to Monica Samaniego of A.B. Miller High School who turned in a terrific performance at the California Girls Wrestling State Tournament.
Although only sophomore, Monica took third place in the 137-pound weight class, becoming the highest place winner in
A.B. Miller wrestling history (in either the male or female divisions) and the first girl from Fontana to ever place.
The A.B. Miller wrestler opened the tournament on Friday (February 22) with two victories and one loss.
Then on Saturday, she achieved a pin against Jessi Prado, a Santa Paula wrestler who had defeated
her previously in the CIF Southern Section finals. In the next round, Monica triumphed over Briana Saldona (the CIF Southern Section champion) by a score of 12-2, and followed up with a 13-3 victory over Adelina Adeyemi of San Leandro.
Finally, she earned a rematch with Alyssa Hernandez of James Logan. Monica pulled out a 7-5 win to claim the third-place title.
Monica gave credit to her coaches at A.B. Miller, John Johnson and James Kraynakas, well as her older brother, Steven Samaniego, a senior who was a two-time Citrus Belt League champion for the Rebels.
She dedicated her final match to her brother because he has been her mentor in training and staying mentally focused.
Also worthy of mention, Bridget Lopez of Miller competed in the 98-pound weight class and finished in the top 12 at the state.
Bridget is the first girl to wrestle all four years at A.B. Miller High School.