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La Cañada's Garcia falls in round of 16 in wrestling state meet

In her return to the CIF State Wrestling Championship, La Cañada High senior Sophie Garcia advanced to the round of 16 after a convincing win in her opening match.

However, in the next match, the Spartans’ first state qualifier in girls’ wrestling succumbed to a third-period pin against fifth-seed Boaanh Duncan of Clovis in an 170-pound bout at the Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield on Thursday.

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Garcia will compete in Friday’s consolation round at 9 a.m.

“I haven’t really been nervous and I’ve been mentally there,” Garcia said. “I feel like I just need to push myself because so many people have been supporting me and I’ve been telling myself I deserve to be there, so I’ve been going into my matches pretty strong, I think.

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“I pretty much know what I need to do for the next round of matches and just how to hold myself while wrestling. Last year, I just went in being glad that I qualified, not really hoping I was going to place. Now, I know what the intensity is going to be, so, now, I’m prepared for it.”

Garcia advanced to the second round after the senior defeated Birmingham senior Vianeth Jimenez, 11-0, in the opening round.

“We’re glad we got that first-round win,” La Cañada wrestling coach Justin Luthey said. “That was a solid thing. It’ll save us a round of wrestling tomorrow, which is good. She wrestled well in both matches.

“We had a strategy, it just didn’t work out in that last match. I think she’s in a really good mental place, she looked strong out there. We went one-for-one today, but we feel confident for tomorrow.”

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