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And then there were three
Trio of Pride girls remaining wrestlers at State Championships
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Pitman freshman Baya Austin dominates Regina Seyfi of Burroughs High (Ridgecrest) enroute to a 15-1 major decision win to kick off her State championship run on Thursday (Chris Mora/@frominsidethemat).

Fourteen wrestlers from Pitman High and Turlock High walked through the doors of the Mechanics Bank Arena in Bakersfield on Thursday morning with hopes of becoming State champions. After the opening day, the dreams of five wrestlers remained alive. At the conclusion of Friday’s competitions, that number dwindled to three.

The last three representatives standing from Turlock-area schools are Pitman’s Lilly Avalos (121), Baya Austin (126) and Gabby Austin (131).

Avalos, a senior and the #1 ranked 121-pounder in the state of California by, stepped onto the mats as her usual, dominant self, winning all three of her matches by pin. In the Round of 32, earned a finish in 1 minute, 59 seconds. The next round, she wrapped things up in just 40 seconds. In the quarterfinals, she put her opponent away at 49 seconds of the second period, after already jumping ahead 12-1.

For freshman Baya Austin, her journey to the semifinal round was also cluttered with dominant wins. In the opening round, she drowned her opponent in a 15-1 major decision. In the Round of 16 and the quarterfinals, she grappled to pin victories.

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Gabby Austin of Pitman High works her way to an eventual pin against Lana Nguyen of Dublin High on Thursday (Chris Mora/@frominsidethemat).

As for the older Austin sibling, Gabby, a sophomore, she saw similar success in the Round of 32, earning a pin victory at 1:06. Her next two wins came by decisions, a 7-3 win in the Round of 16 and a nail-biting 5-2 win in the quarterfinals.

While Avalos and the Austin sisters have secured their spots in the semifinal round of their respective weight classes, teammates Achilles Clarke (220) and Mason Ontiveros (170) also made quarterfinals appearances. Unfortunately for both of them, they were eliminated by fall, marking the end of their championship chase.

The Pride’s Alana Ontiveros was also on the wrong end of a decision, this time a major upset as she lost a last-minute, 8-6 decision in the Round of 16.

For the Bulldogs, 113-pounder Ethan Ward and 138-pounder Isaiah Bertalotto made it the furthest in the championship bracket. Each made their way into the Round of 16, with Ward going on to lose a 9-1 decision and Bertalotto falling victim of a pin.

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Turlock High’s Isaiah Bertalotto pulled out all the tricks to get leverage against Emery Holland of Mt. Carmel High (San Diego), a match he would go on to win by 10-4 decision (Chris Mora/@frominsidethemat).

The rest of the local attendees, Jeremiah Bertalotto (Turlock – 134), Carter Vannest (Pitman – 170), Elijah Austin (Pitman – 152), Eli Watson (Turlock – 182), Alex Talamante (Pitman -138) and Heidi Judson (Turlock – G111) all lost their opening matches on Thursday.

Talamante, A. Ontiveros, J. Bertalotto, Vannest and Judson all competed in Friday’s consolation bracket, where they once again were eventually eliminated. Meanwhile, M. Ontiveros and Clarke will be taking part in their own consolation brackets this morning.

Though both Turlock and Pitman will have several wrestlers going at it throughout the day, the primetime viewing slots will be at 10:30 a.m. today for the start of semifinal marches and tonight at 6:15 p.m. for the Championship Finals.

Gates to the Mechanics Bank Arena in Bakersfield will open at 8 a.m., with tickets available to purchase at the arena box office or online at All matches are also available for streaming online at