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20120224_Garza_pins_GarciaAUSTIN — The University of Texas at Austin is the mecca for Texas athletics. The university itself has one of the top athletic programs in the nation, producing some of the best athletes in professional sports. Thus it is with pride that some of the state’s top athletes will convene there this weekend to compete for the wrestling and swimming and diving state championships.

The athletes convening consist of the top athletes coming out of the four regions of the state. The local athletes here in the Rio Grande Valley compete in Region IV and needed to place in the top four of their respective event in order to move on to state.

In wrestling, the representation from the Big Six will come via the La Joya schools. Palmview’s Christian Garza, competing in the 285 weight class, took third place at the regional championships two weeks ago in San Antonio, beating Frankie Garcia of Georgetown. Garza, a senior, is 18-2 overall on the season and won the District 31 Championship. Garza’s first opponent in Austin will be Shane Roberson of Frisco.

There will be four girls representing the Big Six, as well as an alternate. Juarez-Lincoln has two athletes competing, while La Joya and Palmview will have one each. Veteran Memorial’s Jacqueline Gonzalez will be an alternate in the 165 weight class.

20120224_Aleman_JLHS_pins_Cardenas_Rowe_0128Competing for the Huskies will be Mallaly Aleman and Danae Sanchez. Aleman, competing in the 110 weight class, is in the fourth spot and will take on Cassidy Jasperson from Clear Springs. Aleman went 21-6 on the year and took first place at the District 31 Championships.

Teammate Sanchez also took first at the district championship in addition to placing second regionals. In fact, Sanchez, who competes in the 148 weight class, has only lost once this year, falling in an upset to Rio Grande City’s Lisa Gonzalez after defeating the Rattler wrestler in the district championship a week before. Sanchez will face Angelica Sanchez of El Dorado in the first round.

La Joya’s lone representative will be Stephanie Ramirez of the 185 weight class. Ramirez was the Region IV runner up, is 20-4 and won the district championship. The Lady Coyote will face Breanna Renard of Morton Ranch in her first match.

As for Palmview’s lone representative for the girls, that honor is given to junior Sandra Muñoz. Competing in the heaviest division the 215 weight class, Muñoz will take on Malexis McAdoo of Caprock. As the fourth place finisher from regionals, Muñoz faces an uphill battle. The junior is 10-3 overall on the year and was the District 31 champion.

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