Girls begin road to first ever state tournament
18 county girls qualify for state
The participation of girls in the sport of wrestling is growing, as evident by the first ever CIF State tournament for girls, taking place, this weekend at Lemoore High.
Regional qualifying, for both southern and northern California took place over the weekend
At the Southern Regional, at Beaumont, 17 county girls qualified for the state tournament. There were 438 girls participating in the southern regional.
Starting this year, girls could wrestle in boys competition until the start of the postseason.
“The participation of girls is booming,” Savanna coach Robbie Gaze said. “After this year, I expect it to explode.”
Gaze has steadily seen the number of girls increase in his program. He now has 11 girls in his program.
When the announcement was made creating the girls state tournament, Marie Ishida, CIF State Executive Director said in a statement:
"The CIF has been building up to this event the last couple of years. As the popularity and number of female wrestlers continues to increase, the CIF is committed to the philosophy, if you build it, they will come. The CIF is pleased to offer this new event and we are hopeful it will grow into an event that will mirror the boys championships.
The Rebels had four for the state tournament, Kaylee Chavez (98 pounds), Paulina Mendez (103), Nicole Freeman (108) and Alexandria Hernandez (114).
Freeman was a finalist at her weight.
The top 12 wrestlers in each weight class qualified for the state tournament.
Santa Ana qualified three: Bernice Blanco (122), Aylin Hernandez (154) and Brenda Perez (165). Godinez also qualified three: Leticia Bernabe (126), Janell Ponce (132) and Eloisa Jimenez (146).
Here are the other county qualifiers: Juliet Villanueva (Anaheim, 118), Rocio Cortez (Western, 122), Antonia Perez (Anaheim, 122), Crystal Zamarrippa (Loara, 122), Jocelyn Nelson (Ocean View, 126), Kayleigh Jennings (Fullerton, 132), Robin Allinson (Ocean View, 132) and Carmen Aragon (Fullerton, 235).
West Covina led all Southern California schools with eight qualifies, followed by Northview of Covina with seven.