Local wrestlers leave their mark at Napa Classic

McKinleyville senior Audriana Beattie led the local charge at the prestigious Napa Valley Classic this weekend.

Beattie placed fourth at 155 pounds in what is considered one of the most competitive girls wrestling tournaments in the nation.

A total of 15 Eureka girls also made the trip, with  junior Aracely Rendon placing sixth at 189 pounds.

“We’ve got a young team, and this is the toughest tournament on the West Coast,” Eureka head coach Cecil Wilson said. “We fought well. We fought hard.”

The Loggers had three wrestlers still competing for medals on the second day, including Rendon and Helena Rogers (160), each of whom came into Saturday undefeated.

Kelli Johnstone at 126 pounds was also in contention for a medal after navigating her way to a 3-1 mark on the opening day.

No local wrestler, however, fared better than Beattie, who placed fourth in her bracket for the second year in a row.

Beattie, who is just coming back from a shoulder injury, won her opening two matches on Friday, before dropping the semifinal on Saturday morning.

She bounced back for another win, before dropping the third-place showdown.

“We’ve got some work to do,” McKinleyville head coach Virgil Moorehead said.

Also competing for McKinleyville, freshman Anastasiya Briggs won two matches in her first trip to the event, while junior Dakota AndersonSpirit also won a match.

“It’s pretty much the premier girls tournament in the country,” Moorehead said of the two-day event, which featured over 600 wrestlers from 139 schools.

“It was a good weekend, but disappointing,” said Wilson, who was hoping for a better overall team showing. “But it was what we thought it would be. 139 schools.”

The Loggers had multiple wrestlers still in contention for the medal rounds until late Friday evening.

Next week’s Clear Lake tournament has been canceled, so next up for the Loggers and the other local wrestlers will be the first all-girls North Coast Classic at Eureka High on Jan. 19.

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