TACOMA Stronger and quicker is tough to beat. Throw in the technical aspect, and you start to see why Pasco sophomore Timmy Martinez is making it look easy.
Martinez breezed through the first day of Mat Classic, posting a pair of pins to advance to the semifinals of the 120-pound bracket of the Class 4A portion of Mat Classic XXV.
Its definitely not easy, the unbeaten Bulldog said after his second-period stop in the quarterfinals gave him his first semifinal berth. These are some of the toughest kids in the state. I have to work for everything I get.
Unfortunately, a rough morning for the areas 4A schools did not get a whole lot better in the evening.
Chiawana senior Clayton Smith was the only one to reach the semifinals among eight Riverhawks, and Walla Wallas Logan Reardon (220) was the only other semifinalist from the area.
It was feast or famine for the Tri-Cities on the 3A mats. Kamiakin and Southridge were a combined 5-for-5 placing wrestlers in the semifinals.
Cesar Castillo (113), Harley Kolp (132) and returning champ Sisto Santana Pina (170) advanced for the Braves, while Bryce Overholt (182) and Kevin Del-Angel (185) won for the Suns.
Meanwhile, Hanford and Kennewick each advanced one through the consolation rounds.
In the 2A ranks, Othello has the lead in the team scores after day 1.
Class 4A: Martinez, who placed seventh last year after losing in the quarterfinals, ran his record to 40-0 after a 40-second stop followed by a second-period pin to reach the semifinals.
Its definitely a good feeling to be able to take my shoes off, relax and watch my other teammates win, he said.
One of his teammates did just that as senior Brandon Gonzalez bounced back from a first-round loss to win a pair of loser-out matches and secure his first state medal.
Smith simply manhandled state placer Gabe Seward of Inglemoor 12-3 in the quarters, setting up a semifinal match with three-time placer and returning state champ Eric Soler in the semifinals.
But the bad news for Chiawana was that one two of their eight wrestlers survived the first day, with Austen Silvers (182) winning a pair of consolation matches to locked up a second consecutive state medal.
Richland pushed through two of three into the placing rounds: Pryce Seely (138) and Cameron Simpson (170).
Class 3A: Castillo was the first of the Braves to get his hand raised in the semifinals, leading 7-2 in the quarters before winning 9-6 over Billy Almachar of Marysville-Getchell.
The senior said it felt good to lock up a state medal on his first trip to Mat Classic, but I got to keep going. Im trying to do more than (just) place.
Kolp, who won his opener with a third-period pin, scored a convincin 7-0 decision over Oak Harbors Cody Fakkema, who placed third last year. Pina, meanwhile, scored a 6-2 win over state veteran Nick Chandler of Mercer Island to set up a semifinal showdown with two-time placer and state runner-up Nick Karis of Decatur.
Overholt and Del-Angel posted back-to-back quarterfinal pins for Southridge. First, Overholt tripped Prairies Tyler Duncan straight to his back for a first-period stop. Then Del-Angel had Timberlakes Tanner Risk on the ropes from the start before ending it midway through the second period.
I was a little nervous, said Overholt, a state rookie. This was the match I had to win to place for sure. But then he came out and tried to be a slammer with me, and I felt like I had to get this guy over with.
Overholts next task will be to take on Bonney Lakes Chili Sabin, who dominated Hanford junior Will Bishop 16-0.
Bishop bounced back with a 9-7 consolation win to secure his first state medal. Likewise for Kennewick, two-time alternate Michael Hosfield bounced back from getting pinned in the first round to post 14-2 and 7-6 wins.
Sunnyside is in third place in the team standings, just 6 1/2 behind first-place University. The Grizzlies have four in the semifinals: Homer Romero and Jesse Torres, who will face each other at 106; Jesse Barajas at 113; and Daniel Avalos at 182. All seven of their state contingent are alive to place.
Class 2A: Othello opened a nine-point lead over four-time reigning 1A champ Orting (moved up to 2A) and 14 1/2 five-time defending 2A champ Deer Park.
The Huskies did it by advancing five to the semifinals Anthony Barrera (106), Isaiah Barrera (106), Alec Espinoza (113), Lucas Garza (126), Bubba Ruiz (285) and keeping eight of their 10 wrestlers alive to place.
The Barrera brothers are slated to wrestle each other, though junior Isaiah, the younger brother, said he would default the match.
Class 1A: Kiona-Benton scored three of the SCAC Easts eight semifinalists: Kale Setzer (138), Cruz Del Angel (182) and Cody Zyph (285). Zyph capped his night with a 6-5 win over third-placer Luis Garcia of Chelan.
Connells Roberto Orozco (145) and Greg Heinen (195) also reached the semifinals, as did Royals Alex Myrick (170), Wardens Adam Hansen (220) and Mabtons Vincente Mireles (132).
Class 2B/1B: Tri-Cities Prep senior John Hylden reached the finals at 170, pinning his first opponent and then holding off Concrete freshman Donald Olmested 10-8. Hell face Pomeroys Wyatt Jenkins in the finals.
Girls: After Wardens Valerie Hernandez was honored as the girls coach of the year, the Cougars moved three into the semifinals: Deianeira Caudle (100), Miexy Gonzales (130), Biancan Hernandez (145). Grandview matched that total with Mariza Birrueta (100), Viannei Perez (112) and Desiree Zavala (124), while Othello (Tatum Sparks at124 and Allesha Reyes at 137) and Sunnyside (Abigail Elizondo at130, Jessica Cardenas at 170) each advanced a pair. Mabtons Mabtons Mary Ellen Gutierrez reached the quarters at 112.