Wrestling: Roberts, Kuka lead field of eight girls to state championships

By TED SILLANPAA
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Ukiah’s Harmonie Roberts and Rancho Cotate’s Leilani Kuka won weight division titles Saturday at the North Coast Section girls wrestling tournament in Pittsburg to lead seven empire stars into the state championships.

Roberts rolled to the crown at 103 pounds, while Kuka won at 154, at Pittsburg High. They will headline the Empire contingent in the California Interscholastic Federation Wrestling Invitational set Feb. 22-23 in Lemoore.

The top three finishers in each weight division at the NCS tourney advanced to the state meet.

Middletown’s Sierra Egger (108), Casa Grande’s Erica Mihalea (126), Middletown’s Jessie Flynn (165) and Rancho Cotate’s Vickie Espinoza (189) each finished second in their weight class.

Petaluma’s Michelle Larsen (189) and Maria Carrillo’s Randi McMahan (126) took third to round out Empire qualifiers for the state event set for Lemoore High.

Ukiah led all Empire teams, finishing fourth with 105 points. James Logan won with 188, followed by Albany at 121.

Middletown finished seventh at 68.5. Rancho Cotate tied for ninth with Irvington, ending with 63 points each.

Kuka dominated en route to capturing the NCS title at 154 pounds. She pinned her first opponent in just 12 seconds, then needed but 19 more to pin her second foe.

Kuka finished her romp to the championship by pinning Liberty’s Nicole Diaz 1 minute, 26 seconds into the first round.

Roberts earned a first-round bye, then won her second-round match by pin in 55 seconds. She advanced to the championship round by virtue of a third-round pin.

Roberts won the title at 103 pounds by major decision, 14-2, over Logan’s Talissa Noriega.

Rancho Cotate’s Espinoza and Petaluma’s Larsen enabled the Empire to make its mark at 189 pounds. The two met in the semifinals, with Espinosa winning by 4-1 decision.

Berkeley’s Sinorti Stegman pinned Espinoza to win the weight division.

Larsen advanced to the state meet by winning the battle for third place, pinning Sharrakira Tamrazi, of Irvington, in the third round.

Middletown star Sierra Egger received a bye into the semifinals at 108 where she won by technical fall, 15-0, over Irvington’s Mariah Damaso.

Heritage’s Lania Dumdumaya won by pin in 1:50 to claim the 108-pound title.

Egger’s Middletown teammate Flynn also received a bye into the semifinals where she won by pin to enter the championship match at 165.

Hayward’s Niauni Hill pinned Flynn in the first round to win the division.

Casa Grande’s Mihalea pinned her semifinal opponent in the first round at 126 before losing by decision, 13-6, to Albany’s Chanel Chawalit in the championship match.

Maria Carrillo’s McMahan won her first match by pin and followed with an 8-6 decision over James’ Logan’s Mylissa Lew. McMahan lost to Chawalit in the semis before beating Lew a second time in the third-place match by a 5-3 decision.

Ukiah’s Serenity Voboril fell just shy of the state meet, finishing fourth at 98 pounds. Ukiah’s Angelina Canevari wound up fourth at 122.

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