Gunn's Lee pins down her career with state title | March 7, 2014 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

Sports - March 7, 2014

Gunn's Lee pins down her career with state title

by Keith Peters

Gunn High senior Cadence Lee doesn't know what the future will bring in wrestling, whether she'll continue training in the offseason or compete in college. She does, however, know one thing for sure.

"For right now," she said, "I'm going to rest for a couple weeks and enjoy the victory."

The 17-year-old Lee actually had five victories at the 2014 CIF State Girls Wrestling Championships on Friday and Saturday at the Visalia Convention Center. Each triumph led her to the finals of the 106-pound division, where Lee met Harmonie Roberts of Ukiah in a musical finale (Cadence and Harmonie) and pinned her in 3:49.

The state title was the second straight for Lee, who overcame illness and injury to achieve her season-long goal.

"Being able to take home the state title again is extremely satisfying," Lee said. "There was a lot of pressure and anxiety leading up to the tournament, so I'm honestly pretty relieved."

Despite being quite ill, Lee went 3-0 on Friday with a 12-3 decision over Mia Hill of Weston Ranch of the San Joaquin Section, a pin of Marjoree Fargas of Paramount in 2:54, and a 7-2 decision of Marissa Gutierrez of Steele Canyon (San Diego).

That set the stage for Saturday's semifinal, where Lee pinned Alyssa Barredo of Walnut in 4:46. Barredo was the Southern Section champ. That put Lee in the finals, where she made some personal history.

"All of the wrestlers that I faced were respectable opponents, but I had the most difficulty with my semifinal and final matches: Alyssa Barredo and Harmonie Roberts," Lee said.

Despite being the defending champ — the 4-foot-9 Lee wrestled at 103 pounds last year — she maintain her composure throughout and respected her opponents.

"I tried to maintain a confident mentality throughout the tournament," Lee said. "If I started being doubtful, I forced myself to push any negative thoughts outside of my head."

Despite Lee being Gunn's sole entry, her performance earned the Titans 19th place out of 62 teams. This was her third straight appearance in the state meet, having finished second her sophomore year. A few weeks ago, Lee won her fourth straight title at the girls' Central Coast Section finals.

While Lee was winning her state title, two teammates were earning berths in the CIF State Boys Wrestling Championships by finishing among the top three at Saturday's CCS Championships at Independence High in San Jose.

Gunn junior Ian Cramer was second at 132 pounds while senior teammate Stephen Martin was second at 182. Joining them at the state meet will be Palo Alto senior Josh Deckelman, who was third at 152 as the Vikings finished 13th overall with 63 points.

Gunn finished eighth in the team standings with 88 points, trailing seventh-place Bellarmine by just three points and sixth-place St. Francis by less than 10.

Cramer, the No. 2 seed, faced top-seeded Victor Olmos of team champion Gilroy in the finals and dropped a 7-2 decision. Martin, also a No. 2 seed lost a tough 2-0 decision to top-seeded Mark Penyacsek of Gilroy.

In the 152-pound bracket, Paly's Deckelman trailed only No. 1 seed Paul Fox of Gilroy and No. 2 seed Alex Garcia of Christopher School. Deckelman came in as an alternate, just outside the top six seeds.

Cramer, Martin and Deckelman will head to Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield on Friday for the 42nd annual 42nd annual CIF State Boys Wrestling Championships.