Sac-Joaquin Section-South girls tournament
Mountain House High will have three girls representing the Mustangs at the Sac-Joaquin Section Girls Masters Championships this weekend at Lincoln High in Stockton.
All three qualified by making the top eight at the SJS-South Girls Championships on Friday and Saturday at Central Valley High in Ceres.
It will be junior Michelle Poland’s third trip to the Masters tournament. She qualified in the 123-pound class by winning four of five matches at the South tournament, including a second-period pin in her third-place match against Kiana Daniels of Los Banos High.
Poland said that her previous experience at the Masters meet will serve her well going forward this year. Last year she finished a round short of the medal rounds and a chance to qualify for the state tournament.
“The experience was tough. My goal this year is to go to state, and I know how to prepare myself this time, to always go hard and give it all you’ve got,” she said. “For my third time, it’s pretty exciting. It’s one step closer to getting where I want to be.”
Junior Ramona Jimenez, wrestling in the 162-pound class, went 2-2 this past weekend and placed fifth. She’s going to the Masters tournament for the second time after qualifying last year.
“In just one year, I’ve seen so much improvement in my skills in wrestling,” she said, adding that her understanding of good technique, and not just pure strength, makes her a better wrestler than she was.
She won the fifth-place match on a 1-0 decision, having executed an escape in the third period after going scoreless for most of the match.
“I wanted to be really smart, because the previous match before I was winning but lost by points,” she said. “I really wanted to go in not overpowering as much, trying to do so much takedowns, just in case she could power over me. I wanted to be smart in my technique and use her technique against her.”
Junior Jessi Emerson, a new wrestler, went 1-3 and placed sixth in the 191-pound bracket. She said it was a little nerve-wracking to be wrestling in a section-level tournament in her first year.
“Then, after talking to some of the girls in my weight class, I wasn’t as nervous,” she said. “I felt a little confident in some of my matches, but then there were others I was a little bit scared.”
She gained confidence by winning a 1-0 decision and also learned what strengths she could build on moving forward.
“I learned that I can be a lot better and I can be a lot stronger in certain areas,” she said. “Hopefully I won’t be as nervous next time, but I’m hoping for the best.”