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Casa's Mihalca has made winning a tradition

Casa Grande's Erika Mihalca flips teammate Seamus Lanhan during wrestling practice at the National Guard Armory in Petaluma on Feb. 26, 2014. (Photo by Alvin Jornada, The Press Democrat)

Casa Grande's Erika Mihalca flips teammate Seamus Lanhan during

wrestling practice at the National Guard Armory in Petaluma on Feb. 26, 2014. (Photo by Alvin Jornada, The Press Democrat)

Casa Grande High girls wrestling champion Erika Mihalca had a leg up on the rest when she decided to take to the mats.

"I'd started judo in fifth grade. I won gold medals at the national tournament four times," she said as she prepared for the CIF state championship wrestling tournament, which begins today in Visalia. "I won silver in judo at the Junior Olympics. When I got into middle school, I was already a national champion so I decided to try wrestling in eighth grade."

Mihalca, who is seeded third at 131 pounds in the state wrestling meet, had a huge edge on most every female giving wrestling a try.


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