MUSTANG — Junior Symphony Veloz pinned her Class 6A Regional West opponent to win the 170-pound championship and advance to the state wrestling tourney next week at Jim Norick Arena in Oklahoma City.
Veloz, ranked No. 1 in the 170-pound weight class, held a slim 1-0 lead after two periods over Altus’ Siara Arrington before winning by fall midway through the final period Tuesday at Mustang High School. Veloz is also the defending state champion in her weight division.
Two other Elgin wrestlers qualified for next week’s state tournament. Chenelle Brown finished third at 145 pounds after defeating Carl Albert’s Heidi Schultz 8-1, and freshman Abigail Anglley advanced with a fourth-place finish at 190 pounds. Anglley was pinned by Putnam City’s Ashley Maldanado Gamas late in the third-place matchup.
“It (the tournament) was good. All of them had really good performances,” Elgin head coach Cody Rowell said. “We brought eight (wrestlers), and three qualified. That’s pretty good. I’m proud of our girls.”
Brown is ranked No. 3 at 145 pounds and Anglley was unranked heading into the regional tournament, but she will now be ranked in the top 10, Rowell said.
As a team, Elgin finished sixth with 91 points. Moore won the team title with 205 points, followed by Westmoore, Cache, Norman North and Edmond North.
Veloz is hoping for a second straight state title when the state tournament kicks off next week.
“I’m feeling pretty confident,” she said a day after winning the regional crown. “It’s great to go into the state tournament as one of the top seeds. I’m ready to rock. I want to end the season on a high note and transition into freestyle.”
Last season, Veloz defeated Owasso’s Sidney Milligan 1-0 in the finals of the 165-pound weight class to win the state title. As a team, the Lady Owls finished fifth with 39 points.
Although she had a slim 1-0 lead after two periods in the regional final, Veloz said she was confident she’d win the match.
“I was a little concerned. It felt a little off. My last match was Monday evening, and I didn’t wrestle (in the finals) until Tuesday evening,” she said. “I knew she (Arrington) wasn’t able to get up the first two periods, and I felt if we went into overtime, I’d get the job done.”
Last summer, Veloz placed sixth in the 180-pound weight class at the 16U National Championships in Fargo, North Dakota. She plans to return to the national tournament this year and is hoping to place in the top three in her weight class.