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Montiel leads six area placers with gold

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Montiel leads six  area placers with gold

Sierra High sophomore Jessica Montiel attempts to break away from Amador's Teal Steward during a 108-pound "B" Division match in the 5th Annual Lady Lancer Tournament. Nearly 70 competitors from al...


POSTED December 31, 2009 2:55 a.m.
The 5th Annual Lady Lancer Tournament at East Union High Wednesday lasted just 4 ½ hours.

With only 67 competitors, about half of last year’s turnout, the crowd was sparse, but the matches flowed one after the other without hiccups.

Teams and wrestlers were tentative to attend because of the proximity to New Year’s Eve. It was the smallest congregation since the tournament’s inception, but for some the event was a big improvement from the previous one.

East Union junior Stefanie Collins, one of six area grapplers to compete, was all smiles after despite losing the last of her four matches of the day.

It just so happened that the 122-pound title was up for grabs by the time she met Edison’s Sofia Orozco in the round-robin style tournament. Collins was pinned, but she was ecstatic to finish with a 3-1 record and second place.

 “I did much better than last year,” Collins said. “I lost all of my matches last time, so I’m very excited.”

Collins was involved in some of the day’s best matches and could have easily gone 1-3.

In her second, she trailed Veronica Chong of Vallejo in the waning moments but pulled off a stunning pin with one second remaining. And in her next bout, she was down 9-2 to Lynzie Gutierrez of Stagg before stopping her midway through the third period.

All six wrestlers from the area earned at least a third-place finish for a medal.

Sierra sophomore Jessica Montiel was the only one to win her pool, doing so in the 108-pound “B” division. Her three wins all came by pinfall, the fastest coming in 33 seconds in her opening-round match against Sophie Daniels of Vallejo.

“This is my first time in a tournament, so winning my first one feels great,” Montiel said.

Finishing second were Ripon’s Juliana Triplett at 165 and Weston Ranch’s Sara Leon at 145. Triplett dropped a 7-5 heartbreaker to Vintage’s Heather O’Connor in the final round, while Leon was edged by Golden Valley’s Naomi Martinez, 5-2.

East Union freshman Sarah Phillips was in arguably the most competitive division at 103, and Ripon sophomore Hailey Owens was in one of the deepest at 114. Both came in third.

Phillips had a chance to clinch her second tournament title of the season when she squared off with Edison’s Julieta Gonzalez in her last match of the day but lost a 17-6 decision.

Gonzalez managed to go undefeated at 4-0. Phillips and two others went 2-2, including Argonaut’s Casey Wright — seventh in the state according to California Women’s Wrestling Association’s preseason rankings.

Owens dropped back-to-back matches but rebounded with two quick pins to end up 3-2.

Novato’s Courtney Madison (108), who entered the season ranked second in the state, and Tianna Camous (135) of Folsom were named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Wrestlers. Both pinned every opponent they faced, but all of Camous’ were stuck in less than 45 seconds.

Stagg claimed the team championship with 100 points.
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