LEMOORE, Calif. — It took two tries, but Samohi wrestler Jessica Walker can finally call her self a state champ.

After falling in the final last year as a junior, Walker was able to outlast Northview’s Maddy Tyrone, 1-0, on Saturday at the CIF Girls’ Wrestling State Invitational Championships in Lemoore, Calif.

“I feel accomplished with the win,” Walker said. “It’s something I’ve been working for.”

Walker said the low score was due to her opponent’s apparent stall tactics. Walker rallied for an escape while Tyrone had her in her grasp for the match’s only scoring.

The two were familiar with each other, having wrestled a handful of times in the past with Walker coming out on top each time.

“Her coaches were telling her to slow it down,” Walker said of Tyrone’s tactics.

The tactic didn’t do the trick and the junior from Samohi added to her CIF-Southern Section title she won two weeks ago.

Walker’s exploits at the state tournament bring an end to Samohi’s season. There are nationals yet to come, which Walker has qualified for, but she will instead focus on the upcoming track and field season. Her specialties are discus and the shot put.

The success Walker experienced this year is somewhat bitter sweet. The wrestling team was at the center of a bullying incident last year that some labeled as racially driven. Walker said that the team is starting to come back together, but there are still some tensions remaining.

For Walker, she’s just happy to have the season end successfully, giving her plenty to be thankful for.

In true teenager fashion, Walker wanted to send a shout-out to her parents, Sherri and Nigel, and her coach Mark Black.

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