PASCO -- Josh Romero has been waiting three years to get back to the postseason with the Sunnyside wrestling team.
The Grizzlies are happy to have him.
The senior 145-pounder turned in a second-period pin Friday in his only match on the opening day of the CBBN 3A district tournament at Pasco, joining his 16 Sunnyside teammates who will wrestle in this morning's semifinals.
"It feels good to be back," said Romero, who qualified for state as a freshman and watched older brothers Isaac and Steven win state titles that season.
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With all those semifinalists, Sunnyside had no trouble taking the first-day lead in the team standings with 161 points.
Only Pasco (125 1/2) was within shouting distance with its 12 wrestlers in the semifinals.
Wrestling resumes at 10 a.m. today at Pasco High, with finals slated for 4 p.m. The top five in each weight class advance to regionals outright, with the No. 6 wrestler facing a pigtail match against the Greater Spokane League's No. 3 prior to next Saturday's regional right back here.
With the 16-person brackets allowing each team to field a varsity and JV wrestler, there were few close matches and even fewer surprises during the first two rounds.
Romero caused a stir, dropping down to an already-tough 145 bracket after spending most of the season wrestling at 160 and 152.
"I was planning on staying at '52, but I started making weight a little too easy," Romero said after his quarterfinal pin of Kennewick's Christian Gill.
The drop in weight didn't sap his energy in the least as he scored seven takedowns in less than two periods.
Though he missed his sophomore and junior seasons with the high school team for what he called "discipline," Romero's freestyle experience is evident.
"I've always been good on my feet, ever since my freshman year when I set the (school) takedown record," he said. "If I get a takedown in the first 20-30 seconds, I'll let him up. When you take down somebody so many times, they kind of break down."
Romero is the top seed in the powerhouse weight and will face a tough semifinal against Southridge's Will McNamara. In the other semifinal, Hanford's Matt Owens and Pasco's Cody Rush will replay their terrific league dual from last week, which Owens won 6-5.
Romero's move down opened up the 152 bracket for Pasco's Lonnie Hurley, who advanced to the semis with a first-period pin and a 17-2 technical fall.
But it juiced up the 140 class, with Sunnyside's David Vidales and West Valley's Preston Baich dropping down to join Grizzlies teammate Emmanuel Tejeda and Southridge's Connor Rosane.
Among the handful of close calls in the quarterfinals, Pasco's Dalton McDonald edged Sunnyside's Homer Romero 4-2 at 103 -- one of two matches wrestled at the weight with only six competitors entered.
At 112, Kennewick's Edvan Meraz topped Kamiakin's Cesar Castillo 11-9. Pasco's Andrew Sandoval gave up a late takedown in his 4-3 loss to West Valley's D.J. Stai at 135.
Hanford's Joe Traverso topped Pasco's Anthony McKittrick 3-2 to advance at 160 in a near replay of Traverso's 4-3 win last week.
The Falcons senior, who went to state last year, has a tough semifinal matchup with another state vet, Kamiakin's Sisto Santa Pina, the weight's top seed.
Pina, who didn't have much trouble in his 9-1 quarterfinal win, said he's a little more relaxed now that he's a seasoned sophomore.
"I don't feel as much pressure to make it to state," he said. "My goal this year is to place there."
Southridge's Matt Gibson had a close 6-4 win over West Valley's Justin Wilkins and will face Pasco's Albert Torres in the semifinals.
On the other side of the bracket, state favorite Adam Peters of Sunnyside needed just 26 seconds to end his only match. Next up for him is Grizzlies teammate Ely Gonzalez, who topped Pasco's Davin Kerr 4-1.
There was nothing close about Hector Jimenez's two pins at 171. The Bulldogs senior dropped down a weight for the postseason. But even when he was wrestling at 189, he was as active as the little guys on the mat.
"I look up to the lighter weight classes," said Jimenez, who scored five near-falls and two reversals before ending his quarterfinal match early in the third period. "They're flying all the time."
* Kevin Anthony: 509-582-1403; firstname.lastname@example.org
Team scores--Sunnyside 161, Pasco 125 1/2, Hanford 72 1/2, Southridge 69, Eastmont 69, Kamiakin 36, West Valley 34, Kennewick 29.
103--Dalton McDonald (Pas) d. Homer Romero (SS) 4-2; David Lozano (Kam) m.d. Raheem Cercado (Pas) 13-3. Fabian Wickham (Emt) and Jesse Barajas (SS) received byes into semifinals. 112--Santos Guerrero (SS) p. Zach Nelson (Han) 1:59; Edvan Meraz (Ken) d. Cesar Castillo (Kam) 11-9; Junior Pina (Kam) p. James Miller (Han) 3:39; Michael Hosfield (Ken) p. Tre DeZoete (SS) :51. 119--Nathan Gonzalez (SS) p. Ryan Leman (WV) 1:30; Tomas Batalla (Pas) p. Adrian Barajas (Kam) 2:57; Harley Kolp (Kam) p. Juan Cervantes (Emt) 2:52; Robert Mendoza (Pas) t.f. Thomas Soto (SS) 15-0.
125--Daniel uillen (SS) p. Tristan Thomas (Ken) 3:52; Valentin Kucheryaviy (Pas) p. Cedar Ceja (Kam) 1:59; Ty Smith (Ken) p. Michael Preston (Emt) 1:51; Hugo Mabry (Pas) t.f. Jacob Norton (SR) 16-0. 130--Gilbert Mendoza (Pas) p. Tevin Lincoln (Ken) 4:19; Rigo Valdez (SS) m.d. Michael Parkman (Han) 14-2; Phoenix Virgen (Pas) p. David Zhai (Han) 2:58; Isaac Guerrero (SS) p. Keanen Darbyson (WV) 3:30. 135--Isidro Ramirez (SS) p. Xavier Tobias (Pas) :42; Brennan Rains (Han) t.f. Bryan Hughes (WV) 16-1; Juan Barajas (SS) p. Pedro Arealino (Emt) 2:54; D.J. Stai (WV) d. Andres Sandoval (Pas) 4-3.
140--Emmanuel Tejeda (SS) p. Christian Candanoza (SR) 3:15; Preston Baich (WV) p. Jackson Fromm (Pas) 1:59; David Vidales (SS) m.d. Camden Wheatcroft (Emt) 18-6; Connor Rosane (SR) p. Chris Ha (Han) :41. 145--Josh Romero (SS) p. Christian Gill (Ken) 3:45; Will McNamara (SR) p. Devin Hutteball (Han) 3:00; Cody Rush (Pas) p. Taylor Boyce (SR) 4:30; Matt Owens (Han) p. Alex Nunez (SS) 3:16. 152--Lonnie Hurley (Pas) t.f. Kory Miller (SR) 17-2; Jorge Ramirez (SS) p. Carlos Rodriguez (Emt) 4:19; Andrew Godinez (SR) p. Miguel Madrigal (SS) :50; Ben Tynan (Han) p. Alex Ruby (Ken) 3:01.
160--Sisto Santa Pina (Kam) m.d. Berlie Walker (Emt) 9-1; Joe Traverso (Han) d. Anthony McKittrick (Pas) 3-2; Jeffrey Christensen (Pas) d. Jaime Garcia (SS) 4-0; Kevin Del Angel (SR) p. Joey Caron (Emt) 1:28. 171--Hector Jimenez (Pas) p. Shawn Samples (SR) 4:24; Drew Hansen (Han) p. Alex Isiordia (SS) 4:29; Lupe Mendoza (SS) d. Kyle HOffman (Emt) 10-5; Darren Hardgrove (Emt) p. Bryce Overholt (SR) 1:15. 189--Randy Harris (SR) p. Dakoda Aldrich (Emt) 2:34; Will Bishop (Han) p. Sam Gwinn (Emt) 3:32; Casey Enderlin (Han) d. Daniel Avalos (SS) 7-2; Miguel Guzman (SS) p. Rudy Jimenez (Pas) 1:04.
215--Robert Koch (WV) p. Dylan Fechner (Emt) :47; Julio Aleman (SR) p. Austin Carment (SS) 1:25; Johnny Martinez (Emt) p. Jeff Weyand (Han) 1:48; Franki Ochoa (SS) p. Kyle Davis (Kam) 1:02. 285--Adam Peters (SS) p. Robby Calvert (Ken) :26; Ely Gonzalez (SS) d. Davin Kerr (Pas) 4-1; Matt Gibson (SR) d. Justin Wilkins (WV) 6-4; Albert Torres (Pas) p. Brian Megaughey (Han) 5:39.
CBBN 4A district
MOSES LAKE -- A strong showing in the lower and upper weights helped Richland eke out a half-point margin over Moses Lake after the first day.
The Bombers moved 11 into the semfinals while the Chiefs pushed through 12. Just a half point seperates the two teams, with Chiawana another 16 points back in third place.
Team scores--Richland 82, Moses Lake 81 1/2, Chiawana 65 1/2, Wenatchee 62 1/2, Davis 47 1/2, Eisenhower 46 1/2, Walla Walla 28.
103--Alexio Garcia (Dav) p. Cameron Manjarrez (Ike) 3:12; Payton Manthei (Rich) d. Fernando Leyva (ML) 6-4; Juan Lopez (Dav) t.f. Gavin Richardson (Rich) 17-1; Chris Montelongo (Chi) p. Jeremiah Brown (Wen) 2:52. 112--Josh Andrew (Rich) p. Colton Sommerville (Chi) :42; Aaron Guz Keup (Rich) m.d. Noel Suarez (Wen) 10-0; Wil Babbitt (WW) d. Abraham Ledezma (Chi) 10-5; Chris Cardenas (Ike) p. Levi Buchmann (ML) 1:50. 119--Kyler Mars (Rich) p. Jesse Martinez (Ike) 1:42; Hayden Wise (ML) p. Pedro Murillo (Chi) 3:32; Joe Cordes (Wen) m.d. Justin Webb (Rich) 12-2; Beau Gleed (ML) p. Coti Espinoza (Dav) :46.
125--Brandon Gonzalez (Chi) d. Cody Mars (Rich) 6-2; Omar Suarez (ML) m.d. Mark McKeown (Chi) 10-0; Brad Fox (ML) m.d. Drue Hunt (Wen) 10-0; Nick Sargent (Rich) p. Alberto Montes De Oca (WEn) 3:40. 130--Nick Garcia (Chi) p. Taylor Gutherie (Rich) :19; Jose Belman (Dav) p. Jadin Salazar (Chi) 1:22; Adam Tidd (Wen) t.f. Sean Cotton (ML) 10-0; Isaac Gates (Wen) p. Pryce Seely (Rich). 135--Dustin Utecht (Rich) p. Adrien Coronado (WW) :55; Colton Cole (ML) p. Brandon Mapelthorpe (WW) 1:27; Boss Garcia (Chi) d. Francisco Corona (Dav) 4-2; Clayton Smith (Chi) p. Kris Garrett (Wen) 2:52.
140--Herson Rodriguez (ML) p. Rodney Robinson (Rich) 2:35; Enrique Gudino (Ike) p. Kevin Garza (Rich) 2:39; Nason Babbitt (WW) d. Andrew Valdez (ML) 6-2; Paul Jagla (Wen) d. Israel Fernandez (Dav) 1-0. 145--Nico Moreno (ML) p. Cody Otoole (Rich) :28; Nathan Martinez (ML) p. Jesus Cervantes (Dav) 5:24; Roger Andrade (Ike) p. Anthony Stalder (WW) 4:42; Daniel Ramirez (Chi) p. Al Benjamin (Ike) 1:36. 152--Austin Wagner (Dav) p. Edwin Gastelum (Rich) :53; Cameron Simpson (Rich) d. Hunter Warkentin (ML) 11-6; Ryan Evans (WW) p. Henry Lucatero (Ike) 5:20; Humberto Acevedo (Ike) p. Alfredo Ramirez (Chi) 2:57.
160--John Campbell (Wen) p. Brett Bass (Wen) :54; Jonathan Peraldes (ML) d. Jose Valdez (Chi) 5-2; James Garza (Chi) m.d. Conner Flemming (Rich); Thomas Ruane (Rich) d. Jorge Alcala (Dav) 9-5. 171--Dustin Martin (Ike) p. Andrew Higgins (Chi) 1:23; Andrez Acevedo (Ike) p. Forrest Howald (Rich); Zack Paro (Wen) p. Mitch Lauterbach (Rich) 3:21; CJ Edrington (Chi) p. Jacob Wallace (WW) 2:54. 189--Derek Fredericksen (ML) m.d. Ramon Chavarria (Chi) 20-7; Tony Lopez (Dav) p. Aiden Maher (Wen) 2:44; Kyle Lesmeister (Wen) p. Dylan Roediger; Mitch Atwell (Rich) p. Clayton Johnson (Chi) 1:01.
215--Brian Chamberlain (ML) p. Gersain Sameron (ML) :41; Logan Reardon (WW) d. Christian Gonzalez (Ike) 13-8; Adam Sauceda (Chi) p. Jordan Vaughn (Chi) 1:40; Pat Smith (WEn) p. Luis Santana (WW) 2:31. 285--Kabe Fluaitt (ML) p. Alex Valle (Chi) :31; Bryce Reichert (Rich) p. Alexes Garcia (Dav) 1:58; Gerald Maib (WW) p. Ignacio Molinero (Wen) 1:34; Brady Simpson (Rich) d. Aaron Huss (Wen) 8-3.
OTHELLO -- With 10 wrestlers reaching the semifinals, host Othello jumped out to the first-day lead, 119-94 1/2 over second-place East Valley.
Team scores--Othello 119, East Valley 941/2, Ellensburg 801/2, Toppenish 76, Quincy 73, Selah 58, Ephrata 57, Grandview 511/2, Wapato 421/2, Prosser 21.
103--Wyatt Scribner (Ell) p. Chad Morrow (EV) 1:46; Gabe Martinez (Qui) d. Fidel Medina (Gvw) 7-2 OT; Anthony Barrera (Oth) p. Isaiah Barrera (Oth); Omar Gomez (Wap) d. Kyle Anson (Sel) 3-2. 112--Logan Merkle (EV) p. Aurelio Guevara (Oth) 1:18; Austin Mitchell (EV) p. Stevie Rodriguez (Oth) 2:45; Christian Alejandrez (Qui) d. AJ Garza (Oth) 5-2; Armando Hernandez (Top) p. Anthony Navarro (Qui) 1:45. 119--Lucas Garza (Oth) p. Alec Espinoza (Oth) :41; Edwin Rodriguez (Sel) d. Luis Aguilar (EV) 9-7; Dillon Dompier (Ell) m.d. Hector Avalos (Qui) 13-0; Tyler Childs (Eph) m.d. Derek Dimas (Pro) 18-5.
125--Irving Jaimez (Pro) p. Colton Rodriguez (Oth) 2:08; Uriel Heras (Qui) m..d Angel Abarca (Gvw) 12-3; Aaron Arredondo (Top) m.d. Ben Montano (EV) 12-1; Cristian Molina (EV) t.f. David Saldivar (Oth) 15-0. 130--Julian Romero (Top) p. Seth Kulackoski (Eph) 4:00; Marco Gonzalez (Gvw) d. Jesus Valencia (Eph 7-5; Kody Ergeson (Sel) p. Ethan Smith (Sel) :21; Koner Hopkins (EV) p. David Castaneda (Gvw) 5:08. 135--Matt Jordan (Oth) p. Kyle Pohle (Eph) 1:27; Blake Haberman (Ell) d. Jon Cruz (Sel) 3-1; JC Cole (Ell) m.d. Joesiah Saunders (Gvw) 20-4; Manny Ybarra (Qui) p. Angelo Perea (Wap) 3:04.
140--Colby Coates (Ell) p. Joseph Gonzales (Oth) 3:49; KC Frazier (Wap) d. Johnny Navarro (Qui) 6-1 OT; Mario Prieto (Gvw) d. Jonathan Molina (EV) 9-6; Adan Chavez (Top) inj. def. over Tyler Peterson (Sel). 145--Ethan Groom (Pro) p. Ramiro Alvarez (Qui) 1:10; Caleb Villarreal (Oth) d. Carter Bushman (Qui) 14-13; Kamal Qteishat (Ell) p. Anthony Jones (Eph) 3:42; Eddie Garza (Oth) p. Austin Lyman (Ell) 4:49. 152--Tyler Noble (Sel) p. Matthew Melo (Oth) 5:41; Anton Yates (EV) m.d. Raul Gamboa (Gvw) 10-0 ;Jesus Acevedo (EV) d. Dalton Balentine (Eph) 6-0; Ben Horning (Qui) p. Andrew Au (Sel) 3:00.
160--Amando Deleon (Oth) p. Ricardo Rodriguez (Wap) 3:59; Jeremy Waldner (EV) p. Tyrus Kemp (Eph) 5:49; Antonio Melendez (Qui) p. garrett O'Shaughnessy (Qui) :18; Tyler Coates (Ell) p. Lucio Olivares (Wap) :57. 171--Jose Martinez (Wap) p. Dylan Garza (Oth) 3:02; Stevie Garza (Oth) d. Zach Goodpaster (Sel) 9-5; Carlos Ramirez (Top) p. Clay Weaver (Ell) 1:00; Jacob Green (Eph) d. Roberto Martinez (Ell) 7-2. 189--Joey Gomez (Oth) p. Jason Glenn (Ell) 1:34; Raul Pech (Top) p. Perry Simpson (Ell) 3:08; Adam Morales (Gvw) p. Erik Guzman (Eph) 3:17; Alberto Vargas (Oth) d. Juan Alvarez (EV) 1-0.
215--Deion Ducksworth (Eph) p. Stephen Villarreal (Oth) 1:28 Curtis Treiber (Eph) p. Jacob Contreras (Wap); Narciso Gutierrez (Top) m.d. Pedro Recondo (Sel) 11-1; David Chavez (Top) d. Joseph Walker (Oth) 15-12. 285--Richy Rodriguez (Sel) p. Isaac Garcia (Eph) 3:03; Bubba Ruiz (Oth) p. Drew Renollet (Pro) 5:45; Martin Torres (Gvw) m.d. Brandt Monson (Eph) 12-0; Joey Sparks (EV) p. Brenden Berala (EV) 2:59.