Senior Katelynn Czerpak, right, helped Overland start its own girls wrestling team for the first time this season and is one of the Trailblazers’ two qualifiers for the 2022 girls state wrestling tournament, which runs Feb. 17-19, 2022, at Ball Arena. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Sentinel Colorado)

AURORA | The 2022 girls state wrestling tournament at glance for Aurora teams:

Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports

BREAKDOWN: Three Aurora programs will be represented at the 2022 girls state wrestling tournament, which will be held at the Ball Arena for the first time after it was contested in Pueblo last season in the sports’ first sanctioned season because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Coach Sparky Adair’s Eaglecrest team has the largest state contingent with seven state qualifiers, followed by Overland and Vista PEAK with two apiece. Coach Jakob Vargas’ Bison had a third qualifier, Reagan Perez, who is unable to compete due to injury.

Full state tournament brackets and pairings, here

The first round of the girls state tournament begins at noon Thursday and runs in the same session as the opening round of the Class 2A and 3A boys. The quarterfinal round and first round of consolations begin at 8:30 a.m. Friday, while all semifinals will be held at 6:30 p.m. Consolation matches begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, followed by placing matches with the Parade of Champions for girls and boys at 5:30 p.m. preceding finals.

∙ InsideCoWrestling’s Tom Blair released his predictions for the top six placewinners in each weight class — as Tim Yount of On The Mat does for the boys — and they include three Aurora wrestlers making their way onto the podium with two more close. Eaglecrest is projected to finish 11th in the team standings.

Blair’s projections have one Aurora wrestler making it to a state championship match in Eaglecrest junior Blythe Cayko at 185 pounds. He has Cayko defeating Calhan’s Taylor Knox in the state championship match, which would be a rematch of last week’s Region 1 final that saw Cayko pin Knox early in the second round. Cayko placed third last season in an 185-pound bracket won by Knox. Overland senior Katelynn Czerpak is picked to place fourth in the 105-pound bracket, while Eaglecrest senior Savannah Smith is projected to take sixth at 111 pounds. Czerpak placed fifth last season while wrestling for Eaglecrest before helping Overland start its own team under coach Nikki Garcia.

Eaglecrest’s Katrina Cervantes (127) and Gianna Falise (147) are picked to be close to making the placing round depending on the flow of the tournament. Falise’s brother, Angelo, is a Class 5A boys state qualifier at 285 pounds for Grandview.

Cayko — who also placed fifth at 185 pounds in 2020 — and Czerpak are the lone returners from last season’s state tournament (which was smaller due to the pandemic), while Smith qualified as a freshman and a sophomore when the sport was in its pilot stage as did Vista PEAK junior Leilani Camaal, who made it as a freshman in 2020.

Aurora has multiple qualifiers at only two weights, which comes at 111 pounds — where Smith and Overland junior Vianca Mendoza are on opposite sides of the bracket — and 215 pounds, where Vista PEAK senior Samiah Andrews is on the top side and Eaglecrest freshman Echo Tremeear is on the bottom side.

The breakdown of Aurora state qualifiers by year: four are seniors, five are juniors and there is one sophomore and freshman.

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