Prep Wrestling

Big debut at Mat Classic for Hanford freshman

Hanford’s Taylor Wilson, left, controls Granger’s Nizhoni Tallman during their 100-pound championship match at the state wrestling tournament Saturday at the Tacoma Dome. Wilson won the title by disqualification. She was bitten by Tallman during the match.
Hanford’s Taylor Wilson, left, controls Granger’s Nizhoni Tallman during their 100-pound championship match at the state wrestling tournament Saturday at the Tacoma Dome. Wilson won the title by disqualification. She was bitten by Tallman during the match. Special to the Herald

Taylor Wilson claimed Hanford High School’s first state wrestling title since 2010 when she picked up a gold medal Saturday at Mat Classic 30 at the Tacoma Dome.

Wilson, in the 100-pound championship match against Nizhoni Tallman of Granger, won by disqualification in the third round.

Wilson was up 7-4 with about 30 seconds remaining in the the match, and had Tallman down on the mat working for back points. Tallman bit Wilson’s left forearm and was disqualified.

“It was hard to miss,” Hanford coach Dom Duncan said.

With the win, Wilson improved to 49-1 on the season and became Hanford’s first female state champion.

“It was pretty amazing,” Wilson said of the win. “It was kind of scary and overwhelming, but I’ve performed well at the Dome before. I love the pressure. Every girl that placed, I have beaten before.”

Caleb Gifford (135 pounds) was the last Falcon to win a state title.

Coupled with Taylor Robbins’ fifth-place finish at 120 and Grace Nelson’s seventh place at 190, the Falcons finished fifth, just shy of bringing home a team trophy.

With a title as a freshman, Wilson has started the foundation of becoming a four-time state champion, a short list in Washington that includes Grandview’s Desiree Zavala (2013-16), Puyallup’s Jordyn Bartelson (2013-16), Kiona-Benton’s Sheridan McDonald (2008-11), Davis’ Cameron Guerin (2015-18).

“I know that one of her goals is to be a four-time state champion,” Duncan said. “It’s done one match at a time, and one year at a time. There were a ton of upsets this year.”

Grandview’s Maria Reyes was in line for the 105-pound title, but Alina Collins of Bellermine Prep foiled her plans with a 7-3 victory.

Reyes recorded two pins and an 11-2 victory over Raisa Pleasants of Thomas Jefferson in the semifinals to reach the title bout.

Kennewick freshman Alexia Asselin, who finished fourth at regionals last week, finished fourth at state at 155 pounds.

In her trek through the consolation round, Asselin pinned Kiona-Benton’s Maloree Calzadillas to advance to the third-place match.

Calzadillas, a junior and first-year wrestler, finished sixth.

2A/1A Boys

Othello senior Chris Melo captured the 106-pound title with a 6-3 victory over Uriel Garcia of Wapato.

Melo had wins of 11-3, an injury default and a 12-6 victory over Sammy Flores of Ephrata to reach the finals.

Seer Deines
Connell’s Seer Deines, top, looks to keep Deer Park’s Gabe Sanchez on the mat after a takedown during their 285-pound championship match at the 1A state wrestling tournament Saturday at the Tacoma Dome. Deines took home the title with a 5-0 victory. Patrick Hagerty Special to the Herald

Isaiah Perez wrapped up the 285-pound title for the Huskies, controlling top-ranked and defending state champion Cy Hicks of Tumwater the entire third round for a 1-0 victory.

Perez, who was seventh at state last year at 220, pinned all three of his opponents en route to the championship bout, with no match reaching the third round.

At the 1A level, Connell’s Seer Deines took the 285-pound title with a 5-0 victory over Gabe Sanchez of Deer Park.

Deines, second last year at 285, pinned his first three opponents, with the quickest win coming in 45 seconds in the quarterfinals.

Royal’s Dominic Martinez dropped his 113-pound title match to Jeff Friedman of Lakeside 3-2.

State Placers

2A

Othello: Isaiah Perez (285), 1st; Chris Melo (106), 1st; DJ Guzman (195), 5th. Prosser: Logan Candanoza (160), 4th.

1A

Connell: Seer Deines (285), 1st; Johnathan Magana (106), 3rd; Branden Chavez (160), 4th; Jonathan Andrewjeski (285), 3rd. Kiona-Benton: Angel Del Angel (120), 4th; Jose Mendoza (195), 7th. Royal: Dominic Martinez (113), 2nd; Eduardo Rodriguez (132), 6th; Kevin Pastor (138), 6th; Daniel Bonilla (145), 7th, Lorenzo Myrick (152), 7th; Ryder Eilers (285), 8th. River View: Devin Roberts (220), 6th.

Girls

Hanford: Taylor Wilson (100), 1st; Taylor Robbins (120), 5th; Grace Nelson (190), 7th. Kennewick: Alexia Asselin (155), 4th. Kiona-Benton: Maloree Calzadillas (155), 6th. Grandview: Maria Reyes (105), 2nd; Jasel Perez (130), 5th. River View: Dempsi Talkington (135), 7th. Othello: Emily Mendez (105), 4th; Victoria Mendoza (190), 8th.

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