Pepper Marks on the podium
Pepper Marks became the first CIF State Wrestling place finisher from the South Coast since Alex Mack in 2004. She finished sixth.

Santa Barbara High wrestler Pepper Marks achieved another milestone in her incredible career.

Santa Barbara High’s Pepper Marks is hugged by her coach Marc Fidel after her final match. Credit: Ron Wilson photo

The senior earned a spot on the podium with a sixth-place finish at the CIF State Wrestling Championships at the Mechanics Bank Arena in Bakersfield on Saturday.

She is the first high school girls wrestler on the South Coast to place at the State Championships and the first wrestler from a South Coast school to place since Alex Mack of San Marcos took second in the heavyweight division in 2004.

Marks wrestled four matches in the 235-pound weight class on Saturday and went 2-2. She went 4-3 for the two-day tournament.

Pepper Marks sports a shiner
Pepper Marks sports a shiner after one of her matches Saturday at the CIF State Championships. Marks wrestled four matches and went 2-2 to finish in sixth place. Credit: Submitted photo

She first defeated Yvette Garcia of Sanger in a 4-1 decision. Garcia was the Central Section Masters champion. She then pinned Esther Vasquez-Gutierrez of Greenfield.

She lost an overtime match against Kyree Rubio of Canyon Springs in the consolation semifinals, 4-2. Marks tied the score at 2-2 at the end of third period.

In the match for fifth place, Marks was beaten by Gemma Templemann of Rocklin, 2-0.

On Friday, Marks lost a 3-1 quarterfinal decision against Marina’s Destiny Marquez, who ended up winning the title.

Marks is a two-time Channel League and CIF-Southern Section champion and a CIF-SS Masters runner-up.

Pepper Marks of Santa Barbara High takes down Yvette Garcia of Sanger in a consolation bout at the CIF State Wrestling Championships at the Mechanics Bank Arena in Bakersfield. Marks won in a 4-1 decision.

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Barry Punzal, Sports Editor

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