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California girl’s wrestling championships notebook: Day 1 takeaways, surprises, and notes

Day 1 of the California girl’s state tournament taught another valuable lesson that easy wins are a rare, rare sight at this stage of the postseason. The survive-and-advance theme rings true as some of California hammers still have to grind through tougher-than-expected opponents.

12 number one seeds advance to the quarterfinal round

Of the 14 No. 1 seeded wrestlers in the tournament, only two were knocked out in the second round and failed to advance to the quarterfinal round. Paige Morales of Central High was upset in the second round as she was pinned by Abbeygae Cabuag of Sobrato High in 3:03 of their championship match at 101-pounds. The second No. 1 seed going down in the early rounds was Isela Mendez of Northview High at 235-pounds. A takedown by Cassidy Curtiss (Tokay) in the first period and two penalty points in the second period gave her the 4-1 edge.

Upset central

Two upsets jump off the page from Day 1 of the tournament. The first was that of Carissa Qureshi of Portola who was the Southern Section Champion losing a second-round matchup to Nyla Valencia of Sobrato High by a 9-1 decision in what is shaping up to be a wild 106-pound bracket. The other was a 4-3 TB-1 win by Sadie Forman of Upper Lake over Gianna Anaya of San Fernando at 143-pounds. Anaya is a two-time state medalist and was a state finalist last season.

Don’t Blink

An injury at last year’s section tournament derailed Katja Osteen's (Royal) chances from becoming a two-time state champion. This year, 100% healthy, Osteen has been on a mission to capture another state title. In her two matches at the state tournament, she got two falls in 16 and 17 seconds for a total of 33 total seconds wrestled in her two matches. She will compete tomorrow and take on fellow San Fernando are wrestler Viviana Romo of San Fernando High. Romo is an L.A. City Section Champion competes for defending state champions San Fernando High.

The Tigers still on the hunt

Defending state champions San Fernando High still on the hunt of making history and becoming the first Los Angeles area school to claim back-to-back state titles. The Tigers will return all of their wrestlers to the second day of the state tournament with Samantha Larios (131), Natalie Castenada (137), Desiree Fuentes (150), Alyssa Arana (160), Viviana Romo (170), and Adelina Parra (189) wrestling in the quarterfinals.

22 pins at 189-pounds

Out of the 24 contested matches at 189-pounds, 22 of the matches ended via a fall with the fastest coming in 41 seconds by Kaycee Fitero (Cerritos). The only two matches that went the distance were won by Gracie Lane (Centennial) who defeated Monique Granados (Santa Teresa) 5-0; and Miricle Barra (Brawley) who defeated Emma Lopez (American Canyon) 6-3.

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