This last weekend is one that Walnut Grove School seventh grader Lexie Capote will remember for years to come.
In her first year wrestling for the Creekside Middle School Panthers, and third month overall in the sport, Capote went 4-0 at the 2019 California Middle School Girls Wrestling State Championships held at Hogan Middle School in Vallejo, to capture the California Middle School girls wrestling 89-pound state championship title.
“Both Creekside and Patterson wrestling clubs are very proud of her efforts throughout the year to end it with a state title makes it a successful year,” head coach Hugo Culebro said via email. “She has put a lot of time and dedication to wrestling -- a sport that requires a lot of mental toughness and constant repetition to be the best. In the two years, she has been able to accomplish this by practicing hard and listening to her coaches. She has competed against both boys and girls at all skill levels. The great thing about this is that the whole Creekside team contributed to the success. All her practice partners have pushed her to this level. It’s a team win, because we have great kids to push each other. That’s how our program gets better at this level and at the high school.”
Capote began her campaign with a bye in the first round of a bracket that boasted 17 grapplers overall.
She then defeated number one seeded Sofia Abramson in a match that went to overtime by a 6-4 decision. This strong beginning to her tournament run began to plant the seeds of belief.
“I think she knew she had it in her, but knowing that this tournament brings kids from all parts of California, made it difficult to anticipate a top three finish,” Culebro said. “After her first match taking on the number one seed and winning in overtime, I think it gave her confidence a boost and helped her relax a bit. She stayed focused and aggressive in all her matches to claim the title.”
Capote kept her day rolling by making quick work of Kadence Kosaka of Jaguars Wrestling with a pin in the first round.
Ella Mcgougan of Bancroft Bronco awaited her in the semifinal round. Capote got the best of the matchup by putting together a 4-2 decision victory to grant her the unique opportunity to wrestle for first place.
Capote and Dylan Azemy of Dutcher Middle School clashed in the title match with Capote putting together a 4-1 decision victory to win the 89-pound championship.
“I had no doubt that she could win a state title. She has put in a lot of mat time to get to where she is. She was very happy once the final match was over, as were her mom and dad. I think once she got the last takedown, she knew she was going to win,” Culebro said.