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Girls competing in section invite

Ripon’s Triplett among 165-lb. favorites

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Girls competing in section invite

East Union freshman Sarah Phillips will try and close out the girls season with a strong showing in today's Sac-Joaquin Section Invitational at McNair High in Stockton.

Bulletin file photo/

POSTED February 5, 2010 2:39 a.m.
A handful of area girl wrestlers have put together quality seasons and a few are hoping to close things out with strong performances in the Sac-Joaquin Section Girls Wrestling Invitational Tournament at McNair High in Stockton.

Standouts Hailey Owens and Julianna Triplet of Ripon High along with Sarah Phillips of East Union open tournament action today.

Triplett is coming off of an impressive second-place finish at the 165-pound weight class during the CIF Northern California Regional Tournament Jan. 16.

“Last year Julianna won it as a freshman, so we kind of expect her to do it again,” Ripon head coach Glenn White said. “She kind of had an unfortunate incident at state (Jan. 30) and got disqualified, but I think she’ll bounce back and do well this weekend.”

Phillips has made the most of her first season at the high school level, garnering a pair of tournament championships and five top-3 finishes. Phillips is carrying on the legacy paved by Manteca Buffaloes graduate and cousin Samantha Phillips. Samantha was a state champion during her career, giving Sarah instant legitimacy on her surname alone.

“The expectations were high for Sarah, she was in the paper before she was on the team” East Union head coach A.J. Reindel said. “I’d like to take a lot of the credit and say I taught her and I made her this good, but no, she is just tough.

“She’s physically tough, mentally tough; she has a lot of the stuff a wrestling coach looks for but can’t teach.”

Phillips will try and continue her dominance thru the 98-poundd tournament field.

Ripon’s Owens will battle the entrants in the 114-poundd weight class. Like the other two wrestlers, Owens has earned her share of success on the year, but a tournament victory would be the ideal conclusion to her sophomore season.

“Hailey has really improved this season,” White said of Owens. “She wrestled pretty well last year at the Invitational, but we’re hoping that she will be able to break through and place this year.”

Weston Ranch High standout Sara Leon will not participate in the two-day tourney due to injury, bringing a season where she worked herself into a No. 2 section ranking to a sad end.

“It is really heartbreaking for the young lady,” Cougar head coach Pat King said. “She has been in there every day, has not missed a practice, and she works as hard as any guy in our room.

“She has improved 10-fold this year, so it was hard to see her miss the final tournament.”

 The tournament will solely feature the top wrestlers in the section, giving the girls a well-deserved center stage for the entire wrestling community to enjoy.

“These girls work just as hard as the guys, if not harder than some of them,” Reindel said. “They have been wrestling boys and girls all year, so for her to get into a tournament that is section-wide, but just for the girls, it’s what she deserved.”
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