Wrestling: Gervais' Zepeda takes home pair of titles
Gervais wrestler Alexys Zepeda continues to add to her trophy case over the off season after bringing home a pair of titles from the U.S. Marines Cadets & Junior National Championships in Fargo, N.D. last month.
The incoming sophomore went largely unchallenged in each bracket, winning all but two matches by 10-point technical superiority victory. In the 122-pound Cadet bracket, Zepeda outscored opponents by a 53-4 margin and gave up no points over five matches in the 122-pound Junior bracket.
Zepeda won the championship match of each bracket via shut out, defeating Alisha Howk of Wisconsin 8-0 in the Junior finals and scoring a 10-0 win over Hawaii's Nanea Estrella in 46 seconds to win the Cadet championship.
Her win over Estrella was Zepeda's quickest victory of the bracket, coming on the heels of an 11-0 win in the semifinals over Hawaii's Lana Perez in 2:34.
Zepeda opened the Cadet tournament with a 10-0 win over Texas' Juliana Baugher in 1:22, followed by a 10-2 victory over Washington's Jazmin Mercado in 4:19. In the quarterfinals, Zepeda beat Georgia's Aki Choates 12-2 to advance to her semifinal match against Perez.
Zepeda was unassailable in the Junior bracket, marching her way to the finals after a first-round bye. The Cougar wrestler opened the tournament by defeating Washington's Tatyana Miller 8-0 in 43 seconds to move on to the Sweet 16, where she handled Virginia's Ashley Whetzal 10-0 in 2:55.
From there, Zepeda beat Oklahoma's Ainslie Lane at the tail end of the first period, scoring two points with five seconds left to win 11-0 and advance to the semifinals.
With a trip to the championship match on the line against Washington's Cameron Guerin, Zepeda added another 10-0 win to her resume to score a showdown with Howk. The Wisconsin wrestler had similarly cruised to the finals by shutting out opponents in four of her previous five matches before facing Zepeda.
Howk was the lone wrestler to go the distance against Zepeda, lasting the full six minutes, but the Gervais wrestler still came out on top with another dominant performance and another championship trophy.
Zepeda's two titles in North Dakota continue a highly successful year for the Gervais wrestler, who capped her high school wrestling debut by placing third in the 3A 113-pound bracket at the 2018 OSAA State Wrestling Championships, the highest finish ever by a female wrestler at the state championships.