The Kamiakin Braves ran away with the Mid-Columbia Conference 3A district wrestling title Saturday at Southridge High School, with a few surprises thrown in for good measure.
The Braves advanced 14 wrestlers to regionals and piled up 411.5 points, putting the title out of reach for second-place Southridge (283.5 points), which will send 12 to regionals. Kennewick was a distant third and has two wrestlers advancing.
“It was a good day,” said Kamiakin coach Jordan Anderson, whose team picked up its second consecutive district title. “It was tough seeing a couple of guys lose (Tristan Barnett and Colten Chelin), but that’s what districts are for, to weed guys out. Other than that, we wrestled really well.”
The MCC teams will travel to Everett for the regional tournament Friday and Saturday. There will be two rounds Friday, with the remaining matches Saturday. The top four from regionals advance to Mat Classic in Tacoma.
The MCC teams, which will battle the WESCO North and South at regionals, only get two regional entrants per weight class, while the WESCO gets six. Originally, the MCC’s No. 3 man would wrestle the WESCO No. 6 for a spot in the main bracket, but the 12 WESCO teams outvoted the three MCC teams.
“They saw one of our teams at a tournament and said they didn’t want any more of our guys to get in,” Anderson said. “Our 3s would beat their 6s. We are leaving state placers at home, which is tough. We hope to get 12 or 13 to state. If we can get 10 or more, we can push for a state title.”
Kamiakin earned 10 titles on the day: Tanner Bushman at 113 pounds, Austin Almaguer (120), Joey Chavez (132), Rece Quintana (138), Liam Walker (145), Cyle DeLeon (152), Sione Halo (160), Zach Borisch (182), Luke Eskelsen (195) and Brock McCue (285).
McCue upset Southridge’s Yuriy Slutskiy in the 285-pound title bout, while DeLeon knocked off Kennewick’s Emilio Ramos in the 152-pound championship match.
“Brock’s match was big,” Anderson said. “That was awesome for a first-year guy. Cyle beating Ramos was awesome. Emilio got him earlier in the year. It was nice to get that one back.”
McCue, a hockey player turned wrestler, still is facing some growing pains on the mat, but Saturday he turned in one of his best matches of the season.
McCue and Slutskiy were scoreless in the first round, but McCue maneuvered an escape, took Slutskiy down and got two back points for a 5-0 lead. Slutskiy got an escape before the end of the round to make it 5-1.
Slutskiy chose the down position to start the third, but he wasn’t able to get out of McCue’s grasp. Kamiakin’s big man got Slutskiy’s left arm behind his back, rolled him and got the pin 54 seconds into the round.
“In most heavyweight matches, when you are on your back, it’s a scary deal,” McCue said. “I knew it would be a tough match. He got me earlier in the year. It’s the heart of wrestling — whoever wants it more. You have to have confidence in yourself.”
DeLeon and Ramos were scoreless in the first, and the only point in the second belonged to Ramos for an escape.
DeLeon got his own escape point in the third, then took Ramos down for a 3-1 lead. Ramos got free with 57 second remaining, but wasn’t able to score again.
Southridge’s Zayid Al-Ghani won his third consecutive district title with a 9-3 win over Kamiakin’s Jacob Olson at 170 pounds.
“The first time I wrestled him, he pinned me at the Winter Cup,” Al-Ghani said. “I knew he had a head-and-arm move, and I stayed away from that. I felt like I was in control.”
One of the most exciting matches of the day belonged to Southridge’s Xavier Velasco and Kamiakin’s Jesus Ramos in the 126-pound title match.
Ramos led 2-0 after the first and second rounds, but Velasco came to life in the third. Trailing 3-0 after an escape by Ramos, Velasco twice took Ramos down, only to let him go, making the score 5-4 Ramos.
One last takedown by Velasco gave him a 6-5 lead, but he would give up a point on a stalling call with 2 seconds left to even the score at 6-6 and force overtime.
Velasco needed just 9 seconds to take Ramos down, get the win and pick up his second district title.
“I wanted to keep my mind right and look for a way to win,” Velasco said of trailing after two rounds. “I was confident I could come back.”
On the day, the Suns got titles from Al-Ghani, Velasco, Marco Mendoz (106) and Taylor Ambrose (220).
“Zayid looked and wrestled a good match,” Southridge coach Steve Isley said. “Heavyweight, that was a tough loss. That was a tough spot Yuriy found himself in, but he was able to come back through and get a spot to regionals.”
Southridge’s Eric Stayrook, also in his first year on the mat, got pinned in the finals at 195 by Kamiakin’s Eskelsen but fought his way back to earn a trip to regionals.
“He is dangerous and strong,” Isley said of Stayrook. “Most of the kids in the WESCO haven’t seen him. They will look at how big he is and that will be in their heads. That’s worth two or three points right there.”
Teams scores: Kamiakin 411.5, Southridge 283.5, Kennewick 96. 106: Marco Mendoza (S) md. Ethan Vogtman (Ke), 9-1. 3rd, Gabe Kirby (S). 113: Tanner Bushman (Ka) p. Austin Hayward (Ka), 1:23. 120: Austin Almaguer (Ka) p. Giovanni Penaloza (S), 5:12. 2/3: Penaloza (S) tf. Ryan Stayrook (S), 16-0. 126: Xavier Velasco (S) d. Jesus Ramos (Ka), 8-6 (OT). 2/3: Ramos (Ka) p. Michael Wheeler (Ka), 2:41. 132: Joey Chavez (Ka) p. Kevin Cornejo (Ka), 1:03. 3/4: Breyden Baratone (S) p. Xavier Trinidad (S), :12. 138: Rece Quintana (Ka) d. Ryan Nett (S), 4-3. 2/3: Nett (S) md, Dylan Holt (Ke), 10-1. 145: Liam Walker (Ka) d. Derrick Gillespie (S), 5-2. 2/3: Gillespie (S) d. Musa Mustapha (Ka), 8-3. 152: Cyle DeLeon (Ka) d. Emilio Ramos (Ke), 3-2. 3/4: Nathan Bradley (Ka) p. Abayomi Mendoza (S), 2:33. 160: Sione Halo (Ka) md. Mark Meier (S), 13-4. 3/4: Colten Chelin (Ka) d. Braxton Brower (Ke), 6-3. 170: Zayid Al-Ghani (S) d. Jacob Olson (Ka), 9-3. 2/3: Olson (Ka) p. Aaron Mahaffey (Ka), 1:53. 182: Zach Borisch (Ka) d. Riley Lopez (S), 7-0. 3/4: Moises Camacho (Ka) p. Roberto Ramos (Ken). 195: Luke Eskelsen (Ka) p. Eric Stayrook (S), 1:06. 2/3: Stayrook (S) d. Gavin Woods (S), 12-5. 220: Taylor Ambrose (S) inj. default Atsamaz Pliev (S). 3/4: Tristan Barnett (Ka) md. Cesar Salas (Ka), 17-7. 285: Brock McCue (Ka) p. Yuriy Slutskiy (S), 5:06. 2/3: Slutskiy (S) d. Tyler Cearley (Ka), 5-0.
MCC 4A DISTRICT TOURNAMENT: Chiawana freshman Rey Aranda beat teammate Jonathan Miranda 2-0 in the 132-pound title bout, just one of many matches in which the Riverhawks scooped up points en route to the district team title at Hanford High School.
Chiawana also went 1-2 at 106 pounds and 138, rolling up 478.5 points. Pasco (309) was a distant second, followed by Walla Walla (175), Hanford (169.5) and Richland (119).
The top five wrestlers in each weight advance to regionals next Saturday at Richland with teams from the Greater Spokane League and the Greater St. Helens League.
The Riverhawks also got titles from Robby Vaughn (106), Kobe Santoyo (120), Nathan Bengen (126), Tyson Stover (138), Riley Cissne (145), Quentin Mattson (160), Clayton Silvers (195) and Ian Campbell (220).
Richland’s lone championship came at 182, where Isaac Lovato earned a 7-2 victory over Trent Black of Chiawana.
Pasco crowned three champions — Isaiah Gonzalez at 113, Avery Burrows at 170 and Anthony Cortez at 285, who beat teammate Davion Pruitt 2-1.
Hanford’s Brock Higgins picked up the 152-pound title, pinning Allen Cruz of Chiawana in 3:22.
Teams scores: Chiawana 478.5, Pasco 309, Walla Walla 175, Hanford 169.5, Richland 119. 106: Robby Vaughn (C) tf. Kevin Llamas (C), 16-0. 3/4: McKinley Hudiburg (W) p. Nathaniel Tovar (P), 2:41. 5th: Ed Monzo (P) md. Jarom Pratt (R), 11-1. 113: Isaiah Gonzalez (P) p. Morgan McFee (C), 1:28. 3/4: Hunter Murphey (H) d. Xavier Zavala (R), 12-10. 5th: Jace Seely (R). 120: Kobe Santoyo (C) d. Glenn Siekawitch (H), 3-1. 3/4: Connor Gibbon (R) d. Darius Grogan (C), 6-0. 5th: Miguel Hinajosa (P) d. Braeden Nalle (H), 5-2.126: Nathan Bengen (C) p. Josh Pettyjohn (W), 2:27. 3/4: Mitch Sagastegui (P) d. Josh Elmenhurst (W), 5-3. 5th: Chris Gray (H) p. Josh Powell (C), 4:19. 132: Rey Aranda (C) d. Jonathan Miranda (C), 2-0. 3/4: Eduardo Castro (P) p. Treyton Keller (H), 2:33. 5th: Riley Shahan (H) p. Tanner Bollinger (W), 1:00. 138: Tyson Stover (C) md. Tavin Blair (C), 11-2. 3/4: Jerry Ayala (P) p. David Tobias (P), 2:16. 5th: Louis Werner (H) md. Jaden Reyes (R), 14-5. 145: Riley Cissne (C) d. Patrick Workman (R), 6-3. 3/4: Israel Romero (C) d. David Bates (H), 8-1. 5th: Jordan Renteria (P) md. Isreal Romero (C), 12-3. 152: Brock Higgins (H) p. Allen Cruz (C), 3:22. 3/4: Victor Silva (C) p. Salvador Gutierrez, 3:37. 5th: Macario Yniguez (P) p. Nathan Bushman (H), 2:14. 160: Quentin Mattson (C) p. Kenton Bedoya (P), 5:45. 3/4: Michael Bishop (H) d. Miguel Fernandez (C), 11-5. 5th: Michael Tunnell (H) p. Curtis Snderson (R), 4:36. 170: Avery Burrows (P) d. Mark Pearson (P), 7-5. 3/4: Sam McFee (C) p. Hayden Henry (H), 1:57. 5th: Jamahl Mangarero (W) p. Jaden Love (R), 1:26. 182: Isaac Lovato (R) d. Trent Black (C), 7-2. 3/4: Jordan Breier (C) p. Aiden Murdock (W), 1:53. 5th: Sam Stanfield (R). 195: Clayton Silvers (C) d. Ely Kimball (W), 6-1. 3/4: Elijah Tovar (P) p. Dominic Almaguer (P), 4:59. 5th: Cayetano Talavera (C) p. John O’Banion (R), 4:23. 220: Ian Campbell (C) p. Arturo Ruesga (P), 5:42. 3/4: Isaac Melton (W) p. Colby Blasdel (C), 2:53. 5th: Winston Glase (W). 285: Anthony Cortez (P) d. Davion Pruitt (P), 2-1. 3/4: Tristan Larkins (W) d. Josh Alvarez (C), 7-1. 5th: Tate Elliot (W) p. Jerry Corona (W), 1:28.