By FRANCISCO E. JIMENEZ
The Lady ’Hounds, under the direction of head girls wrestling coach Crispin Lopez and assistant coach Leticia Pope, finished the season in the newly formed District 16-5A with an impressive 18-0 team record. According to Lopez, the team has only lost one wrestling match in the last three years, going 49-1.
Leading the team is senior grappler Valeria Torres, who finished the season with an individual record of 23-0 in the 128 pound weight class, attaining a Regional Championship and returning to the State finals for the second consecutive year.
Also leading the team is junior Heather Rodriguez who finished the season with an individual record of 20-8 in the 102 pound weight class. Rodriguez finished fourth in the region and will also be traveling to the state competition.
Along with Torres and Rodriguez, the team had five other grapplers qualify for regional competition in San Antonio on February 8 and 9. Representing San Benito High School were Selena Maldonado, 119 pounds, who finished sixth in the region; Meredeth Garcia, 215 pounds, who finished sixth in the region; Stephanie Benavides, 110 pounds, who finished eighth; Leslie Puente, 165 pounds, who finished ninth; and Abigail Velasquez, 185 pounds, who finished seventh.
As a team, the Lady ’Hounds came in fourth out of 39 teams in the region, the highest placing team representing the Valley.
Torres and Rodriguez will compete at the State finals on February 21, 22 and 23 in Austin.
Also representing San Benito High School at the state competition will be junior Greg Hernandez III, at 220 pounds, who finished the season with a record of 20-2; senior David Jurado, 145 pounds, with a record of 19-3; and Alexander Arteaga, 182 pounds, with a record of 29-3.
The men’s varsity wrestlers are lead by coach Rudy Quilantan.
Read this story in the Feb. 20 edition of the San Benito News, or subscribe to our E-Edition by clicking here.