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WRESTLING: Sierra’s Garcia pins down spot in medal rounds
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BAKERSFIELD — Alexa Garcia made school history Friday in the CIF State Girls Wrestling Championships held at Rabobank Arena.
The Sierra High junior is guaranteed to earn a top-eight medal, the first girls grappler to do so at her school, after making quick work of Stockdale’s Ehireme Ohens in her lone match of the day. Garcia’s pinfall victory in 1 minute, 18 seconds secured her spot in the 165-pound bracket’s championship semifinals which begin Day 3 action this morning from 9-10:30.
Up next for the eighth-seeded Garcia is No. 4 Ariana Pereira from Newark Memorial. The other semifinal pits No. 2 Jerzie Estrada of Birmingham against No. 3 Yelena Makoyed of Bella Vista. The winners face off in the championship finals starting at 5:05 tonight.
Garcia is the last local wrestler remaining at the state tournament.
Fellow Timberwolf Camille Jarmon (111) has a solid showing, going 2-2. She ousted Bullard’s Jocelyn Hernandez with a 2:30 fall in her first consolation contest Friday. Riha Prasad of Santa Monica outpointed Jarmon, 5-0. Prasad opened the tournament with a loss to top-seeded Jennifer Soto of Orland but clawed her way into the seventh-place match.
East Union’s Sarah Atkins (137) came away with at least one win, pinning Valeria Cortez from James Lick in 1:49. She was then eliminated via 2:24 fall by Upland’s Sadie Forman. Atkins had a tough draw to start, as she got pinned in 1:51 by defending champion and No. 1-seeded Aine Drury of Westminster.  Drury’s next two opponents did not last as long.
Ripon freshman Katelyn Cardoza (131) finished 0-2 but gained valuable experience against stiff competition. She lost to fifth-seeded Phonisha Pruitt of Lincoln in 53 seconds. Pruitt is a two-time San Diego Section champion who was upset in the first round Friday.
Garcia will finish no worse than sixth place today as she looks to join the area’s most accomplished girls wrestlers:
•    Ripon’s Juliana Triplett (165) claimed two state titles in 2011-12.
•    Lathrop’s Jazmine Ivey placed third in two different weight classes, 146 and 137, in 2013-14.
•    East Union alumna Sarah Phillips is the only three-time medalist from the area, finishing fourth in 2011 at 98 pounds, sixth in 2012 at 103 and fifth in 2013 at 103.
•    Lathrop resident Aysia Cortez represented Venture Academy of Stockton in 2016 when she took third at 131.
•    Weston Ranch’s Alyssa Cantu (165) finished sixth in 2012.