Pair of Panthers off to CIF tourney

STAFF REPORTSFebruary 7, 2013 

Pacheco has qualified two wrestlers for the CIF Girls Wrestling Invitational Tournament Feb. 22 and 23 in Lemoore.

Maria Quiroz placed fourth in the 126-pound bracket of the Sac-Joaquin Section Girls Wrestling Invitational, and Taryn Mitchell placed fifth in the 132-pound bracket. The top five in each weight qualified for the state tournament.

Los Banos High's Carla Diaz came one win away, falling to sixth in the 146-pound bracket after Livingston's Brianna Cornado pinned her in the fifth-place match.

Quiroz and Mitchell join cross-country runner Ryan Salcido, who ran in the state cross country meet last fall, as the only state qualifiers in the school's young history.

Mitchell went 5-1 at the section tournament, losing to Christian Brothers' Mallory Velte in the championship quarterfinals and pinning Livingston's Daisy Sanchez in the fifth-place match. Quiroz lost to Rocklin's Olivia Seppinni in the second round before wrestling all the way back to the third-place match, where she lost 6-5 to McNair's Linda Esquival. Quiroz compiled a 6-2 record at the tournament.

The two wrestlers are the first from the area to make the state girls tournament since LB's Mabel Flores in 2011. Flores now wrestles at Pacific University in Stockton.

Other wrestlers included Pacheco's Annalisa Cantu at 114 pounds, Marsha Lino at 138, Myranda Velazquez at 146 and Olivia Hawkins at 189, and LB's Taylor Silva at 114 and Elizabeth Pelayo at 165.

LB's Diaz and Pacheco's Velazquez, an anticipated match that didn't happen when the two teams met for their league dual because Velazquez wasn't yet back from injury, wrestled in the first round of the 146-pound bracket, with Diaz pinning Velazquez in 2 minutes, 41 seconds.

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