Selma High advanced four to the semifinals and kept five of seven qualifiers alive while opening the first-day lead at the CIF State Girls Wrestling Championships.
Behind semifinalists Alleida Martinez (101 pounds), Marijah Morales (106), Gracie Figueroa (116) and Jerzie Estrada (131), the Bears compiled 58 points Friday at the Visalia Convention Center. Birmingham-Lake Balboa is second with 53, followed by Hillcrest-Riverside (46.5), Corona (40) and Enochs-Modesto (38.5).
Wrestling resumes at 9 a.m. Saturday with the finals set for 6 p.m.
Martinez and Figueroa, both sophomores, are defending state champions at their respective weight classes. Estrada, a freshman, is consider a heavy favorite to reach the finals. Selma also has 235-pounder Mikayla Balladares in the consolation bracket.
A Central Section school has never won the girls state title since it was launched 2011. Arvin has the best finish for a section team, placing sixth in 2013.
Three other section competitors have reached the semifinals: Tulare’s Jessica Sanchez (111), Lemoore’s Esperanza Cadena (121) and Sierra Pacific’s Katelyn Blanchard (189).
Section wrestlers still alive in the consolation bracket include: Coalinga’s Arianna Andrus (101), Dos Palos’ Arianna Marrufo (106), Granite Hills’ Brittany Wynn (111), Mt. Whitney’s Ashley Venegas (116), East Bakersfield’s Cynthia Pelayo (126), Golden West’s Jacqueline Flores (131), Golden Valley’s Arnae Lefotu (137), Porterville’s Lorna Mendoza (137), Highland’s Courtney Bojorquez (143) and Roosevelt’s Amber King (170).