A busy week is on tap for area wrestlers, enough to help them shake off any holiday pounds gained from big festive dinners and Santa's leftover cookies.
The annual Hanford Winter Cup runs today, with 14 teams paying a visit to the Falcons' gym. Matches start at 9:30 a.m., with semifinals slated for 3 p.m. and finals at 6.
"We'll have three or four guys hanging out tonight cutting weight," said Hanford coach Dom Duncan, no doubt in the same boat as many of his coaching colleagues.
Among the teams taking part are CBBN foes Richland, Southridge, Kennewick, Chiawana (mostly JV wrestlers), Sunnyside and West Valley of Yakima; 2A powerhouse Othello along with CWAC rivals Prosser, Grandview and Wapato; SCAC East teams Columbia-Burbank and River View; and East Valley of Spokane.
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Among the top weights to keep an eye on:
The 140-pound bracket, where all four wrestlers are state veterans, led by top seed Dustin Utecht of Richland (fifth at state last year, coming off runner-up finish at Tri-State, ranked second overall at 135 by Washington Wrestling Report. He'll have to get through the likes of Othello's Matt Jordan (third at state last year, ranked sixth overall at 140) plus East Valley-Spokane's Aaron Brown and Sunnyside's Emmanuel Tejeda (ranked sixth in 3A at 135).
At 152, Sunnyside senior Josh Romero has burst back on the scene after qualifying for state as a freshman, ranked eighth overall in the weight. Othello's Eddie Garza also is a state veteran senior and is ranked seventh in the 2A at 160.
The 171 bracket features the only returning state champ in the tourney, Othello's Amando Deleon, who is ranked second in all classes at this weight after winning the 2A 160 crown last year.
Another annual get-together is at Royal City, with Kamiakin, Kiona-Benton, Warden and Wahluke among the Mid-Columbia teams taking part in the Royal City Invite.
The brackets will be littered with state veterans, and the tourney also is a reunion of former 1A SCAC foes and state powers Royal and Warden. The Cougars dropped down into the Class B ranks this season.
Chiawana's varsity lineup will be in Vancouver, Wash., on Wednesday and Thursday for the Pacific Coast Championships. Moses Lake is at the West View Invite in Beaverton, Ore., those days, when Walla Walla and Riverside will be at Pendleton's tournament.
Thursday, Hanford and Richland will go north to the Eastmont Cat Classic in East Wenatchee.