The Mustangs gave head coach Cecil Sebastian the perfect start to the season when they won the tournament over runner-up and perennial Los Angeles City Section power San Fernando High 185-164.5 and had seven overall medalists to ensure their victory over the 63-team field.
The lone finalist for Walnut was 2018 CIF state place winner Justine Barredo (111). Barredo looked to be in midseason form after two days dominating her weight class with three falls and a (9-0) major decision to enter the championship finals. However, in the finals, Barredo met a formidable opponent in Danielle Garcia of southern California power, Corona High. The bout wasn’t closed as many expected as Garcia dominated the match 11-1.
While the top two scoring teams hauled off most of the silverware, fans in attendance were treated to some thrilling results from their wrestling heroes in the finals.
In a showdown between state place winners, Genesis Quirarte (Ridgeview) was successful in gaining the upper hand over Sofia Martinez (Ayala) 1-0 to claim an individual championship at 106-pounds. Both athletes met in the third-place bout of the state tournament last year with Martinez winning the match 11-2.
Freshman Katie Gomez (121) sent the Birmingham faithful into orbit when she upset No. 2 seed Kameron Sudol (Yorba Linda) 13-6, and then pinned No. 3 Isabella Tan (Millikan) in the first round of their semifinal bout. In the finals, Gomez continued her magical run when she eased past 2018 state qualifier Ayala High senior Samantha Martinez, 10-8.
2018 state medalist Gianna Anaya of San Fernando looked the part of state champion winner come February after pinner her way to the 150-pound title. The Tiger junior pinned Destiny Taufahema (Birmingham) in 2:29 and then needed all 4:48 to send off Julianna Bricarello of Beaumont and win the top prize.