STOCKTON – Pitman freshman Lilly Freitas, Turlock junior Hailey Ward and Gregori senior Liliana Vergara share a common bond – they don’t like to lose.
The local trio took turns commanding center stage at the Sac-Joaquin Section Girls Masters Wrestling Championships. When the two-day meet ended Saturday at Lincoln High, all three won their respective weight-class titles in dominating fashion.
Freitas (29-0) may have been the most dazzling. She overwhelmed the 143-pound class with four wins – the first by a 17-2 tech and the last three by first-round fall. In the final, she needed only 18 seconds to pin Maicie Lockyer of Del Oro.
Freitas will arrive in Bakersfield’s Rabobank Arena, the site for the first coed CIF State Championships next week, with glossy credentials. She’s won 26 of her 29 matches by fall this season.
“I don’t really feel the expectations,” Freitas said. “I’m just happy to be the first girl from Pitman to go to State. They’ll be a lot of college coaches looking at us. It will be a good experience.”
Ward (32-4), a talented lightweight at 101, captured her third Masters title in similar take-charge style. One win was an injury default but the other three came via pins, the last a second-round finish over Monica Verdugo of Atwater. Ward placed fifth in the state last year and eighth in 2017.
Vergara (26-0), a state finalist in 2018, also claimed her third Masters championship. Like the other two local title winners, she didn’t waste any time. She won all four matches at 170 by fall, though Angel Vasquez of Stagg extended Vergara into the third round of the final.
Freitas, Ward and Vergara lead 24 area qualifiers to the state meet. Reaching the finals were Escalon’s Mikayla Vega (111), Julia Casillas of Escalon (121), Carla Martinez of Central Valley (131), Faalia Martinez of Oakdale (137), Brianna Quiroz of Central Valley (150), Alexa Garcia of Sierra (160) and Tagivale Vaifale of Pacheco (235).
Durham won the team title. The highest area finisher was Pacheco at eighth.