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Petaluma freshman wrestler headed to state

Petaluma High School's Michelle Larsen became the first Petaluma freshman girl ever to wrestle herself to the state tournament when she qualified by finishing third in the North Coast Section Tournament.

Larsen, wrestling in the 189-pound weight class, put together a 3-1 record, winning all three of her matches by pins. She won her first match with a 48-second pin, but lost a tough 4-1 decision to No. 2 seed Vicki Espinosa of Rancho Cotate in the semifinals.

Larsen bounced back for a second round pin and then earned her trip to state by pinning Jennifer Kalvo of James Logan High School in the final 12 seconds. Larsen trailed, 6-2, going into that final period.

Gold Rush success

The Petaluma boys team brought home a motherlode of medals from Piner's Gold Rush Invitational Tournament. Ten Trojans competed in the tournament, and nine earned medals.

Sophomore Tyler Sullivan finished second at 115 pounds, recording three pins and a tech fall while compiling a 4-1 record and earning 27 points. Among his victories was a 26-second pin.

Junior Blake Hartlieb went undefeated (4-0) while winning the 128-pound gold medal. His wins included three pins and a major decision for 27 points. He won his title with a pin of Zach Albers of Santa Rosa.

Sophomore Noah Russell was second at 140 pounds, going 3-1 with a pin, a tech pin and a major decision.

Petaluma swept the 147-pound weight class, going one-two-three. Cole Pruett won the gold with a 5-0 record. The team pin leader added three to his total and won two other matches by tech fall. One of those tech fall wins was a 15-0 victory over teammate Luis Diaz in the championship match. Along his way to the championship match, Diaz defeated another Trojan, freshman Eric Machado, who finished with a 2-3 record and the bronze medal.

Sophomore Matt Saxton took second at 154 pounds, compiling a 3-1 record and losing only by decision to weight class champion Joel Angino of Healdsburg.

Junior Alex Waters was second at 172 pounds, recording two pins.

Junior Nick Pruett was the most impressive of the Trojans, recording five straight pins to win the 197-pound championship. Four of his pins came in the first period. He scored 32 points, the maximum he could earn in the tournament.


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