By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Ripon seniors Cardoza, Rangel each earn 8th-place medals at state
CIF State Wrestling
Ripon High wrestling coaches Glen White (left) and Eric Barriga with eighth-place medalists Katelyn Cardoza (second from left) and Riley Rangel after the California Interscholastic Federation State Championships at Mechanics Bank Arena in Bakersfield on Saturday. COURTESY PHOTO

Katelyn Cardoza and Riley Rangel each won one of their three matches on the final day of the California Interscholastic Federation State Championships, but it was enough for the Ripon High seniors to land spots on the medal stand.

They both left Mechanics Bank Arena in Bakersfield with eighth-place medals on Saturday, finishing 3-3 overall. Eight area wrestlers qualified for the state tournament, and Cardoza and Rangel were the last two standing.

“This is the second time Ripon has had dual medalists, so this accomplishment is no small feat,” Ripon girls coach Eric Barriga said. “Their hard work has allowed them to not only qualify, but to both place.”

It was a proper end to a decorated career for Cardoza, who hadn’t previously medaled but made school history by becoming its first three-time state qualifier in the sport. She had a tough road to the podium, facing section champions in each of the first three rounds and four seeded opponents total in the 150-poound bracket.  

On Saturday, she defeated Magdalena Leal of Corning on points, 8-3, to reach the medal rounds. Cardoza was then pinned in 46 seconds by No. 6-seeded Princes Monsalud to get sent into the seventh-place match where she lost to No. 3 Aalijiah Pineda of Valencia in 1:27.

Rangel opened Saturday with a 2:18 pinning of Palm Desert’s Chloe Overgaag, the Southern Section runner-up. That advanced her to the 137-pound medal rounds, where she ran into Mira Monte’s Yazmine Perez and was stopped in 2:25. She lost to Charli Jewell from Foothill of the Southern Section in 4:45 in the seventh-place match.  

“It has been a great four years with these two wrestlers,” Barriga said. “They’ve both come so far with their wrestling game. Both have only wrestled for four years and both have worked to hone their craft. Wrestling is the hardest sport to pick up in such a short amount of time.

“I can’t express my jubilation in words. Both of these young ladies have worked consistently and constantly toward reaching state, however to have both place is a testament to their work ethic. They’ve both been offered college scholarships to wrestle at the next level.”