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Four wrestlers advance to state tournament


Four Raider wrestlers earned a trip to the Tacoma Dome for the Mat Classic as they qualified at the end of the Central Washington Regional Tournament Saturday.

Kaleb Horn, at 106 pounds; Jacob Smith, at 113; Tony Nichols, at 132; and Renford Sanchez, at 220, will travel to Tacoma tomorrow for a chance to place at state.

Wrestling at the Mat Classic begins Friday and will finish on Saturday.

“We wrestled well and are excited to make the trip to the dome and wrestle for state championships,” Head Coach Steve Hood said.

Jacob Smith is the Central Washington Regional Champ at 113 pounds. Smith pinned both Rios-Lopez of Kittitas and Martinez of Warden in the first round of their matches.

“Last week at District, Jacob Smith won the championship in overtime over Martinez from Warden,” Hood said, noting the difference with last weekend:.“This week, at regionals, they met in the finals again; Jacob took him down to his back for a pin at 1:50 of the first period.” The regional champ title gets Smith a first-round bye at Tacoma. His first match will be at 4:16 p.m. Friday against the winner of the Lininger-Thompson match.

Tony Nichols came home with the silver medal at 132. Nichols pinned White of Liberty Bell and defeated last year’s state champion, Peterson of Tonasket, 3-1 to advance to the championship match.

“With the score tied 1-1 at the end of regulation, Tony scored a nice takedown for the win in overtime,” Hood noted.

But in the championship match, freshman Nichols faced senior Josiah Guerra of Warden, who defeated Nichols 4-0. Nichols will face Corbin Balzer of Adna in the first round Friday at 11:08 a.m.

Renford Sanchez also came home with a silver medal at 220. Sanchez dispatched Thomas of Tonasket in 40 seconds to set up a championship match against Joe Mintzer of Okanogan, who got an upper hand and pinned Sanchez. Sanchez gets a first-round bye and will wrestle his first match at 7:16 p.m. Friday against the winner of the Guiles-Olmstead match.

Horn started the Raiders’ regional tournament wins with a pin over Rosario of Brewster before Bretz of Tonasket was able to pin Horn in his next match. Horn stepped up and pinned Vazquez of Oroville in 32 seconds to set up a third/fourth match against Dominguez of Warden.

Horn showcased his skills in this match, defeating Dominguez 15-2 for third place. At the Tacoma Dome on Friday, Horn will face Riley Fichter of Concrete at 10:08 a.m.

Trevor Circle fought hard for the shot at state. He came back from his second loss to win the his match over White of Liberty Bell 9-2, placing fifth and qualifying for the Mat Classic as an alternate.

Taylor Circle competed in his first regional tournament and gained good experience for the future. Brandon Long also competed well in his first high school season, picking up wins and a berth to the regional tournament.

The wrestlers will have a sendoff assembly at Gailord Nelson Gym tomorrow before leaving for Tacoma. Wrestling starts at 10 a.m. on Friday and again at 10 a.m. on Saturday, with the medal rounds in the evening Saturday.

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