If Mills sophomore Annalese Leung out of sorts Friday, it wasn’t apparent by her performance.
Leung earned the 113-pound championship at the Peninsula Athletic League girls’ wrestling tournament at San Mateo High School, scoring a major decision 12-3 over Half Moon Bay junior Elizabeth Mendez-Cortes.
The catch is, it was Leung’s first tournament championship of the season.
“This is her first time being on the mat as of 2020,” Mills coach Joel Avalos said. “So, it was a little nerve-racking for her, at least it looked like it. It was actually her first finals match.”
Last season, Leung settled for fourth-place at the PAL tournament. She was seeded No. 4 this year, forcing her into a tough opening draw, facing No. 1 seed Ale’jha Brussard in the 113s semifinals.
The Mills team captain, however, delivered the first of two straight upsets.
“She was very confident in her positioning the entire time,” Avalos said. “She was relaxed. It’s fun to watch her let it fly when she does. But she was definitely a lot more reserved in this match just focusing on solid positioning.”
The secret to Leung’s success? Beating up on boys.
“After we realized we weren’t going to be able to get her in any of the tournaments anytime soon, we figured we’d have her just start working with the boys,” Avalos said. “And then I think that started giving her a little more confidence.”
At 108s, San Mateo junior Jude Sarsour earned the title with a pin against M-A freshman Eden Fisher. At 118s, Terra Nova senior Elis Carvalho took the crown with a 5-2 decision over M-A sophomore Gwendolyn Tomkins.