SUPER SISTER: Del Oro’s Kaleigh Burrage claims state wrestling titleBy: Trevor Horn for the Auburn Journal
VISALIA — Take that big brother.
In a home already enriched by prep champions, Del Oro junior Kaleigh Burrage has a shiny piece of medal to wield at the dinner table, and it sure isn’t silver.
On the same day that her senior brother, Justin Burrage, chased his state football championship with a section wrestling title, Kaleigh prevailed 3-1 in overtime to win the 132-pound California Interscholastic Federation Girls State Wrestling Championships at the Visalia Convention Center.
Kaleigh followed an unbeaten stanza through Friday’s opening rounds by fighting through a scramble to beat Katrina Guevara of Enochs of Modesto for the overtime title victory Saturday.
“I’m in shock. I don’t even know what to say right now,” Kaleigh said afterward. “I’ve worked all year for this moment.
“In that match, I got butterflies and I doubted myself. But then in the end, I knew I couldn’t give up.”
The two went into overtime tied 1-1, scoring only on escapes in the first two periods. With less than a minute left in overtime, Guevara threw Burrage with her left arm to the mat, forcing Burrage to her back. But before a takedown could be called, Burrage pulled out from under, scrambled on top and scored a takedown with 38 seconds remaining.
“I thought that (Guevara) had it for a second, “Burrage said. “But the head and the arm, she didn’t get it tight enough. I knew I could get up and I did. I tried my best and got on top and ended with the two.”
Wrestling is in the Burrage blood. Brother Kevin was a section champion and now helps train both of his younger siblings. The three, children of Robert Burrage (Loomis) and Kathy Burrage (Rocklin) share some incredible pedigree.
Kaleigh’s feat, landing her with one of only 14 individual state championships across the weight classes, is perhaps the most impressive.
“It’s amazing, I can’t even put it into words how much I wanted this moment,” She said. “I still have next year, too. We’ll see how I do.”
Del Oro coach Mike Maben said he knew in the moment when Burrage secured the title, the situation was to her advantage, because of her skill sets on the mat.
“It’s a lot of hard work and technique that she put in throughout the year,” Maben said. “When Kaleigh gets into a scramble situation and both wrestlers have equal footing and they don’t have a great hold, that’s how she was able to come out on top.”
Burrage is the first girls state champion for Del Oro since the state began the official CIF championships in 2011.
Del Oro junior Savannah Scott finished sixth at 116 pounds after reaching the semifinals with a 5-3 victory over Los Angeles section champ Samantha Munoz.
Elena Topete went 2-2 at 150 pounds, losing only to third-place finisher Sasha Medvidovic of Mira Coste and sixth-place medalist Maria Valdez of San Pasqual.
Candace Corralejo won by pin to reach the 111-pound quarterfinals, but dropped to consolation with a 12-1 defeat and injury-defaulted from the tournament.
Taylor Willis (121) and Erin Phillips (131) were 0-2 at state.
Auburn’s Mason falls in state finals
The quest for one more ultimate prize may have fallen short, but the journey for Lauren Mason has been one for the ages.
Mason lost a marathon match in the 111-pound finals as Tiana Jackson of Central Catholic of Modesto scored an escape in the third overtime for a 7-6 decision.
Mason finishes her high school wrestling career as a four-time state medalist after a fourth-place finish as a freshman, the 111 title as a sophomore and another runner-up finish last season.
“It’s been pure pleasure to work with her over the last four years,” Woodcreek coach Byron Miller said. “She’s been a warrior for us. She worked so hard. The other girl just flat-out out wrestled her.”