No quantity yet, but quality aplenty on Roseville girls wrestling scene
LOOMIS — Girls wrestling has taken off at Del Oro High School to the point that the Lady Eagles have a full program and host a tournament.
Not so around Roseville and Granite Bay yet. There were just three local girls at the Del Oro Invite on Saturday, but all three made noise. Lauren Mason and Marissa Thomas of Woodcreek each went 5-0 and placed first in their weight classes. Jade Larson-Iacovino of Oakmont won three of four matches in her division.
They’ll compete in the Sac-Joaquin Section Girls Wrestling Regional Tournament today and Saturday at McNair High School in Stockton hoping to qualify for the State Championships on Feb. 22-23 in Lemoore.
“I want to go to state. I have a really good shot,” said Thomas, a sophomore.
Mason and Thomas have known each other for three years. Mason placed second and Thomas fourth in the 2011 Middle School Girls State Tournament in Vallejo. Mason attended E.V. Cain, and Thomas attended Silverado.
Thomas wrestles year-round and last summer confined herself to gyms to work out. Mason, a freshman, runs track, plays soccer and arrived late to wrestling practice because she was running with Woodcreek’s cross country team all the way to the state meet in Fresno in mid-November.
“I can’t decide on one thing,” Mason said. “I want to do everything.”
Mason pinned all five of her opponents at Del Oro to win the 110-pound division. She weighed in at 104.9 pounds before the tournament and will compete at 105 this weekend. Thomas registered two pins, a technical fall, a major decision and a decision to win at 116. She spent this week trying to lose one pound to wrestle at 110 this weekend.
“Guys can run it off, but I can’t,” Thomas said with a laugh. “It’s tougher.”
Thomas won championships at the Brentwood-Liberty and Castro Valley tournaments and placed second at McNair and fourth at the Asics Napa Valley Girls Classic. Mason also won at Liberty and finished third at Folsom, McNair and Napa.
“High school is a lot tougher. It’s a lot more serious, too,” Thomas said. “The guys are stronger, and everyone has goals. That’s when I started working harder.”
“It’s a lot harder, just a step up from middle school,” Mason said. “I move around the mat better. I pin a lot more people.”
Doug Mason, Lauren’s dad and Woodcreek’s head coach, said wrestling in junior high was fun for the girls. High school wrestling is more serious.
In Lauren’s case, Doug Mason said high school has been good for her “because she’s wrestling two-minute rounds” over one-minute rounds in junior high. “Her cardiovascular is spectacular, and she has four coaches to teach her proper technique. Marissa, she’s developed strength, and she worked in the offseason. She really took this serious.”
So is Larson-Iacovino. The Oakmont sophomore tried BMX, water polo, softball and soccer, and added wrestling to her sports menu as an eighth-grader at Warren T. Eich in Roseville.
“I just decided I’m going to be different and do a guy’s sport. I like having the challenge of being aggressive and not having to look back,” said Larson-Iacovino, who’s exploring playing football and found a winner in wrestling. “Hands down. It’s more fun, and you get to make friends while you’re at it.”
Larson-Iacovino’s coach, Will Stone, said she’s one of the most aggressive wrestlers in the Oakmont program, and it showed in her match against Alexandra Glande of Christian Brothers. Taken down early in the first round, Larson-Iacovino scored a reversal and a near-fall, trying to turn over Glande the entire time. Larson-Iacovino won via pin in the second round. She scored two other falls before losing by pin in her final match at 156 pounds.
It was her first girls tournament after wrestling in three boys tournaments this season.
“This was a great tournament in that it was very well run and they treated the athletes and coaches very well,” Doug Mason said.
Contact Bill Poindexter at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at BillP_RsvPT.
SAC-JOAQUIN REGIONAL GIRLS WRESTLING TOURNAMENT
When/Where: Friday and Saturday at McNair High School in Stockton
Friday’s schedule: Doors open at 10 a.m. Wrestling from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday’s schedule: Doors open at 10 a.m. Semifinals and consolation quarterfinals from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Consolation semifinals from 1-2 p.m. Medal rounds from 2-3:30 p.m. Championship finals from 3:30-5 p.m.
Tickets: $10 for adults, $5 for students.