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.
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.
“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.