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State Wrestling Action from the Tacoma Dome • Daily Sun News • February 18, 2013 A SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT TO THE DAILY SUN NEWS

Grizzlies third at State tourney Romero, Barajas earn titles

TACOMA – The Grizzly wrestling team capped off its best season in nearly two decades with a third-place team finish last Saturday at the 3A State wrestling tournament. It was Sunnyside’s highest team finish and first team trophy since 1996. Only the top four teams earn trophies. “Since then (1996) we’ve placed fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth, so this was nice to bring home a trophy,” Coach George Paulus said. Held in conjunction with Mat Classic XXV at the Tacoma Dome, the 3A field quickly became a three-horse race as the Sunnyside boys finished with 130.5 points. The Grizzlies were topped only by team titlist University High School of Spokane at 142.5 and Decatur at 138.5 points. The three teams were in that same order after the first day of action last Friday, with only 10 points separating them. As an example of just how far in front the top three were, the fourth place 3A team, Enumclaw, was way back at 92 points. Coach George Paulus figured Sunnyside would need seven medalists to challenge for the team title, and that’s exactly how many the Grizzlies came up with out of 10 qualifiers for State. Sunnyside was sparked by a pair of State champions in Homer Romero (106 lbs.) and Jesse Barajas (113 lbs.). Both grapplers had to battle through overtime sessions to win their respective championship matches. Two medals at 106 lbs. The 106-lb. weight class played out according to Paulus’ dreams, with Romero and Sunnyside JV qualifier Jesse Torres both winning their first two matches last Friday

Amber Schlenker/ Daily Sun News

Sunnyside Coach George Paulus celebrates Homer Romero’s state title during the Mat Classic last Saturday.

Sunnyside’s Homer Romero collapses in joy after winning the State title at 106 lbs. as Coach George Paulus shares the moment.

to clash head-to-head in the semi-finals. Romero was virtually untouched in winning his first two matches, as the junior recorded a pin in just 91 seconds over Ferndale’s Mike Carpenter and romped 14-1 over Mercer Island’s Taylan Yuasa. Torres, a sophomore, reached the semis with a bit more fight, outpointing Oak Harbor’s Christian Bertram 9-2 and Enumclaw’s Kyle Opland 5-1. In the all-Sunnyside semifinal that ensued, Romero outlasted his teammate 4-1 to reach the finals. In the 106-lb. title match, Romero had an even bigger fight on his hands against Stanwood’s West Weinert. Romero trailed 3-0 in the third period but prevailed in overtime by a score of 6-4. “The kid seemed to be fading a little bit, so in the overtime Homer pushed the pace,” Paulus said of the win. For his part, Torres saved his best for last with a 15-2 whipping of Kelso’s Jared Newburg followed by a pin in only 43 seconds over Opland in the third/fourth place match. “Jesse bounced back from it (his loss to Romero) really well,” Paulus said. “He only lost to the State champ. You can’t ask for much more than that. It bodes well for him next year.” Barajas the best at 113 lbs. Barajas held his opponents scoreless at Regionals a week ago, and in his first two matches at State gave up just a single point as he prevailed with a pin in 2:15 over Timberline’s Nico Laiuppa, followed by a 7-1 decision of Kelso’s Abundio Victoriano. In the semi-finals, the junior had a tougher time against Leviticus Arizpe of Decatur, but still came out on top 11-6. That set the see “Grizzlies” page 6

Amber Schlenker/Daily Sun News

Sunnyside’s Jesse Barajas (R) goes head to head with University High School’s Cam Sorensen in an overtime thriller. Amber Schlenker/Daily Sun News

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MAT CLASSIC XXV

february 18, 2013

Lady ‘Hounds fourth at State Birrueta, Zavala earn championship titles

by Jennie McGhan

TACOMA – With just three ladies wrestling at Mat Classic XXV, Grandview Coach Jeff Sevigny couldn’t be happier after the team secured fourth-place honors against much larger teams. Two Lady Greyhounds, Marizza Birrueta and Desiree Zavala, earned championship titles in the 100 and 124-lb. weight classes, respectively. The third Grandview wrestler, Viannei Perez, earned third-place honors. The two champions were Sevigny’s first-ever titlists during his head coaching career. He has been Grandview’s coach for 17 years. “It’s wonderful,” he said this past Saturday. All three of the Lady ‘Hounds are underclassmen. Birrueta is the veteran of the trio as a sophomore. Sevigny is proud of the team for having represented the Yakima Valley well. “Grandview is the first girls team in the Valley to ever bring home a State trophy,” he said, noting the Lady ‘Hounds were just 14.5 points out of second-place. Grandview scored 69.5 poin ts overall. Warden, a 1A team, won Mat Classic XXV with a tally of 113.5 points. Sevigny said he believes the future is bright for Grandview since all three Lady ‘Hounds will be returning to the mat next season. “We just hope we can recruit a few more girls for next year that are willing to work hard and make a run at another trophy,” he said. Birrueta opened the State tournament with a match against Kaitlyn Kroneman of Rogers. The Lady ‘Hound battled Kroneman and secured a pin in 5:07. The second round of action ended with a major decision, 13-2, for Birrueta, who defeated Mireille Powers of Kelso. Another Rogers High School grappler, Kendra Smith, was Birrueta’s next opponent. The Lady ‘Hound took Smith to the

mat and pinned her in 3:10 to qualify for the championship round on Saturday. The championship bout matched Birrueta with Deianeira Caudle. Birrueta had the upper hand, having a 3-1 advantage until the final seconds of the third period. Caudle scored takedown points to tie the match 3-3 when the regulation whistle was blown. The duo went into overtime and Birrueta scored a quick takedown to win the championship by a 5-3 decision. Emotions were high and tears were shed as the Grandview coaches and Birrueta prepared to support Jennie McGhan/Daily Sun News Zavala, who had also made it Standing on the podium after being presented the fourth-place girls trophy are Grandto the championship bout for view’s (top L-R) Desiree Zavala, Marizza Birrueta and Viannei Perez; (bottom L-R) her weight class. coaches Bob Johnson, Romy Gonzalez, Jeff Sevigny and Juan Jaimez. Zavala had opened the tournament with a pin in 3:34 over Haven Camden of The Lady ‘Hound took control early in the match and usWashougal. She defeated Cassidy Meyers of Kentwood by ing her skills was able to subdue Sparks on the mat for a 2-0 an 8-0 decision and was able to secure a spot in the cham- decision to win a title for Grandview. pionship round after defeating Jessica Mata of Mt. Baker by “Viannei, Desiree and Marizza are three of the most outtechnical fall (19-2) in 5:20 in the semi-finals. standing young women in the school and have set the bar Zavala, however, knew she would have a tough opponent high for other girls to follow,” said Sevigny. in the championship round. Tatum Sparks of Othello, a faPerez, at 112 lbs., had a good day Friday. She opened Mat miliar face, was also seeking her team’s first championship Classic XXV with two wins. The first was a 9-1 decision over title. However, Zavala had beaten Sparks during the regular Elesha Forrest of Darrington. In the second round of action, season. see “Lady ‘Hounds” page 6

Jennie McGhan/Daily Sun News

Grandview’s Viannei Perez (right) grabs for Mackenzie SchwendeMarizza Birrueta of Grandview hugs Grandview Coach Jeff Sevigny after she secures the 100-lb. cham- man’s leg in the second round of action this past Friday. Perez won pionship title. the 112-lb. match by a 5-3 decision. Jennie McGhan/Daily Sun News

Saunders earns seventh-place honors at State tournament TACOMA – Grandview’s Joesiah Saunders was the lone Greyhound representing the boys team at Mat Classic XXV. He came home with seventh-place honors in the 132-lb. weight class after having a rough couple of days. Saunders had to compete in six different matches before standing on the medals podium. He opened action with a bout against Jon Day of North Mason and defeated Day by a major decision, 11-0. The second bout proved to be more difficult as Saunders battled Cameron Nolan of Tumwater. Nolan came out on the winning end with a 6-3 decision. That defeat moved Saunders into the consolation rounds and he had to fight for his life on Friday night. The Greyhound was up against Josh Tucker of North Kitsap. Both were trying to stay alive, but it was Saunders who made it into Saturday’s matches after winning a 4-3 decision. Orting’s Rico Ybarra was next on the list of oppo-

nents for Saunders. It was Ybarra who would prevail by an 8-3 decision, but Saunders still had one last match that would decide whether he would win seventh or eighth-place honors. Tanner Zavala of Burlington in the final bout couldn’t overcome Saunders’ power. Saunders had a couple of takedowns to secure a 4-1 decision for the seventh-place medal. “Joesaiah should be proud of his seventh-place finish even though we all, including Joesiah, feel he could have done much better,” said Grandview Coach Jeff Sevigny. He praised Saunders for an outstanding year, noting the seasoned veteran earned top honors at Ephrata, Grandview and the Henry Foss Invitational tournaments. “Saunders was fourth in Reno and was the District and Regional champion,” Sevigny said. “His experience at State will be a huge step in preparing for next year.”

‑ Jennie McGhan can be contacted at 509-837-4500, or email JMcGhan@DailySunNews.com

Amber Schlenker/Daily Sun News

Joesiah Saunders of Grandview (right) tries to grab the leg of Rico Ybarra of Orting during the Greyhound’s first match Saturday, which was Saunders’ fourth match of the State wrestling tournament. An 8-3 loss to Ybarra sent Saunders into the seventh/eighth-place medals round.

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MAT CLASSIC XXV

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Two Mabton athletes earn fourth-place honors at State tourney

legal by the officials, disqualifying Mireles. He settled for fourth-place TACOMA – The Mabton wrestling honors. teams this past weekend fared well at “(Sample) hit pretty hard instead Mat Classic XXV, having two fourth- of protecting himself and letting go,” place finishers and a sixth-place said Kilian. finisher. He said he felt Mireles was havViking Vicente Mireles would have ing a good match up until that point been in contention for third-place because the Viking decisioned Alec honors in the boys 132-lb. classifica- Brenan of Stevenson, 16-5, and Caleb tion, but he ran into Tanner Sample of Frey of Blaine, 14-0, in the opening Elma in the consolation finals. two rounds of action. “The kid (Sample) kept his hand In the third round Mireles was around Vicente’s head,” said Mabton ahead by two points going into the Coach John Kilian, noting Mireles last minute of the third period against tried to get out of a precarious situ- Tyler Miler of Stevenson. ation and slammed the Stevenson “He didn’t bail out of a takedown,” grappler. That slam was deemed il- Kilian recalled, stating Miler scored four of his nine points in the last 40 seconds of the match with the takedown and a near-fall. Mireles lost the semi-final bout to Miler by a 9-7 decision. In the consolation rounds, Mireles defeated Ethan Visser of Cashmere by a 7-3 decision and moved into the bout against Sample to earn fourthplace honors. For the girls team it was Mary Gutierrez who earned fourth-place honors in the 112-lb. weight class. She pinned her first two Amber Schlenker/Daily Sun News opponents, Tori Barnes of Jazmin Mendoza of Mabton tries to gauge Sedro Woolley and Laura her opponent’s technique in the first round Dittell of Foss. However, Gutierrez sufof action at Mat Classic XXV. by Jennie McGhan

Jennie McGhan/Daily Sun News

Mabton’s Vicente Mireles holds down Alec Brenan of Stevenson in the opening round of action Friday. fered a fall in the semi-finals to Arian Carpio of Todd Beamer. Carpio was the eventual titlist and Kilian was proud of Gutierrez for giving the match her best effort. “Carpio came out and took it to her…she charged Mary like a mad bull,” said Kilian, adding, “She wasn’t playing around.” Gutierrez bounced back from the loss and defeated Cassie Edwards of Napa Vine with a pin in 2:47, but she was pitted against Viannei Perez of Grandview in the consolation finals. “Mary faced her nemesis…Perez defeated her in the District and Regional finals,” Kilian noted. He said the bout for third and fourthplace at the State tournament “…fell in line with the past matches.” Perez and Gutierrez battled one another for points throughout all three

periods of action. Perez was the eventual winner by a 4-3 decision. “Mary needed a takedown to pull ahead, but just wasn’t offensive enough,” said Kilian, stating, “Perez is a smart wrestler.” Winning sixth-place honors for the Lady Vikes was Jazmin Mendoza. She met Sara Sanchez of Washougal twice during Mat Classic XXV and both bouts were Mendoza’s undoing. Sanchez pinned Mendoza in the opening round of action in 5:33, but in the fifth/sixth-place bout Mendoza was able to hang on through all three periods. Sanchez was the eventual winner of the 124-lb. fifth-place medal. Mendoza had battled through the consolation matches from the second round of the tournament. She defeat-

ed Maggie Cox of Spanaway Lake by an 8-4 decision, earned a 7-6 decision over Alberta Garcia of Nooksack Valley and lost to Jessica Mata of Mt. Baker by pin in 2:25 before facing Sanchez for the final medal rounds. “Jazmin kept fighting,” said Kilian, noting Mendoza was on her back three times against Sanchez in the final bout. “She didn’t give up.” One other Viking competed at State, Brandon Marquez (152 lbs.). He didn’t fare as well as his teammates, however. Marquez competed in just two matches before being eliminated from the competition. “Brandon just didn’t have a good day on Friday and came up short,” said Kilian, noting the second match against Dylan Mann of Eatonville was going well until the final period. That’s when Mann scored all eight of his points against Marquez to win the bout 8-1. “Brandon was trying some good moves and they just didn’t pan out,” said Kilian, noting the bracket was tough this year and some of the state’s best wrestlers were eliminated early, including Ki-Be’s Kris Young. “We didn’t have a big team, but we did as well or better than a lot of teams our size,” said Kilian, stating he was proud of his three medalists. ‑ Jennie McGhan can be contacted at 509837-4500, or email JMcGhan@DailySunNews.com

Jennie McGhan/Daily Sun News

Jennie McGhan/Daily Sun News

Mabton’s Mary Gutierrez (top) in the semi-finals attempts to take down Arian Carpio of Todd Beamer.

We’re at the mat! Go to www.DailySunNews.com and click on the Big Blue Button to view and order reprints of photographs from Mat Classic XXV. It’s easy! Be sure to check out the photos available for reprint that did not appear in the paper.

Mabton Coach John Kilian and wrestler Brandon Marquez (left) watch as Vicente Mireles battles Tyler Miler of Stevenson.

4 - Daily Sun News

MAT CLASSIC XXV

february 18, 2013

Lady Grizzlies make their mark at Mat Classic XXV by Bob Story

TACOMA – The Sunnyside High School girls wrestling program, believes Coach Terry Shines, may be on the cusp of greatness. He might be right. A pair of third-place efforts by senior Abigail Elizondo and sophomore Jessica Cardenas, and a promising performance from freshman Daisy Chavez got the Lady Grizzlies to within three spots of a Top 10 finish in the team standings at the Mat Classic XXV Championships in the Tacoma Dome this past weekend. Shines says there is no reason the SHS girls wrestling team can’t become the type of powerhouse that its counterpart – the Sunnyside boys wrestling squad – has turned into year in and year out. “We’ve got lots of girls walking the hallways at school,” said Shines, some of whom have expressed a desire to jump on board with the other Lady Grizzly grapplers and others who just need a gentle nudge to become part of the program.

“I think we’ll be very, very tough next year,” Shines said. “If we continue to get more and more girls out for the program, I see us being – consistently – a Top 3 team when the State tourney rolls around.” The goal, he continued, will be to piece together the type of girls wrestling program that Warden High School has fashioned. Wa r d e n ? . . . p i n t - s i z e d , out-in-the-sticks Class 1A Warden? “Oh yeah, they’ve got one heckuva girls wrestling program built up there,” Shines continued. So strong, that the small high school that draws its enrollment from the tiny Central Washington town of just more than 2,000 people easily ran away with the Mat Classic XXV team title. Officially, Warden claimed the girls team title this past weekend in the Tacoma Dome by totaling 113.5 points. Mt. Baker, another Class 1A school, was a distant second with 84 team points. Class 3A Kelso and 2A Grandview secured the other two team trophies awarded this past Saturday

Jennie McGhan/Daily Sun News

SHS senior Abigail Elizondo has the upper hand on Mariah Horton of Kelso in their 130-lb. semi-final tilt early Saturday in the Tacoma Dome. Horton rallied, though, to defeat Elizondo by a 7-3 score, and went on to win the State title for that weight division.

evening by tallying 81.5 and 69.5 points, respectively. In attempting to elevate Sunnyside into becoming a perennial contender at State, and build on the 13th place team finish it managed by piling up 41 points, local athletes need look no further than the senior Elizondo for inspiration. The 130-pounder returned home with her second straight State medal. A fourth-place medalist as a junior, Elizondo capped her prep career by absorbing just one loss at State this, her senior season. That netted the scrappy wrestler the third-place medal. Elizondo cruised into the 130-lb. semi-finals last Friday by pinning her first two opponents. She made short work of Stanwood’s Shannon Gee, scoring a fall late in the first period of their opening round match. In the quarter-finals Friday afternoon, Elizondo was nearly as dominant, notching a second-period pin against Washougal’s Erin Locke. That victory set Elizondo up for a semi-final tilt against highly regarded Mariah Horton of Kelso. Like Elizondo, the Kelso sophomore won her opening two bouts by pinning her opponents, the second one in just 26 seconds. In what some may have thought should have been the championship matchup of the 130-lb. bracket, Jennie McGhan/Daily Sun News Elizondo and Horton gave Sunnyside Coach Terry Shines yells instructions to Tacoma Dome fans a semisophomore Jessica Cardenas at Mat Classic XXV this final thriller to remember. “The two of them endpast weekend. Looking on is Sunnyside Coach Rick ed up being pretty even on Sambrano.

their feet,” Shines said of Elizondo and Horton. Once down on the mat, it was the Kelso grappler who managed to put a few moves together, tallying seven points in the process. Elizondo’s shining moment came, said Shines, when the Lady Grizzly caught Horton in a cradle and scored a three-point near fall. Unfortunately for the SHS senior, it would be the only points she could muster against Horton, eventually succumbing by a 7-3 score. The win advanced Horton into the championship round, where she scored the third fall in her fourth match of the weekend to secure the

130-lb. title. Horton’s finals opponent was Warden senior Miexy Gonzales. After the loss to the eventual State champion, Elizondo pinned South Kitsap senior Caleenda Johnson in the consolation semi-finals, just 12 seconds into the second period. The win set up a consolation finals bout against Mt. Baker senior Megan Young to decide the third and fourthplace finishers. Elizondo out-pointed Young decisively, 16-11. Shines said the crowning moment of that match came when Elizondo caught Young with a headand-arm bar move and rolled the Mt. Baker girl onto her

back for a near fall. “It was a great way for (Elizondo) to go out,” said Shines. “A two-time, backto-back State medalist…a good finish to her high school wrestling career.” Sunnyside’s other thirdplace medalist in the Tacoma Dome, the sophomore Cardenas, took the exact same route as did Elizondo. Wrestling at 170 lbs., Cardenas opened Mat Classic XXV with back-toback pins. The strapping, well-toned Lady Grizzly notched the falls against Washington High senior Jasmine Jones in the second period and LaConner junior see “Griz girls” next page

Jennie McGhan/Daily Sun News

Sunnyside freshman Daisy Chavez (bottom) springs from the clutches of Hailey Huerta of Centralia when the referee blows his whistle to start the action on the mat. Chavez defeated Huerta by a 9-5 score in the 118-lb. consolation bout to keep her State tourney medal hopes alive.

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MAT CLASSIC XXV

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l Griz girls continued from page 4

Amber Drye late in the final round of their quarter-final bout. In the semi-finals, as did Elizondo, Cardenas ran up against the eventual State titlist, in this case White River senior Samantha Mitchell. The upper classman edged out front in the tightly contested match by a 3-1 score through the opening two periods. Shines said Cardenas started the third period in the down position, and Mitchell caught her with a move and rolled her onto her back and scored a pin just 27 seconds into the final round. Cardenas recovered, scoring a fall of her own in the consolation semi-finals against Erika Lindholm of Sedro Woolley. In the bout for third and fourthplace honors, pitted against Mountain View senior Kearstin Williams, the SHS sophomore was clinging to

Amber Schlenker/Daily Sun News

Daisy Chavez of Sunnyside bridges to avoid getting pinned by Jordyn Bartleson of Puyallup in opening round action at State last Friday morning. Bartelson, who went on to win the 118-lb. title, ended up pinning the Lady Grizzly late in the third round of their match. a 5-3 lead late in the match. Cardenas iced the victory, said Shines, by catching Williams in a cradle and scoring a near fall to account for the final 8-3 score. Of the one loss Cardenas sustained at State, against the eventual champion,

Shines said he believes the SHS sophomore was talented enough to have defeated her. “That match was winnable for (Cardenas),” he said. “A little more maturity, a little more mental toughness…it might have been enough to

Amber Schlenker/Daily Sun News

Jessica Cardenas attempts to turn Washington High School’s Jasmine Jones onto her back in the opening 170-lb. bout at State last Friday. Cardenas was victorious against Jones, pinning her midway through the second round of their match. have gotten her the win. “But she’s got some experience now, and we’re looking for even better things out of (Cardenas) the next two seasons,” Shines said. Sunnyside’s one other entry at State, the freshman Chavez, probably couldn’t have pulled a much tougher draw. Her first assignment was taking on fellow freshman Jordyn Bartleson of Puyallup. Shines said it may have been a case of stage fright, or “…psyching herself out,” but Chavez couldn’t mount any type of charge against the Puyallup wrestler. Getting shut out

but still hanging tough through the middle of the final period, Chavez finally succumbed and was pinned. Bartleson ended up going on to win the 118-lb. title. Forced into the consolation bracket, Chavez rallied back to notch a 9-5 decision over Centralia sophomore Hailey Huerta. The victory included scoring one near fall. Up next for Chavez was Winlock senior Kelsey Jones. Described by Shines as a quality competitor, Jones did in the SHS freshman by pinning her early on in the second period. Jones finished the State tourney

by taking home the seventhplace medal. All-in-all, said Shines, Sunnyside’s three wrestlers at Mat Classic XXV represented SHS well. “And, I think it’s only going to get better for us,” he said. “We had a good group of athletes out this season, we have some talented wrestlers returning next season and if we can get even more girls to turn out for the team, I believe this program can step up to the next level.” ‑ Bob Story can be contacted at 509-837-4500, or email BStory@DailySunNews.com

Abigail Elizondo, who earned a second consecutive medal at State this past weekend, escapes the clutches of Washougal junior Erin Locke in the 130-lb. quarterfinal bout. The Lady Grizzly pinned Locke on her way to a third-place finish at State. Jennie McGhan/Daily Sun News

SHS sophomore Jessica Cardenas reacts to her loss to the eventual 170-lb. State titlist, Samantha Mitchell of White River. For Cardenas, it was the only defeat she sustained at State, as she went on to earn third-place honors.

Jennie McGhan/Daily Sun News

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MAT CLASSIC XXV

february 18, 2013

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The Sunnyside Grizzly wrestling team is all smiles as they take the podium to claim the third-place 3A trophy at State, Sunnyside’s first team State hardware in nearly 20 years.

l Grizzlies continued from page 1

stage for the 113-lb. finale, which Barajas led early, only to see University’s Cam Sorensen bounce back and force overtime. Barajas took control in the extra session for a 12-10 championship victory. Barajas, who recorded his third State medal in three years, at one point led 10-3 in his title match, only to see the lead wilt and Sorenson force overtime with a takedown in

the last five seconds of regulation. Like Romero, Barajas went on the attack in overtime to finally seal the deal. “There was lots of emotion,” Paulus said of winning back-to-back championships in overtime. “There were tight moments, but the bottom line is the guys stepped up when they need to.” Paulus added, “It’s always pretty special to have State

champions, but to have two of them back-to-back is cool.” Fourth place honors at 120 lbs. If not for Prairie’s Wil see “Grizzlies” next page

It was Grizzly versus Grizzly in the 106-lb. semifinal, as teammates Jesse Torres (L) and Homer Romero wrestled for the right to compete in the title match.

Amber Schlenker/Daily Sun News

l Lady ‘Hounds continued from page 2

Perez defeated Mackenzie Schwendeman of Gig Harbor by a 5-3 decision. However, Perez ran into a little trouble when she competed against Taylor Lee of Kentridge in the semi-finals. Lee had just won a match with a pin and her confidence was up. She secured the pin over Perez, rocking the Lady ‘Hound in a cradle in 2:02. Perez battle back through the next two rounds of action. She defeated Burlington’s Casandra Beccerra by an 11-2 decision before moving into the consolation finals against someone very familiar to her, Mary Gutierrez of Mabton. Perez had two times squeaked past Gutierrez in the District and Regional tournaments and knew the bout would be a rough one. The two battled through all three rounds, but it was Perez who earned the 4-3 decision to claim third-place honors at State. Sevigny said, “These girls are great leaders and role models…it’s inspiring to see the hard work, dedication and sacrifice that these girls demonstrated throughout the season.” Birrueta this past Saturday said, “It’s unbelievable…I can’t believe we did it (placed fourth).” She said she was proud of her teammates and all that they accomplished this season. All three girls said they are looking forward to next season and are happy they were able to do so well for themselves and their coach. ‑ Jennie McGhan can be contacted at 509-837-4500, or email JMcGhan@DailySunNews.com

Grandview’s Desiree Zavala, eventual 124-lb.State champion, rides Cassidy Meyers of Kentwood in the second round of Mat Classic XXV.

Jennie McGhan/Daily Sun News

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MAT CLASSIC XXV

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l Grizzlies continued from page 6

Treadwell, Sunnyside might well have had three wrestlers reach the championship finals. That’s because at 120 lbs., Sunnyside’s Santos Guerrero defeated everyone else except Treadwell, who bested him twice. After scoring a pin in his first-round match, Guerrero was pinned by Treadwell in 1:33 in the quarter-finals. The Sunnyside senior fought his way back from that loss, though, and won back-to-back consolation matches, where a loss in either match, would have ended his tourney. In his first consolation match, Guerrero outpointed Mt. Spokane’s Alec Hoover 5-1, then punched his ticket to the medal round with a pin in 4:41 over Lincoln’s Avery Meyer. The clutch wins advanced Guerrero to the third/fourth place match, where he was again bested by Treadwell and again by a pin, in 2:07. Like Barajas, Guerrero’s medal was his third State honor as a Grizzly. “Santos bounced back really well,” Paulus said. “Sometimes when wrestlers lose a semi-final match they get depressed and take it with them to their next match.” Ramos rallies at 170 lbs. After recording a firstround pin, Sunnyside’s Max Ramos found himself also having to battle back after a second-round loss. The senior started his climb through the consolation round with a pin in 4:47 over Cody Stone of Marysville-Getchell. Ramos’ rally into the trophy round continued with an 8-6 squeaker over Mercer Island’s Nick Chandler.

Ramos then fell 12-11 in the consolation semi-finals to Oak Harbor’s Courtney Shavers. “He was down by 11-3 at one point and all of a sudden just turned it on and started scoring,” Paulus said of the scoring spurt by Ramos. In the fifth/sixth place match Ramos lost by a pin in 2:45 to Peninsula’s Luke Holsinger. “Max put together one heck of a tourney,” Paulus said of Ramos, noting he didn’t start wrestling until he was a sophomore. “His tank was empty at the end… he had to come from behind so many times.” Avalos holds on for sixth place At 182 lbs., Sunnyside’s Daniel Avalos took a different route to sixth place on the medal stand. Avalos, a junior, advanced all the way to the championship semi-finals before losing to eventual champion Sean Elledge of Glacial Peak by a pin in 1:57. Avalos then fell in the consolation semis and in the fifth/sixth place match to settle for sixth-place honors. “He got upset with himself after losing in the semi-finals and lost two in a row,” Paulus said of Avalos. “I tried to remind him that he lost (in the semi-finals) to the State champion.” Carman cruises to third Austin Carman (220 lbs.) also fell to the eventual champion in his weight class – a quarter-final loss Amber Schlenker/Daily Sun News to Timberline’s Stone Hart Sunnyside’s Santos Guerrero puts Timberline’s Gage George on his head on the way to earning fourth-place hon– but rebounded well in the ors at 120 lbs. consolation rounds to claim third-place honors. In fact, the loss to Hart was Carman’s only defeat see “Grizzlies” back page

Sunnyside’s Max Ramos is pictured in early-round action at Mat Classic XXV. Ramos went on to garner sixth-place honors for Sunnyside at 170 lbs.

Amber Schlenker/Daily Sun News

SHS’s Daniel Avalos (L) takes on Tyler Moniz of Bainbridge Island on the way to a sixth-place finish for the Grizzlies.

Jennie McGhan/Daily Sun News

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8 - Daily Sun News

MAT CLASSIC XXV

february 18, 2013

l Grizzlies continued from page 7

at the State tourney, as he up and did what they needed cruised through the conso- to do for the most part.” lation round with an injury Only three of Sunnyside’s default victory followed by State qualifiers failed to back-to-back pins. medal; Noe Palomino (145 Those three consecutive lbs.) and Anthony Chavez wins vaulted Carman to the (160 lbs.), who both went third/fourth place match, 1-2, and Christian Ruiz (138 where the junior prevailed lbs.), who went 0-2. Paulus 9-2 over Dwayne Robinson said the similarity for each of Rogers/Spokane. of the three was a tough “Austin had a great draw, facing wrestlers right tourney but he had an unfor- away in the tourney who tunate draw,” Paulus said of ended up as State champions having to meet Hart in the or appearing in the champisemi-finals. “Stone Hart is onship match. the defending State chamWin or lose, though, pion and Austin wrestled a Paulus was gratified to see great match and hear the against him. response Hart is a big of so many stud, a big Sunnysiders dude that is who made just powerful the trip to and Austin Tacoma to gave him all cheer on the he wanted.” Grizzlies. “I Strong in want to thank the all the people medal who came to rounds support us,” Last year he said. “It’s Sunnyside helpful to also started have people strong at the from home Mat Classic, over there then strugraising cain. gled in the It was good medal matchtimes, good es. times.” This year, One goal the Grizzlies The numprevailed in bers look most of those promising for matches to Sunnyside to Amber Schlenker/Daily Sun News give its fans vault them to a place on the Jesse Barajas of Sunny- even more to team medal side exalts after winning a cheer about State title at 113 lbs. stand. next year. “This year T h e we didn’t fall apart,” Paulus Grizzlies return seven of last said. “It was critical that we weekend’s 10 State qualijust keep the faith, keep go- fiers, including two State ing forward.” champs. It will be the first The difference this year, time Sunnyside returns not he added, came down to a one but two State champs. combination of experience, Those numbers are givconditioning and wrestling ing the Grizzlies hopes for ability. “The guys stepped 2013-14.

Amber Schlenker/Daily Sun News

In his only loss of the tourney, Sunnyside’s Austin Carman (L) is taken down by Timberline’s Stone Hart, who went on to defend his State title by taking the championship at 220 lbs. After all the goals set and accomplished this year, including getting a team trophy and having seven medalists, Paulus says there’s just one goal for next year. “Our goal is to win it (State) next year, we have that one goal and it’s to win this thing,” he said. Reaching that goal, Paulus adds, isn’t just about returning great numbers but how the Grizzlies approach the off-season, doing the work necessary in the weight room and at wrestling camps. Part of the off-season plan, Paulus says, is to prepare Romero and Torres to wrestle

in different weight classes to give both a chance to advance all the way. “We have the guns to do this and we have some good talent waiting in the wings,” Paulus says of Mat Classic XXVI title chances. “Hopefully the guys are looking forward to next year because I know I am. I can’t wait.” - John Fannin can be reached at jfannin@dailysunnews.com or at 837-4500.

Noe Palomino focuses as he prepares for action at Mat Classic XXV for the Grizzlies.

Amber Schlenker/Daily Sun News

Amber Schlenker/Daily Sun News

Christian Ruiz of Sunnyside (L) tries to get the upper hand in a match on Friday.

Jennie McGhan/Daily Sun News

Anthony Chavez (bottom) of Sunnyside tries to maneuver around his opponent in action early on Friday.

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