Lady Jacks muscle their way into postseason
The Quincy High School girls wrestling team returned from a tournament in Cle Elum in good spirits, after earning five medals at the Mountain Madness competition last Saturday
The Lady Jacks’ Cassandra Ruiz finished in first place among 235-lb. wrestlers. Ruiz was the only wrestler in her weight class at the tournament. Xochitl Tafoya finished second in her weight class, 105 lbs., losing in the finals 3-0 to Wenatchee’s Kelsey Ibarra. Tafoya’s run to the finals included a first-round victory over Eisenhower’s Sandra Garcia, 11-5, and a semifinal win over Pateros’ Satin Wright, by pin.
Josselinne Gonzalez finished third at 120 lbs., defeating Anna Weigel of Okanogan by pin in the bronze-medal match.
Jaselyn Jones defeated Sunnyside’s Maritza Espinoza by pin in the 135-lb. bronze medal match. Lastly, Aileen Perez finished third among 140-lb. wrestlers after defeating Cheyann Rendon of Sunnyside by pin in the bronze-medal match.
The good showing in Cle Elum helped erase some of the disappointment the Quincy wrestlers felt after dropping senior night to 4A Eastmont earlier in the week. In addition, the good performance gives the team some momentum going into sub-regionals Feb. 3 in Warden.
“I thought they wrestled really well,” Quincy assistant coach Mark Kondo said. The Lady Jacks did not have a full lineup, with Cynthia Diaz and Samantha Schaapman out, but the younger wrestlers like freshman Marisol Cardenas got some experience.
Kondo praised the three third-placers’ ability to refocus and earn a medal despite suffering an early-round loss.
Josselinne Gonzalez started by defeating Weigel 17-15 in the first round, but then lost to Connell’s Alma Manzo and dropped into the consolation bracket.
Gonzalez then defeated Sunnyside’s Jennesy Mercado before beating Weigel again.
Jones lost to Columbia-Burbank’s Katelynn Brashear in the first round before defeating Oroville’s Melinda Clark and pinning Martha Akinbade of Prosser. Then, she pinned Espinoza for the medal.
Perez started by pinning Rendon in the first round and losing to Wenatchee’s Jordyn Martinez by pin in their second-round match. Then she pinned Rendon again for the medal.
The team will take about 10 girls to Warden, with Kondo predicting that wrestlers like Schaapman and Diaz would be ready to go.
Diaz, a state alternate last year, chose to rest her shoulders rather than risking further injury a week before the postseason started. Kondo said he did not think that would affect her seeding in Warden.
“Her record is good enough,” Kondo said, predicting that Diaz would be the No. 2 seed, just behind her archrival Devin Gamez of Kiona-Benton. Diaz is 1-2 against Gamez this year.
Wrestling starts at 10 a.m.
By Sebastian Moraga, email@example.com