Timmy Martinez had a set of goals going into the Class 4A regional tournament: Don’t let anyone score points against him, win a regional title and help his team as best he could.
The Pasco junior easily accomplished the first two, but with only two guys qualifying for state, the young Bulldogs settled for sixth in the team standings.
“At this point in the season you have to focus on yourself,” said Martinez, who posted a 15-0 technical fall over Hunter King of Mead in the 126-pound title match. “Coach told me to go out and wrestle my match like I have all year.”
And he did.
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He pinned Boyd Lorz-Vanatta of Eastmont in 1:38 in the quarterfinals, then posted an 8-0 major decision over Nate Kilborn of Central Valley in the semifinals. In the finals, King was no match for Martinez, who need just 3 minutes, 8 seconds to win his third consecutive regional title.
Wrestling King for the first time, Martinez (35-2) recorded a takedown just 25 seconds into the match and led 5-0 after the first round.
Martinez chose the down position to start the second, and within 19 seconds, had a reversal and a three-point near fall. The points just piled up from there.
“I just tried to scramble and not give up any points,” Martinez said. “I get into a tranquil state and try not to panic and lose control of the situation, that way I can make sure to score my points.”
Moses Lake ran away with the team title for the second consecutive year, rolling up 229.5 points and advancing 10 to Mat Classic next week in Tacoma.
“There’s still a lot work to be done,” said second-year Chiefs coach Jaime Garza. “We have 10 going to state and we have to work with what we have. It’s tough to get guys out of here. This is a tough regional.
The Chiefs, who last won a state team title in 2002, crowned three regional champions — Trey Long (106), Fernando Leyva (113) and Jordan Lacelle (182). Garza isn’t sure they have enough firepower to contend for a state title.
“There is nothing more promising than hard work,” Garza said. “When that happens, amazing things happen.”
Mead finished second with 167 points, while Central Valley was third (158.5) and Chiawana fourth (120). The top three wrestlers in each weight class advance to state.
The Riverhawks got a regional title from Blake Bishop at 152, while Levi McBride (195) and Abzael Loeza (220) finished second and Tyler Vargas was third at 170.
“Last week was tough for us,” said Chiawana coach Jack Anderson, whose team finished second to Pasco at the district tournament. “We wanted to come out, wrestle our best and get guys through.”
Bishop, who missed out on a trip to state last year, won his first regional title with a 7-3 victory over Elijah Ross of Ferris.
“It’s gratifying, but at the same time I feel the pain of the other seniors not making it through,” Bishop said.
McBride suffered an 11-2 setback to Andy Backlund (21-2) of Lewis & Clark, who won his first regional title.
“For a sophomore, he is one hell of a wrestler,” Backlund said of McBride. “He has something going for him.”
McBride appreciated the sentiment, but he expected more from himself.
“It sucks,” he said. “He was strong, but I haven’t wrestled anyone who has the style he did. Hopefully this will give me motivation for next week. I’m not taking this lightly.”
Loeza led 1-0 after two rounds against Mead’s Mason Ju, and the match was tied 3-3 with 22 seconds remaining, but an illegal hold called against Loeza gave Ju a 4-3 lead. Loeza let Ju go to try for a late takedown, but he ran out of time.
Ju (32-4), a three-time regional finalist, won his first title 5-3. It was the second time this season Ju had beaten Loeza.
“That was a great match,” Anderson said. “That is the top kid in the state right now. We’ll watch the video and go get him next week.”
In the 285-pound title match, Richland sophomore Nicholas Workman was pinned by Lewis & Clark’s Noah Buckley in 1:22. Buckley, also a sophmore in just his second year of wrestling, won his first regional title and will make his first trip to state.
Workman will be joined at state by senior Pryce Seely, who was pinned in 3 minutes by Central Valley’s Blake Beard in the 138-pound finals.
At Pasco High School
Team scores—Moses Lake 229.5, Mead 167, Central Valley 158.5, Chiawana 120, Lewis & Clark 108, Pasco 81.5, Ferris 61, Richland 54, Eastmont 44.5, Eisenhower 34, Davis 32, Wenatchee 24, Gonzaga Prep 9, Walla Walla 0. 106—Championship: Trey Long (ML) d. Cooper McCullough (ML), 4-2. Third: Bobby Guzman (Pas) p. Diego Nunez (Dav), 3:48. 113—Championship: Fernando Leyva (ML) p. Jose Garcia (ML), 3:02. Third: Ramiro Ortiz (Dav) d. Matt Petrini (Mead), 3-0. 120—Championship: Bryson Beard (CV) d. Clayton Clark (ML), 7-1. Third: Andrew Boharski (Mead) md. Nick Hara (ML), 13-3. 126—Championship: Timmy Martinez (Pas) tf. Hunter King (Mead), 15-0. Third: Max Peterson (Mead) d. Julian Alonso (Eis), 7-3. 132—Championship: Braedon Orrino (CV) d. Chase Clasen (ML), 6-3. Third: Elijah Kilborn (CV) d. Cristian Hernandez (East), 5-3. 138—Championship: Blake Beard (CV) p. Pryce Seely (Rich), 3:00. Third: Tate LeClaire (Mead) d. Daniel Maravilla (Eis), 8-2. 145—Championship: Colton Orrino (CV) d. Wyatt Nemec (Mead), 7-2. Third: Sam Davis (Mead) d. Jaden Salazar (Chia), 7-6. 152—Championship: Blake Bishop (Chia) d. Elijah Ross (Fer), 7-3. Third: Joel Torres (ML) d. Zach Kies (Mead), 5-3. 160—Championship: David Shepard (CV) d. Tyler Taylor (LC), 7-0. Third: Hudson Mauseth (ML) d. Anthony Burrows (Pas), 10-8. 170—Championship: Dakota Numbers (LC) d. Brayden Schmick (Fer), 10-3. Third: Tyler Vargas (Chia) d. Curtis Miller (Emt), 9-2. 182—Championship: Jordan Lacelle (ML) won by injury default over Kevin McLean (Mead). Third: Chauncye Garigan (CV) p. Roman Cortez (Pas), 4:32. 195—Championship: Andy Backlund (LC) md. Levi McBride (Chia), 11-2. Third: Christian Reyes (Dav) d. Donavin McElliott (Fer), 3-1. 220—Championship: Mason Ju (Mead) d. Abzael Loeza (Chia), 5-3. Third: Sampson Rich (LC) p. Dylan Morris (ML), 4:39. 285—Championship: Noah Buckley (LC) p. Nicholas Workman (Rich), 1:22. Third: Justin Sainsbury (ML) d. Kameron Silvers (Chia), 10-5.