Lady Eagles soar to fourth CIF girls wrestling title

the Olympian High School Lady Eagles won their fourth San Diego Section girls wrestling championship by topping the field at last Sarturday's Division I tournament at Steele Canyon High School. Photo by Jay Lord Fabunan

By all accounts, girls wrestling within the San Diego Section continues to grow. Exploding might be a better description.

The section held its Division I and Division II championships last Saturday. The Division I tournament at Steele Canyon High School featured 32 teams while the Division II tournament at Santana High School included a robust field of 39 teams.

That’s a total of 71 schools that participated in this year’s divisional tournaments.

That’s more than impressive.

The treasure chest is also starting to overflow.

Metro-Mesa League champion Olympian won its fourth CIF championship at this year’s Division I finals while longtime desert power Brawley captured this year’s Division II championship.

South County fared well with five finalists and three individual weight class champions. Ten girls qualified for the upcoming San Diego Masters state-qualifying tournament Feb. 17 at Southwest El Centro High School.

Metro-South Bay League runner-up Chula Vista finished 14th at the Division I tournament while Metro-Mesa League runner-up Eastlake finished 15th. Among Metro teams competing at the Division II tournament, Castle Park was 10th while Hilltop was 16th.

Ladies first
Olympian, Chula Vista, Eastlake, Otay Ranch, San Ysidro, Bonita Vista and Sweetwater participated in the Division I tournament. Olympian out-pointed runner-up San Marcos 199-174 in the team standings

Olympian led the local field with four finalists and three individual weight class champions.

Lady Eagles gold medalists included Natasha Mason (105 pounds), Alina Solis (125 pounds) and Natalia Righellis (155 pounds). Elisa Najera finished second at 235 pounds.

Solis won by a 5-1 decision over Poway’s Alyssa Jones while Righellis pinned Steele Canyon’s Aubrey Gaona in 3:03. Mason won by medical forfeit over Steele Canyon’s Reika Proctor.

Solis, a three-time conference champion, three-time CIF champion and two-time state qualifier, remains the poster girl for the sport locally. She won her third Metro individual championship by pinning her way to the 128-pound title. She finished 4-0 at the Division I tournament with two first-period pins.

Wrestling has provided more than just a physical outlet, according to Solis.

“I like it that wrestling allows me to clear my mind and my stress,” she said. “Even though it’s a physical sport, it offers me a chance to clear my head. It’s given me more confidence competing in front of hundreds of people.”

Righellis finished 4-0 with four pins while Mason finished 4-0 with three pins.

The top four wrestlers in both the Division I and Division II tournaments received medals as well as earning advancement to the Masters state-qualifying tournament.

Olympian tallied up seven Masters qualifiers. Other place-winners for the Lady Eagles include Vania Victoria (third place, 140 pounds), Cheyenne Sandoval (fourth place, 115 pounds) and Keagan Wynne Alatiw (fourth place, 130 pounds), Isabella Ramirez (fifth place, 100 pounds) and Madelyn Hogue (fifth place, 135 pounds).

Alatiw (133 pounds) won the Metro tournament’s outstanding lower weight award with three pins in 5:31 while Victoria (143 pounds) won the outstanding upper weight award with three pins in 6:15.

“It’s become a culture at Olympian to wrestle,” Lady Eagles coach Jesse Perez said. “It’s not just playing a sport; it’s being part of a family.”

San Ysidro’s Alexa Llamas (fourth place, 170 pounds) also qualified for Masters from the Division I tournament.

Mar Vista, Mater Dei Catholic, Montgomery and Southwest joined Castle Park and Hilltop in the Division II field.

Masters qualifiers include CP’s J Guerrero (second place, 130 pounds), Hilltop’s Debora Velazquez (fourth place, 155 pounds) and Mar Vista’s Jessica Mexia (fourth place, 105 pounds) and Alexa Delgado (fourth place, 110 pounds).