ATHLETES OF THE WEEK: Kaitlyn Cardoza and Riley Rangel, Ripon Wrestling

Cardoza made school history by competing in the California Interscholastic Federation state championships for the third time, and she was joined by a teammate on her way to the medal podium.

She and fellow senior Rangel each placed eighth at Mechanics Bank Arena in Bakersfield last week, finishing with records of 3-3.

“Riley has a lot of gratitude for Katelyn, as Kate told Riley most practice days,” Ripon’s trainer Eric Barriga said. “That hard work helped Riley become tough to fight.”

They’ve both had tough draws along the way.

Cardoza started by taking on three sectional champions in the 150-pound division, toppling the top two on opening day last Friday before falling to second seed Savannah Lewis of Northview. On Saturday, she beat Magdalena of Corning by decision, 8-3, to reach the medal rounds. Four of Cardoza’s six opponents were seeded.

At 137 pounds, Rangel drew San Diego Section runner-up Alina Solis from Olympian and North Coast Section Champion Kendall Branchaud of San Leandro last Friday, pinning the two en route to the quarter-final where she lost to eventual finalist Stephanie Chavez of Downey. Rangel pinned Palm Desert’s Chloe Overgaag in 2 minutes and 18 seconds to secure a medal.

Naomi C. Amerson