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Phillips earns folkstyle state championship
Sarah Phillips shows off her title belt earned in the USA Wrestling Junior Girls Folkstyle State Championships this past weekend. - photo by Photo Contributed

East Union standout Sarah Phillips elevated her standings in the upcoming USA Wrestling Junior Girls Folkstyle National Championships this past weekend.

The East Union junior took first place finish in the girls state championships in Fresno.

Phillips closed out the 60-wrestler tournament with arguably her best finish. Phillips went into the final round of her championship bout with Kaylee Chavez trailing by six points. Chavez placed third at 95 pounds in the CIF Girls Wrestling Invitational last month.

With options minimal, Phillips put a two-piece move together and pinned Chavez 16 seconds into the final round for the 105-pound state title.

The top spot in California state championship should serve Phillips well when seeding is announced for the National Championships at Oklahoma City University beginning March 24.

“It was actually a pretty good feeling,” Phillips said in a phone interview. “I was losing 6-0 and it was just amazing. I didn’t think that I would win it, and I was so happy.”

Phillips will now focus her energy on trying to return from Oklahoma with another national title. Phillips made good on the trip a year ago, winning first place in the cadet division for sophomores and freshman.

This year, Phillips will move up a division, yet still takes the same aspirations of returning with a national title. Phillips’ performance earned her a championship belt and workout gear from state championship sponsor Clinch Gear for taking down the 105-pound title.

“Last year I ended up taking a first place, so this year is more for fun,” Phillips said of her upcoming trip to nationals. “It’s my junior year and I’m excited.

“But of course I want to go out there and get first.”