SUNNYSIDE Saturdays Class 3A regional wrestling tournament at Sunnyside High resembled next weeks Mat Classic state tournament in two key fashions.
First, and most obvious to those on hand, there was an interminably long delay to the start of the championship matches. As it dragged on, even the University fans whose Titans clobbered the field with 228 points and were 6-for-6 in final matches where grumbling about getting on the road back to Spokane.
Second, and probably most important, there were a bushel of state-placer quality matches, including a couple of likely championship previews.
The host Grizzlies put up a good fight, taking second with 168 points and advancing 10 to state. They also won one of the two titles that escaped the grasp of Spokane schools, with returning state runner-up Jesse Barajas topping Kamiakins Cesar Castillo 7-0 for the 113-pound championship.
The top four in each weight advance to state, which starts Friday at the Tacoma Dome.
It was a tough but productive day for the Tri-Cities, with the three Kennewick schools and Hanford combining for 10 berths to Tacoma and two alternates. However, Kamiakin went 0-for-3 in the finals and Southridge 0-for-2.
Still, there was plenty to smile about, and no one was happier or more relieved than Kennewick senior Michael Hosfield, who capped a big-time two weeks with a dominating 14-3 decision to place third at 126.
After going to Mat Classic the last two years as an alternate, Hosfield knows he will get to hit the mats this time.
It kind of haunted me, he said after 7-2 win over Hanford senior Ben Hoffner in the consolation semifinals guaranteed a state berth. Its so satisfying. All these years working toward it, trying to get it. Its awesome.
Hosfield will be joined at state by sophomore teammate Alex Ramos (fourth at 113) and senior Michael Etherton (fourth at 152). They are the first Lions to qualify for state since 2009.
Another happy camper was Hanford junior Will Bishop, a state veteran who found his return ticket in doubt after dropping his opening match at 182 pounds. Of course, his opponent was returning state champ Sean Elledge, who went on to win the weight with an 8-3 decision over Southridge junior Bryce Overholt.
After that first match, my coaches told me to keep my head in it, said, You got this. Stay strong, said Bishop, who went on to win three straight match to finish third and get his return ticket punched.
Hanford added a second qualifier when junior Dallon Grinder placed fourth at 220, losing his final match to Sunnysides Austin Carman. Its Grinders second trip to state after he qualified for the Class 1A tournament with Kiona-Benton last year.
Overholt was overjoyed after his 5-3 win over U-His Tyler Burns in the 182 semifinals to secure his first state berth. Hes been riding a wave of momentum throughout the season after going the distance in the championship of the Bob Mars tourney against Ki-Bes Cruz Del Angel, an unbeaten state champ for the Bears the previous year.
That opened my eyes and showed me I can compete with anyone I have to, Overholt said after his semifinal win.
True to his word, he competed well with Elledge, giving the Glacier Peak standout his closest match with a five-point margin.
Southridges other state entry is Kevin Del-Angel, who placed second at 195 after losing to U-His Tanner Orndorff 10-1. Del-Angel is 0-3 against Orndorff and unbeaten against everyone else.
Kamiakin three state entries also will go in as second seeds: Castillo at 113, Harley Kolp at 132 and Sisto Santana Pina at 170. Kolp, a senior two-time state placer, lost 3-1 to U-His Rieley Smith, who countered well against Kolps shots.
Pina, a returning state champ at 170, earned his fourth state berth but was denied a third regional title after a 6-4 loss to Austin Stannard of (you guessed it) University.
It was a repeat of their sub-regional final last week, though Pina seemed headed for a win after a takedown midway through the third period gave him a 4-3 lead. But with five seconds left, Stannard slipped away and got an immediate takedown for the win.
I just got to be able to start faster, finish stronger and put it all together, Pina said.
Sunnyside contingent includes junior Homer Romero, a runner-up at 106. Joining Barajas and Romero are: Jesse Torres (third at 106), Santos Guerrero (third 120), Anthony Chavez (fourth at 126), Christian Ruiz (fourth 138), Noe Palomino (fourth 145), Max Ramos (third 170), Daniel Avalos (fourth 182), Carman (220).
Southridges Trenton Nett (120) and Hanfords Hoffner (126) finished fifth and will go to state as alternates.
At Sunnyside HS
Team scoresUniversity 228, Sunnyside 168, Mt. Spokane 115.5, Glacier Peak 107, North Central 104.5, Kamiakin 67, Shadle Park 61.5, Rogers (Spo) 50, Southridge 46, Kennewick 44, Shorewood 42.5, Meadowdale 42, Hanford 35, Mountlake Terrace 13, Shorecrest 0.
Top 4 to state
106Kwest Osborn (Uni) d. Homer Romero (Sun) 5-1; Jesse Torres (Sun) m.d. Pete Wilkes (MS) 12-1; 6, Tyler Almaguer (Kam). 113Jesse Barajas (Sun) d. Cesar Castillo (Kam) 7-0; Cam Sorenson (Uni) p. Alex Ramos (Ken) :59; Jacob Mendoza (Sun); Blake Llarenas (Han). 120Kiegen Schauer (MS) d. Charles Smith (Rog) 3-0; Santos Guerrero (Sun) d. Alec Hoover (MS) 3-1; Trenton Nett (SR). 126Matthew Floresca (Swod) d. John Kim (GP) 5-0; Michael Hosfield (Ken) m.d. Anthony Chavez (Sun) 14-3; Ben Hoffner (Han); Damien Gooldy (Kam). 132Rieley Smith (Uni) d. Harley Kolp (Kam) 3-1; Richie Bondurant (MS) d. Jacob Clute (NC) 8-2.
138Ryan Gabel (Uni) p. Terrence McKinney (SP) 3:22; Chrisitan Nibarger (MS) p. Christian Ruiz (Sun) 2:26. 145John Hoover (MS) d. Dylan Schmidt (SP) 4-3; Cody Koourkas (NC) d. Noe Palomino (Sun) 11-4. 152Izaec Quintanilla (NC) d. Jacob Elledge (GP) 7-0; Logan Coleman (GP) d. Michael Etherton (Ken) 18-15; Sam Romero (Sun). 160Bryson Pierce (NC) m.d. Morgan Smith (Mddl) 12-2; John Fairbanks (Uni) d. Brett McVay (SP) 8-3. 170Austin Stannard (Uni) d. Sisto Santana Pina (Kam) 6-4; Max Ramos (Sun) p. Syd Springberg (Mlkt) 4:58.
182Sean Elledge (GP) d. Bryce Overholt (SR) 8-3; Will Bishop (Han) d. Daniel Avalos (Sun) 8-6. 195Tanner Orndorff (Uni) m.d. Kevin Del-Angel (SR) 10-1; Ciaran Ball (Mddl) d. Skyler Poole (Uni) 11-4; 6, Todd Pink (Ken). 220Tom Harvey (MS) d. Dwayne Robinson (Rog) 3-2; Austin Carman (Sun) d. Dallon Grinder (Han) 5-1. 285Tate Orndorff (Uni) d. Heber Martinez (NC) 4-0; Moese Fifita (GP) inj. def. Erca Erdenebayer (Swod).