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Phillips earns All-American honors at Folkstyle Nationals
Tyler Diaz of the Lancer Youth Wrestling Club executes the throw against Gilroy Hawk Nathan Jauregui during a San Joaquin Wrestling Association tournament in Los Banos Saturday. - photo by Photo Contributed

Sarah Phillips squared off with state champions and All-Americans in the USA Wrestling Girls Folkstyle Nationals last weekend at Oklahoma City University.

And joined the club.

The California state champion is now an All-American after placing sixth in a stacked field of 24 105-pounders in Junior Division.

Phillips was seeded seventh and awarded a first-round bye. She ended up 4-3 for the weekend, piling up four straight pinfall victories at one point to reach the consolation semifinals.

There, she was stopped by Cody Pfau of Colorado, a runner-up in last year’s national event, in 3 minutes, 26 seconds. Phillips then encountered top-seeded Michele Guerrero in the fifth-place match, falling in 3:43.

Things looked bleak in the early going for the East Union junior, who opened with a loss to Ohio state champion Alesha Zappitella in 4:50.

Facing elimination, Phillips went on her big run that started with a 33-second pin of Arizona titlist Samantha Garn. Next came Arizona runner-up Arelys Valles, who was finished off in 43 seconds. Phillips then defeated No. 4-seeded Jessica McCamish in 2:18 and pulled out another pinfall victory (4:35) in a back-and-forth exchange with No. 8 Erica Sweeney.

Phillips looks to bring home more hardware this upcoming weekend in the United States Girls Wrestling Association National Championships at Eastern Michigan University.

Lancer Youth Wrestling Club

The San Joaquin Wrestling Association’s freestyle and Greco season opened with a tournament at Pacheco High of Los Banos last Saturday.

The Lancers returned with seven top-two finishes. Tyler Diaz earned gold for both Greco and freestyle in the 55-60-pound intermediate division, while Jason Betlej twice placed second in the 91-pound schoolboy class.

In freestyle, Armando Torres (112-120, intermediate) and Jaysen Reindel (128-136, schoolboy) each won their divisions. Trinidad Diaz was the runner-up in the 75-80 novice division.

The Lancers return to action this Saturday at Buhach Colony in Atwater.

Nor Cal Take Down

Two young grapplers placed in the State of California Wrestling Association for the Youth (SCWAY) State Championships at Clovis High last weekend.

Carson Prim finished sixth in the 10-under 61-pound division. Fifty-six-pounder Michael Frietas took seventh in the six-under circuit.

Meanwhile in Oklahoma City, 70-pound Lilian Frietas won the 9-under title in the USAW Girls Folkstyle Nationals.