Overland senior Katelynn Czerpak settles in on her way to a win by fall in an 105-pound quarterfinal match at the girls state wrestling tournament on Feb. 18, 2022, at Ball Arena in Denver. Czerpak advanced to the semifinals in the evening. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Sentinel Colorado)

DENVER | Katelynn Czerpak has already assured herself a spot on the medal podium for the first girls state wrestling tournament held at Ball Arena, the only question remains how high she will stand.

The Overland senior earned her second win by fall in the 105-pound bracket Friday morning, which pushes her through to the semifinal round scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

Czerpak (24-6) will face Mountain Vista’s Rosalind Ramos-Cruz the semifinal on the lower half of the bracket with the winner moving into Saturday’s state championship match, which will be held at the same time as the boys at Ball Arena beginning at 5:30 p.m.

Making her third career state tournament appearance, Czerpak pinned Yuma’s Chloe Smith in 4 minutes, 33 seconds, on Thursday to make the quarterfinals, but needed just 40 seconds to advance as she took down Jefferson sophomore Alicia Soto early and held on for the pin.

Girls wrestling is making its debut at Overland this season in large part due to the efforts of Czerpak — who previously wrestled for the Eaglecrest team that served as the Cherry Creek Schools co-op — and teammate and fellow state qualifier Vianca Mendoza. The duo expressed interest in starting a team at the school and got enough girls to form a team, which is coached by alum Nikki Garcia. See story, here.

Regardless of the results of the semifinals, Czerpak assured herself of at least two more matches and a podium spot in the top six. She was projected to place fourth coming into the tournament by InsideCoWrestling.

Czerpak was joined in the semifinal round by Eaglecrest junior 185-pounder Blythe Cayko (see story, here), while the other local quarterfinalist — Eaglecrest senior Savannah Smith (111 pounds) — lost by technical fall.

The eight Aurora girls who lost first round matches Thursday — including Mendoza — enter the consolation bracket Friday.

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

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