Before Valencia wrestler Chance Rich even takes the mat for the CIF State boys wrestling championships starting this Friday, he’ll no longer be the program’s only state medalist.
Freshman America Lopez placed fifth in the 170-pound division and Priscilla Ramirez placed eighth in the 116-pound division at last weekend’s CIF State girls wrestling championships at the Visalia Convention Center.
Lopez lost to Emily Sandoval of James Logan High in the Bay Area in the quarterfinals. Sandoval placed second in the 170-pound division. Lopez defeated Abby Ericson of Menlo Atherton in the consolation bracket to secure the fifth-place finish.
Ramirez lost to Gloria Gonzalez of Paramount in the seventh-place match to end her stint in the competition.
Lopez had finished second at the Girls CIF-Southern Section Masters last week. Ramirez finished sixth in the Masters meet to secure a spot in the state meet. Shani Tyson narrowly missed a berth to the girls state meet, finishing ninth at the Masters with at least an eighth-place finish needed to advance.
Rich will get a chance to add to his historical Valencia wrestling legacy at this year’s boys state meet, which begins Friday at Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield.
While Lopez and Ramirez were competing at the state meet, Rich, along with Nicholas Lopez advanced to the state meet thanks to their finishes at the Boys CIF-Southern Section Masters over the weekend at Temecula Valley High .
Rich, a Cal State Bakersfield commit finished second in the 126-pound division. Nicholas Lopez, whose America’s older brother, finished eighth in 160-pound division to advance. Rich became the program’s first state medalist last year after finishing sixth in the 120-pound division at the state meet.
Derrick Top (152), Ben Gould (170), Braden Smelser (138) and freshman Trent Munoz (145) competed at the Boys CIF-SS Masters over the weekend as well.