranked athlete in the finals, and eight of the weight classes had both finalists in the national rankings.

This tournament will have a major impact on the National Girls High School Rankings, which will be published again in mid-March.

Included in the finals was a match between the No. 1 and No. 2 wrestlers in the nation at 121 pounds, where No. 1 ranked sophomore Jennifer Soto of Orland beat No. 2 ranked senior Melanie Mendoza of Selma, 5-2. Soto won her second straight state title, after winning as a freshman last year at 111 pounds.

One other nationally No. 1 ranked wrestler competed in the finals, where No. 1 Cheyenne Bowman of Rowland pinned No. 4 Aine Drury of Westminster in 2:51. Bowman had been ranked No. 1 nationally at 138 pounds, but has since moved up to 143 pounds. Bowman was named Outstanding Wrestler of the tournament.

The weight classes with the most nationally ranked athletes were 150 pounds and 189 pounds, which both had five nationally ranked athletes in the top eight placewinners.

At 150, No. 3 Lilly Freitas of Pitman pinned No. 8 Hannah Ricioli of El Molino in 3:24 at 150 pounds. The top five placewinners in this weight class all came into the tournament with a national ranking.

At 189, in a battle of seniors, No. 5 Alia Abushi of Arroyo San Lorenzo pinned No. 3 Adelina Parra of San Fernando in 3:16. In this weight class also, the top five placewinners all had a national ranking coming into the state meet.

The results of the other finals with two nationally-ranked wrestlers were:
• No. 7 Nyla Valencia (Sobrato) defeated No. 6 Alyssa Valdivia (Frontier), 11-4 at 106 pounds
• No. 11 Desinee Lopez (Folsom) beat No. 22 Charlotte Kouyoumtjian (Monache), 6-5 at 116 pounds
• No. 22 Tiera Jimerson (Northview) decisioned No. 19 Maya Letona (Santa Cruz), 5-4 at 131 pounds
• No. 10 Ariana Pereira (Newark Memorial) edged No. 6 Francesca LoPresti (Albany), 2-1 at 160 pounds

Three of the new state champions came into the state meet without a current national ranking.

In the finals at 235 pounds, nationally unranked junior Julia Richey of Newbury Park pinned No. 15 Rebecca Camacho of Cerritos in 3:19. In the finals at 137 pounds, nationally unranked freshman Johanna Forman of Upland pinned No. 9 ranked freshman Savannah Gomez of Brawley in 2:10. At 170 pounds, junior America Lopez of Valencia, who was not nationally ranked, won a tight 2-1 decision over No. 3 Katja Osteen of Royal at 170 pounds.

Other individual champions, with their national ranking, included No. 12 Lizette Rodriguez of James Logan at 101, No. 2 Cristelle Rodriguez of Buchanan at 111 and No. 14 Adaugo Nwachukwu of Silver Creek at 126.

If there is any doubt about the difficulty of the California girls states, consider that top seed and No. 2 nationally-ranked Paige Morales of Central was pinned by unseeded Abbeygae Cabuag of Sobrato in the first round at 101 pounds. Morales rallied with seven straight wins in the consolations to place third, including a technical fall over Cabaug in the consolation quarterfinals. Cabaug finished eighth in the weight class.

In the team race, James Logan finished in first with 94 points, ahead of runner-up San Fernando with 90 points.

The tournament was held alongside the California boys state championships again this year. California also has more boys wrestling than any other state in the nation, including numerous nationally ranked athletes as well.

Click here the California boys state wrestling championships results

This was a busy weekend for official and unofficial state championships for girls. Currently, there are 21 states with official state association girls state tournaments, and almost an equal number of unofficial girls state meets run by their state high school coaches association, USA Wrestling state association or other group. As in other years, TheMat.com will publish a list of girls state high school champions once the state tournament season ends.

Athletes seeking to improve their national ranking or break into the national rankings are highly recommended to attend the 2020 USA Wrestling Girls Folkstyle National Championships, set for the Broadmoor World Arena in Colorado Springs, Colo., March 26-29. This is the largest national girls folkstyle tournament in the nation, featuring outstanding athletes from across the nation.

CIF CALIFORNIA STATE GIRLS CHAMPIONSHIPS
At Bakersfield, Calif., February 29
(with national high school rankings noted)

101
1st - No. 12 Lizette Rodriguez (James Logan) Sr dec. Brianna Gonzalez (Arroyo) So., 7-2
3rd – No. 2 Paige Morales (Central) Fr. maj. dec. Melissa Lee (Fremont) Sr, 11-0
5th - Kiely Tabaldo (Menlo Atherton) Fr. maj. dec. Hailey Ward (Turlock) Sr., 8-0
7th - Mikayla Guevarra (Amador Valley) Sr. pin Abbeygael Cabuag (Sobrato) Fr., 2:50

106
1st - No. 7 Nyla Valencia (Sobrato) So. dec. No. 6 Alyssa Valdivia (Frontier), 11-4
3rd - Karen Salais (Calexico) So. pin Lilly Avalos (Pitman) Fr., 0:53
5th - Carissa Qureshi (Portola) Fr. pin Emilie Gonzalez (Arroyo) So., 2:44
7th - Greta Gustafson (Santa Cruz) Jr. pin Liv Villanueva (Northgate) Sr., 1:51

111
1st - No. 2 Cristelle Rodriguez (Buchanan) So. maj. dec. Lexy Beadles (Calaveras) So, 17-4
3rd – No. 11 Leah Gaitan (Yucaipa) So. pin No. 12 Adrienna Turner (Davis) Jr., 2:23
5th - Valeree Ornelas (Clovis) Sr. maj. dec. Artemisia Matera (Head Royce) Jr., 8-0
7th - Sarah Null (Elk Grove) Fr. dec. Yesenia Deguire (Olympian) Sr., 9-2

116
1st - No. 11 Desinee Lopez (Folsom) Sr. dec. No. 22 Charlotte Kouyoumtjian (Monache) Jr, 6-5
3rd – No. 10 Elena Ivaldi (Del Oro) Fr. dec. Kaelyn Siason (Alvarez) Sr., 7-0
5th - Berlin Kiddoo (Ramona) So. pin Kai Kenney (Durham) Sr., 4:27
7th - Juliana Cubias (Aliso Niguel) Sr. pin Toren Dunbar (Steele Canyon) Sr., 1:51

121
1st - No. 1 Jennifer Soto (Orland) So. dec. No. 2 Melanie Mendoza (Selma) Sr, 5-2
3rd – No. 5 Katie Gomez (Birmingham) So. dec. Janida Garcia (Lathrop) Fr., 6-1
5th - Ariah Barragan (Imperial) Jr. dec. Hailey Chapman (Rim Of The World), So., 1-0 TB1
7th - Sara Sterner (Morro Bay) Jr. dec. Tehya Ledesma (Hillcrest) So., 8-5

126
1st - No. 14 Adaugo Nwachukwu (Silver Creek) Jr. maj. dec. Samantha Barragan (Hemet) Jr., 16-6
3rd – No. 9 Solana Mottola (Corona) Jr. dec. No. 18 Alisha Narvaez (James Logan) Sr., 3-1
5th - Madison Fonseca (Orland) Sr. pin No. 7 Kelly Escamilla (California) Jr., 0:53
7th - Izabella Evans (Mission Oak) Jr. dec. Estefany Garcia (Mountain View) Sr., 12-6

131
1st - No. 22 Tiera Jimerson (Northview) Sr. dec. No. 19 Maya Letona (Santa Cruz) Sr., 5-4
3rd - Athena Willden (Oak Hills) Jr. dec. Shawntel Copple (Las Plumas) Jr., 6-2
5th - Emily Alderman (Bella Vista) Sr. dec. Anna Smith (Menlo Atherton) Sr., 5-1
7th - Desirea Tauluuluu-spadini (Antioch) Jr. dec. Taydem Khamjoi (Chavez) Fr., 4-1

137
1st - Johanna Forman (Upland) Fr. pin No. 9 Savannah Gomez (Brawley) Fr., 2:10
3rd – No. 23 Joanna Qiu (Albany) Sr. dec. Faalia Martinez (Central Catholic) Sr., 7-3
5th - Aliana Lefotu (Golden Valley Cs) Jr. dec. Samantha Snow (Los Alamitos) Sr., 3-2
7th - Eleni Fakaosi (Lincoln) Sr. dec. Beyonce Garcia (James Logan) Sr., 8-3

143
1st - No. 1 Cheyenne Bowman (Rowland) Jr. pin No. 4 Aine Drury (Westminster), 2:51
3rd – No. 6 Emmily Patneaud (Gilroy) Sr. dec. Annie Hua (Fremont) Jr., 5-0
5th – No. 10 Gianna Anaya (San Fernando) Sr. dec. Sadie Forman (Upland) Sr., 3-1, SV1
7th - Megan Irwin (Armijo) Jr. dec. Orianna Morales (Bakersfield) Jr., 7-6

150
1st - No. 3 Lilly Freitas (Pitman) So. pin No. 8 Hannah Ricioli (El Molino), 3:24
3rd – No. 21 Michelle Kamyshin (River City) Sr. pin No. 13 Cassandra Betancourt (Rancho Buena Vista) Sr., 1:17
5th – No. 15 Lizah Hingano (Rio Linda) Jr. dec. Mikayla Silverman (Gunn) Jr., 3-1
7th - Maddie Konopka (La Costa Canyon) Sr. pin Lauren Camp (Kennedy) Sr., 1:59

160
1st - No. 10 Ariana Pereira (Newark Memorial) Sr. dec. No. 6 Francesca LoPresti (Albany), Sr., 2-1
3rd - Sierra Mefford (Valley Center) Jr. dec. Alyssa Arana (San Fernando) So., 3-0
5th - Miranda Koppi (Corona) Sr. dec. Clarissa Alvarez (Orange Cove) Sr., 5-0
7th - Cynthia Esquivel (Walnut) Jr. dec. Kalila Shrive (West) Fr., 5-1

170
1st - America Lopez (Valencia) Jr. dec. No. 3 Katja Osteen (Royal) Jr., 2-1
3rd - BaoAhn Duncan-Perez (Clovis) So. pin Valerie Osborne (Oakdale) Sr., 2:03
5th - Maliya Castillo (Ridgeview) So. dec. Cianna Riley (San Dimas) Sr., 2-1, TB1
7th - Samantha Calkins (Liberty) So. pin Viviana Romo (San Fernando) So., 4:44

189
1st - No. 5 Alia Abushi (Arroyo San Lorenzo) Sr. pin No. 3 Adelina Parra (San Fernando) Sr., 3:16
3rd – No. 5 Alexa Garcia (Sierra) Sr. dec. No. 7 Hollie Espinoza (Rancho Cotate) Jr., 7-5, SV1
5th – No. 8 Juliannah Bolli (Silver Creek) Sr. forfeit over Aracely Rendon-Gomez (Eureka) Sr.
7th - Kaycee Fitero (Cerritos) Sr. pin Kailee Rivera (Will C Wood) Sr., 2:29

235
1st - Julia Richey (Newbury Park) Jr. pin No. 15 Rebecca Camacho (Cerritos) Sr., 3:19
3rd – No. 2 Lilly McCoy (Casa Grande) Sr. pin Tatianna Herrera (James Logan) Jr., 2:37
5th - Annika Miles (Elk Grove) So. dec. Arykah Cuevas (Selma) Jr., 3-2
7th - Cassidy Curtiss (Tokay) Jr. pin Kyle-Ann Bobo (Woodcreek) Sr., 4:41

Team Standings (top 10)
1. James Logan 94
2. San Fernando 90
3. Pitman 64
4. Orland 60
5. Silver Creek 53.5
6. Albany 52
7. Selma 47
8. (tie) Corona 45
8. (tie) Northview 45
8. (tie) Upland 45
8. (tie) Yucaipa 45