Wrestling: Gervais' Zepeda qualifies for state
By Phil Hawkins
It didn't take long for Gervais freshman Alexys Zepeda to punch her ticket to the 2018 State Wrestling Championships — just three minutes and 49 seconds.
That's all it took for Zepeda to score the winning pinfall over Hillsboro sophomore Tyler Rabang in the title match of the 117-pound bracket of the girls high school state qualifier at Thurston High School on Saturday.
Zepeda cruised through her bracket in her first high school state qualifier, never needing more than two rounds to make her way to the district title.
The weekend event opened with a 22-5 technical fall victory over Churchill's Alexus Besio and followed with another technical fall — this time by a 20-5 margin of victory against Divinity Farris of Reedsport to advance to the quarterfinals.
There, Zepeda took down Sandy's Kendall Martin by pinfall, 39 seconds into the second round to move on to the bracket semifinals against Breanna Mestas, last year's runner up from Bonanza in the 120-pound bracket of the 2017 state championships.
All the same it was another technical fall victory for Zepeda, beating Mestas 18-3 to move on to the championship match against Rabang, another state runner up in 2017.
The victories and state qualification all but cap the first regular season of Zepeda's high school career, but there is still the boys bracket left to consider this weekend.
Zepeda is currently the fourth-ranked wrestler in the boys 113-pound weight class by the Oregon Wrestling Forum and is in line to qualify for the state wrestling championships in the boys bracket this weekend.
Zepeda has placed in three tournaments against boys this season, taking third in the 126-pound bracket of the Scio Holiday Tournament in December and back-to-back second-place finishes in the 120-pound brackets of the Bob Bishop Invitational and the King of the Hill Tournament.
If Zepeda qualifies for the state tournament at the boys district tournament, held this weekend at Harrisburg High School, she'll have the choice of competing at state in either bracket, but not both.
The 2018 State Wrestling Championships will be held Feb. 16-17 at Portland Memorial Coliseum.