TACOMA — Valerie Hernandez was in no mood to celebrate. Not yet.
Though her Warden girls already had won the state title, the Cougars coach had to mend the state title dreams that senior Miexy Gonzales had just watched slip away in the 130-pound state title match.
“I’m really speechless right now,” Hernandez said after watching a 4-0 lead in the third period turn into a pin for Kelso’s Mariah Horton. “We expected it to be a tough match.”
While Gonzales was denied her title — she added a second-place finish to the fifth and eighth from previous seasons — there was no denying the Cougars had arrived.
Warden wrapped up the team title before the start of the finals matches and finished with 1131⁄2 points, 291⁄2 ahead of second-place Mt. Baker.
They had a pair of runners-up: Gonzales and junior Deianeira Caudle, who lost the 100-pound final 5-3 to Grandview sophomore Marizza Birrueta.
Additionally, Bianca Hernandez (145) was third, and Melisa Vasquez at 106 and Brenda De Leon at 118 placed fifth. The Cougars became the first east-side team to win the girls title in the seven-year history of the event, ending the reign of four-time champion Sedro-Woolley.
“We’ve always been here, but we’ve been overlooked,” Hernandez said. “Can’t overlook us now.”
Nor can Grandview, which finished fourth for a team trophy despite bringing just three wrestlers to the tournament. Birrueta’s win at 100 and freshman Desiree Zavala’s 2-0 win over Othello’s Tatum Sparks in the 124 final gave the Greyhounds big points. Their third wrestler, Viannei Perez, edged Mary Ellen Gutierrez of Mabton 4-3 for third at 112. Othello’s Allesha Reyes brought a little magic from the Huskies boys (Class 2A state champs) to the girls mats with her title at 137, a 4-3 win over Colleen Reynolds of Kelso.
This season marked a big step for girls wrestling in the Mid-Columbia. The area’s six finalist was by far the most ever, as were the 17 overall placers.
The Tri-Cities added a pair of placers as Pasco’s Tania Martinez was seventh at 155 and Richland’s Tamika Pierce was eighth at 106.
Also, Sunnyside’s Abigail Elizondo (130) and Jessica Cardenas (170) placed third, and Jazmin Mendoza of Mabton placed sixth.
Team scores (top 4 and local): Warden 113.5, Mt. Baker 84, Kelso 81.5, Grandview 69.5; 8, Othello 58.5; 13, Sunnyside 41; 23, Mabton 24; 41, Pasco 10; 49, Richland 7.
100—Marizza Birrueta (Grandview) p. Kendra Smith (Rogers-Puyallup) 3:10; Deianeira Caudle (Warden) p. Elizabeth Galvez (Toppenish) 3:31. 112—Taylor Lee (Kentridge) p. Viannei Perez (Grandview) 2:02; Arian Carpio (Todd Beamer) p. Mary Ellen Gutierrez (Mabton) :50. 124—Tatum Sparks (Othello) t.f. Megan Johnson (Tumwater) 19-0; Desiree Zavala (Grandview) t.f. Jessica Mata (Mt. Baker) 19-2. 130—Miexy Gonzales (Warden) d. Megan Young (Mt. Baker) 8-2; Mariah Horton (Kelso) d. Abigail Elizondo (Sunnyside) 7-3. 137—Allesha Reyes (Othello) p. Juliana Trujillo (Lakes) 4:28. 145—Sonya Redbird (Kingston) d. Bianca Hernandez (Warden) 4-2. 170—Samantha Mitchell (White River) p. Jessica Cardenas (Sunnyside) 4:27.
Consolation third round
106—Melisa Vasquez (Warden) d. Tamika Pierce (Richland) 13.8. 118—Brenda De Leon (Warden) m.d. Natalie Smith (Mt. Baker) 12-2. 124—Jazmin Mendoza (Mabton) d. Haven Camden (Washougal) 7-3. 137—Maria Rivera (Granger) d. Alexys Jolley (Warden) 5-4. 155—Samantha King (Hoquiam) d. Tania Martinez (Pasco) 11-9; Vivian Bazan (Quincy) p. Aneissa Gonzales (Warden) 2:30. 235—Sophia Munoz (Highline) p. Andrea Contreras (Warden) 4:38.
106—Isis Wadleigh (Timberline) m.d. Melisa Vasquez (Warden) 9-0. 112—Viannei Perez (Grandview) m.d. Casandra Beccerra (Burlington); Mary Ellen Gutierrez (Mabton) p. Cassie Edwards (Napavine) 2:47. 118—Ivy Rodolf (Kingston) d. Brenda De Leon (Warden) 4-1. 124—Jessica Mata (Mt. Baker) p. Jazmin Mendoza (Mabton) 2:25. 130—Abigail Elizondo (Sunnyside) p. Johnson (South Kitsap) 2:12. 145—Bianca Hernandez (Warden) d. Alejandra Rodriguez (Granger) 8-2. 170—Jessica Cardenas (Sunnyside) p. Erika Lindholm (Sedro-Woolley) 3:38.
100—Marizza Birrueta (Grandview) d. Deianeira Caudle (Warden) 5-3. 124—Desiree Zavala (Grandview) d. Tatum Sparks (Othello) 2-0. 130—Mariah Horton (Kelso) p. Miexy Gonzales (Warden) 5:43. 137—Allesha Reyes (Othello) d. Colleen Reynolds (Kelso) 4-3.
112—Viannei Perez (Grandview) d. Mary Ellen Gutierrez (Mabton) 4-3. 130—Abigail Elizondo (Sunnyside) d. Megan Young (Mt. Baker) 16-11. 145—Bianca Hernandez (Warden) p. Danielle Cormier (Enumclaw) 3:22. 170—Jessica Cardenas (Sunnyside) d. Kearstin Williams (Mountain View) 8-3.
106—Melisa Vasquez (Warden) p. Cynthia Ramirez (Quincy) 1:58. 118—Brenda De Leon (Warden) p. Rachel Coleck (East Valley-Spokane) 4:02. 124—Sara Sanchez (Washougal) m.d. Jazmin Mendoza (Mabton) 15-2.
106—Danielle Crawford (Granite Falls) d. Tamika Pierce (Richland) 7-4. 137—Alexys Jolley (Warden) p. Joanna Moreira (Liberty-Issaquah) 4:54. 155—Tania Martinez (Pasco) p. Aneissa Gonzales (Warden) 3:48. 235—Kimiko Misioka (Fife) p. Andrea Contreras (Warden) 4:41.