YAKIMA — It quite possibly was one of the best meets in Panther history, according to Wenatchee Head Coach Ed Valdez. At the Big 9 District Meet on Saturday at Davis High School, the Wenatchee Panther boys wrestling team qualified 10 wrestlers for Regionals.
“I’ve been around for quite a while and we had an incredible two-day tournament. It was fun to be part of,” Valdez said. “You look at the league and the number of berths going to Regionals. That’s four in each weight, which is 56 wrestlers. Sunnyside had 17 berths. Moses Lake had 13 and Wenatchee had 10. More than our share qualified for the Regional Tournament.”
Wenatchee had two champions, Orlando Rodriguez at 182 and Lucas Carranza at 220. Three wrestlers finished in second, Leo Gutzwiler at 152, Jason Briley at 170 and Jesus Segovia at 195. Three wrestlers finished in third, Toby Hambleton at 120, Alan Suan at 160 and freshman Evan Berdan at 170.
In fourth place, there was Oscar Martinez at 132 and Tyler Schuyleman at 145. Miguel Molinero was an alternate at 195. Kannon Sanders at 106 and Trenton Miller at 126, finished sixth.
“One of the highlights might have been sophomore Toby Hambleton. He capitalized on a weight class that had some injuries before the tournament. He thought could be in the top five and he ended up finishing third,” Valdez said. “You have 10 qualified with an alternate and two sixths. That is 13 guys and there are only 14 guys on a team. That was a pretty good day for the Panthers. They represented their school really well.”
At Regionals, Valdez said his wrestlers need to win two of their first three to advance.
“That is the goal this week, just to get better. Some of the guys who’ve been injured are going to condition. I’m going to condition the heck out of them. We only have a week but you can do a lot in a week,” Valdez said.
Eastmont advanced four wrestlers to Regionals. Senior Adrian Vivanco (145) advanced to the finals pinning each opponent. He lost in the finals to Austin Villanueva of Sunnyside, who he beat the week before.
“Adrian, who is ranked third in state, and Villanueva who is ranked fourth in state, always have a great match. These are two of the highest skilled wrestler in the state that just get after it when they wrestle each other. It is fun to watch. They both have high respect for one another and both told each other, ‘see you next week in the Regional finals,’” said Eastmont Head Coach Jason Erdmann.
Junior Max Prazer was the district champion at 195. Eddie Robles took fourth at 195. Sean Eli-Dye was third at 285.
“Max just goes out and gets the job done. He’s not flashy he’s just an overall beast that knows how to win. He capitalizes on guy’s mistakes and makes them pay with his speed and power,” Erdmann said. “Eddie has been working hard and stayed in a good position and capitalized when he needed to. He did what he needed to get himself to regionals. Sean had a great weekend as he gives up a lot of weight wrestling in the heavyweight division.”
Eastmont has five alternates, Rudy Vivanco at 106, German Jimenez at 126, Dominic Webb at 160 and Jayston Smith at 220.
The Regionals are Saturday at Skyline High School.
Girls District Wrestling
The Big 9 District Wrestling Tournament for girls was Friday and Saturday at Wenatchee High School. The Panthers had three champions, Kelsey Ibarra at 105, Bella Andreini at 140 and Aurora Carranza at 190. McKayla Cook was second at 125.
“The district tournament even gets better when you throw in the girls. They have been practicing all year right along with the boys. You qualify four girls, three champions and one runner up,” Valdez said. “What a day for Wenatchee wrestling.”
Eastmont qualified six girls for Regionals. Senior Marlene Soto Villa was second at 120, junior Destiny Ross/Ledbetter was third at 155, sophomore Gisselle Kiehne at 115, senior Joanna Bowman at 140 and senor Elena Moore at 170 were fourth, junior Shelby Tuggle was fifth at 135.
“We did pretty good at Districts. We are still such a really young team. Going to Regionals is going to be tough,” said Eastmont Head Coach Hugh Chang.
With the top four at Regionals advancing to State, Chang feels Sota Villa and Ross/Ledbetter have the best chance to advance.
“Marlene came out wrestling aggressively and scored some wins. The final match was against a tough Sunnyside girl. She lost in the first round. Destiny improved a lot this year. The last few tournaments she really stepped it up. She is wrestling pretty well for a junior,” Chang said. “Joanna might be able to slip in there.”
Chang said they are going to practice this week and just go for it.
“We have been practicing all year. Most of the girls are one or two year wrestlers. We did well at Districts, so we’ll see about Regionals. I hope they peak at the right time,” Chang said.
Regionals for the girls is Saturday at Othello High School.