BAKERSFIELD — Sierra senior Alexa Garcia and Lathrop freshman Janida Garcia are returning to the third and final day of the CIF State Championships at Mechanics Bank Arena.
Both have reached the medal rounds of the season-ending tournament, which resumes this morning at 9 with the fourth round of consolation bouts. The third-, fifth- and seventh-place matches for boys and girls are scheduled to take place from 1-3 p.m., and the championship finals are set for 6-9.
The two Garcias were among the six local qualifiers to advance to the state event. Four consecutive wins today would be good for a third-place finish.
Alexa was the only one to reach the championship quarterfinals on Thursday, while Janida took the longer road to the medal rounds by dropping her opener on Day 1 and winning three straight matches Friday.
Third-seeded Alexa Garcia, the Sac-Joaquin Section's reigning 189-pound champion, dropped a 6-4 tiebreaker to No. 6 Hollie Espinoza of Rancho Cotate in her only match Friday. They battled to a 3-3 draw at the end of regulation, and Espinoza jumped ahead for good with a takedown in overtime.
Today, Garcia looks to improve on her sixth-place finish from last year. She starts with Oxnard's Erksine Swan of Oxnard, the fourth-place finisher out of the Southern Section.
SJS runner-up Janida Garcia strung together three dominant performances on Friday, two of them ending in pins in the 121-pound division. She began with a 3-minute, 57-pound pin of San Ysidros' Alex Rosales after staking a 9-0 lead.
Garcia then outpointed Menlo Atherton's Alexia Bensoussan 4-0 and stopped Millikan's Sophia Miller in 2:06. Garcia is pitted against Central Coast Section runner-up Katherine Nguyen of Evergreen Valley in consolation round 4 action.
Ripon sophomore and SJS 143-pound champ Katelyn Cardoza had her run end in round 3 of the consolation bracket, finishing 2-2 for the tournament. Seeded eighth, she dropped her opening match Thursday and came up just short of reaching the medal rounds.
She started the second session by beating Golden Valley's Audrey Chavez with a 2-minute fall after trailing 3-2. Cardoza backed that up with a 2:36 stoppage of Wilson Long Beach's Gracie Kirazian.
A familiar foe stood in her way of the medal rounds — Live Oak's Izabella Fredericks, whom Cardoza defeated at the SJS Masters Championships final round with a thrilling final-round comeback. Fredericks avenged the defeat, holding on for a 4-2 minor decision win.
East Union 138-pounder Tyler Diaz also finished 2-2. The only male qualifier from the area worked his way to a 13-2 advantage before stopping Zane Kowlkowski of Durham in 4:41 in his first consolation match Friday. Diaz followed that with a 9-4 decision over Redwood's Alex Rodriguez but was stopped short of the medal rounds by fourth-seeded Joshua Medina of Servite. Medina won via major decision, 14-6.
Sierra's Cami Jarmon (111) and Ripon's Alyssa Oliver (116) rounded out state qualifiers from area schools and eliminated after two matches.