Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera South senior Emily Zamudio works her Kerman opponent into a pin during Tuesay’s dual match. Zamudio’s pin gave the Stallions the dual meet victory on Senior Night.
After six matches, the Madera South Stallions girls wrestling team and the Kerman Lions were tied with two matches left.
Senior Emily Zamudio didn’t know for sure, but had a feeling her 103 pound match would be the difference because the Stallions were giving the Lions a forfeit at 106 pounds.
“I did not know it was down to me at the last match,” she said. “It was nerve-racking. I heard my coach say it was up to Emily now. I thought the pressure was on.”
Zamudio made rather quick work of her Kerman opponent with a pin 42 seconds into the match for a 42-36 lead.
“It feels great,” Zamudio said. “I felt really relieved. After it was over, I said, ‘Yes.’ I wanted to make an impression, especially on Senior night. My motivation was for my family and friends, as well as my team. I was really happy, but I had faith in myself the whole time. I know what my standards are and I know we needed this win.”
After the forfeit at 106 pounds, the two teams were tied. Because of Zamudio’s pin, the Stallions came up with the tiebreaker by matches won (4-3).
“Our girls came out definitely wanting to win this,” head coach Eddie Cortez said. “It came down to our senior to win this. I thought that was pretty special for our senior to win it for us. It came down to criteria and we knew we needed a pin to win it. She came through. She’s one of our fiercest girls on the team and our leader. We expected her to do it and I think she expected herself to do it.”
Along with Zamudio, Evangelina Mejia, Viridiana Cedillo and Itahi Trujillo recorded pinfall victories for the Stallions in the first-ever girls wrestling dual meet for both schools and the first-ever girls wrestling Senior Night for both schools.
“This is so cool and sets the bar for girls wrestling in Madera,” Cortez said. “Now the girls know they aren’t shadows or backups to the boys wrestling team. Now, they are their own entity. It’s good to represent their school and varsity team while showing off for the community.”
In addition to the pinfall victories, Madera South received forfeit wins from Ciara Rousey, Christina Jaen and Kalissa James.
All seven matches contested between the two schools ended in a pin and just one match went past the first period.
Mejia got the scoring started for the Stallions on the right path at 113 pounds. She almost got taken down to open the match, but reversed the hold and received three near fall points.
After Kerman got an escape, Mejia went on the attack right away with another takedown and pinned her opponent with 53 seconds left in the first.
Viridiana Cedillo was quicker at 128 pounds. She recorded a takedown 32 seconds into the match and then worked her opponent into a pin 13 seconds later.
Senior Guadalupe Acosta lost at 150 pounds by pinfall 1:30 into the match. Ramona Urrutia also suffered a pin 39 seconds into the match.
Jalitza Lopez hung on to force a second period at 189 pounds, but fell to a pin 58 seconds into the second period for Kerman’s third straight match victory.
At 235 pounds, Trujillo wasted little time. She worked her opponent to the mat and recorded a pin 31 seconds into the match to tie the team score a 36.
Zamudio stepped up with the dual meet on the line. She was taken down 55 seconds into the match, but worked a reversal 11 seconds later.
Eight seconds after the reversal, Zamudio received the pin with 42 seconds left in the first for a 42-36 lead before a forfeit at 113 pounds tied the score.