Girls wrestling: Wrestlers to watch at Girls CIF qualifier
The process for qualifying for the CIF State Girls wrestling championships begin Saturday with four qualifying tournaments. The local division (Southern) will take place at Tustin HS. Wrestling begins at 10 a.m., with medal matches set for 7:15 p.m. The top eight wrestlers at each weight class at each location, will advance to CIF Individuals, Feb. 12-13.
Here are some key county wrestlers that you should keep an eye on, if you're heading to Tustin to catch the action.
Gabby Garcia, Valencia
All eyes will be on Garcia (126) as she begins her journey to a fourth state title. Garcia is 22-0, having won titles at five tournaments this season.
Aleeah Gould, Canyon
Gould (106) finished fifth in the state as a sophomore and second last year. Gould (25-0) enters the weekend ranked No. 1 in the Southern Section with titles at four tournaments this season.
Miyuki Pugrad, Kennedy
Pugrad (131) was inactive for majority of the season, has returned to the mats. She was second at the El Monte Rumble in the Jungle last week. Pugrad finished second at state last year. She’s currently ranked first in Southern Section.
Josahandy Moreno, Santa Ana
Moreno (131) enters the weekend 24-3, having finished either first or second at five tournaments. She was also third at the early-season Savanna tournament. Moreno is ranked fourth in the Southern Section
Julie Calzada, Mater Dei
Calzada is ranked third in the Southern Section at 143 pounds. According to the entry list, it appears she will be going 137 as she attempts to make a second state tournament appearance. Calzada finished sixth at last year’s state tournament.
Amara Devericks, San Clemente
Devericks is a freshman and is 13-5. She was first at South Hills, second at Northview, fourth at Birmingham and fifth at La Puente. She’s ranked ninth in the Southern Section at 189 pounds
Maria Alvarez, Aliso Niguel
Alvarez (111) is 18-2. She was second at the qualifier last year and sixth at CIF championships. She’s been in the top three of four tournaments this season. Alvarez is ranked seventh in the Southern Section.
Victoria Aguilar, Esperanza
Aguilar (131) is ranked 7th in the Southern Section. She was third at last year’s qualifier and went 2-2 at the CIF individuals. She’s a had a respectable tournament run this season and enters the tournament with a 19-6 record. Her teammates Samantha Endo (126, 21-8) and Gwen McDonald (116, 15-6) are also ones to watch.
Julie Moreno, Tustin
Moreno, 121, has a 24-8 record. She was first at South Hills, seventh at the Go Big or Go Home Classic, second at Segerstrom and third at Mater Dei.
Samantha Salas, Godinez
Salas, a junior, is ranked fifth in the Southern Section. Salas (150) was third at three tournaments, went undefeated at the Segerstrom Duals and finished second at the Santa Ana tournament.
Claribel Estrada, Santa Ana
Estrada, 170, is ranked sixth in the Southern Section. She was seventh at the Santa Ana tournament and third at the Northview, Beckman and El Monte events. She was eighth at state in 2014.