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Originally published Friday, February 21, 2014 at 10:59 PM

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Liberty’s Joanna Moriera takes a big step in 137-pound division | Girls wrestling

Joanna Moriera advances to state semifinals for the first time and improved to 32-0.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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TACOMA – Joanna Moriera doesn’t have a wow factor on the wrestling mat.

But she does have a lot of wins, which is all the junior from Liberty High School cares about.

Moriera improved to 32-0 with a pair of victories in the 137-pound classification of the state girls wrestling tournament Friday at the Tacoma Dome, advancing to the semifinals for the first time.

There wasn’t anything flashy about either of her decisions at Mat Classic XXVI, which is just fine with Moriera, who came in ranked No. 1.

“It’s not all about the cool moves and that I can throw you up in the air and do a cool pin,” she said. “It’s about the basics. If you look at college (wrestling), it’s beautiful. They perfect their simple moves. That’s the way I want to be. I want to be simple and not too flashy.”

Moriera, who said she started wrestling in fifth grade because she didn’t want to be a “girly girl,” placed eighth at 137 last year and came away hungry for more.

“I didn’t like how I ended it,” she said. “That’s why I push hard to get at least finals this year. I want to get first and be a two-time state champ, so I hope that comes.”

Three area returning champions are all on track to repeat. Jordyn Bartelson of Puyallup (118), Arian Carpio of Beamer (124) and KC Moulden of Enumclaw (235) each pinned their way into the semifinals. Moulden stuck her first opponent in just 17 seconds.

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