By Ray Hamill — Three Eureka girls will compete at this week’s CIF State Wrestling Championships in Bakersfield, after a strong showing for the team at last weekend’s section meet.
A total of seven Loggers medalled at the North Coast Sections, with three placing in the top three in their respective brackets and moving on to the prestigious state championships, which get under way on Thursday.
“To have seven girls medalling, that was pretty awesome,” head coach Cecil Wilson said of the sections. “I think we’re sort of gelling at the right time.”
It has been another successful season for the top girls wrestling program in the area, with the team placing a very impressive third overall at the NCS meet.
Senior Aracely Rendon-Gomez (189 pound division) and juniors Kelli Johnston (143) and Helena Rogers (170) led the way with top-three finishes, including a trip to the championship match for Rendon-Gomez and Johnston, who each placed second.
Rogers battled back from a loss in the semifinal round with two wins to place third in her bracket.
Aracely-Rendon brings plenty of experience to this weekend’s big meet, having placed seventh at state a year ago.
For Johnston and Rogers, this will be their first appearance at state.
Don’t expect any of them to be overwhelmed by the occasion, however, with the Loggers traveling for several big tournaments this season in search of top competition.
“We decided this year to step up our tournament schedule,” Wilson said. “I’m not even sure this is our biggest tournament, and as a result we’re ready.”
As for their strategy this weekend?
“For us, we want to take it moment by moment and wrestle the person in front of us and lay it all out,” Wilson said.
Johnston will open against Reyna Montenegro out of Hemet High, while Rogers will open against No. 1 seed Katija Osteen out of Royal High.
Rendon-Gomez is seeded fifth and will open against Frances Valadez out of Yuba City
Del Norte senior Danika Scott will also be making a return trip to the state meet and is seeded No. 3 at 235, one spot ahead of Lilly McCoy, whom she beat in the championship round of the NCS.
Scott opens against Natalie Gijon out of Half Moon Bay.