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Smith and Sanchez are district champs

 

Jacob Smith

Jacob Smith and Renford Sanchez came home from the Central Washington South District Tournament with gold medals.

In the 113-pound weight, Smith defeated Gary Rios-Lopez of Kittitas by pin, then in the championship round took on Bryce Martinez of Warden. Martinez challenged Smith and took the contest into overtime, when Smith scored enough to come away with the gold medal.

Sanchez swept the field at 220. In both of his matches, Sanchez pinned his opponents in the first round. In the first match, he defeated Nathan Bradford of Riverside Christian in 40 seconds. Then in the championship match, Sanchez took a mere 18 seconds to defeat Jose Vasquez of White Swan.

At 106, Kaleb Horn came home with a silver medal. After pinning Osvaldo Dominguez of Warden, Horn faced Martinez of Warden. Horn and Martinez challenged each other, but Dominguez got the upper hand and pinned Horn. Horn now moves on to the regional competition.

Tony Nichols, at 132, also brought home a silver medal. Nichols pinned his first opponent, Justo Velasquez of Mabton. Then in the championship match, Josiah Guerra of Warden and Nichols fought hard and were neck and neck. But in the final score, Guerra came out on top 5-2. Nichols now moves on to regionals.

Trevor Circle came back from a loss to come home with the bronze medal at 132. Circle pinned Matias of Mabton before losing to Guerra of Warden 12-0. Circle came back and pinned Dominguez of Warden to set up a match to determine third and fourth place with Velasquez of Mabton. Circle pinned Velasquez for third place medal and a sport at regionals.

Taylor Circle came home with the fourth-place medal at 113. After losing to Rios-Lopez of Kittitas, Circle won by injury default over Martinez of Mabton to set up a third-fourth match with Rios-Lopez, who won by pin. Circle moves on to regionals.

Renford Sanchez

Brandon Long also came home with a fourth-place medal and will be moving on to regionals. With Long qualifying, all seven Raiders move on to the regional tournament later this week.

"We are wrestling well for this point of the season," Coach Steve Hood said about the Raiders' performance at Districts. "A good week of preparation will get us ready for regionals this Friday at Kittitas."

The regional competition begins on Friday at Kittitas, with the first round starting at 4 p.m. Wrestling will finish on Saturday, starting at 10 a.m. lasting into the evening hours. The North and South districts of the Central Washington region will face off, with the top four moving on to the state tournament in Tacoma. This year, there will be 12 wrestlers in the B bracket at the Mat Classic, rather than eight as in the past five years.

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