WEST RICHLAND - After a slow start to the season it seems as if the young Grandview High School wrestling team is gaining some momentum.
The Greyhounds took eighth place at the fourth annual Hanford Winter Cup wrestling tournament this past Saturday. In what proved to be a competitive invite, Grandview scored 111 points to place eighth.
"The whole staff was pleased," said Grandview Coach Jeff Sevigny. "We had such a slow December. But now we are starting to get into it (the season). Some of the kids are really starting to show their stuff."
Kiona-Benton, a 2A school, won the invite with 192 points. Sunnyside was second with 175-1/2 points. Host Hanford finished the invite in third place with 160-1/2 points. Kennewick was fourth with 123 points. Prosser took fifth place honors with 114-1/2 points. West Valley-Yakima finished sixth with a 113 points and Mack High School out of Milton-Freewater, Ore. ended up seventh with 112 points. Naches took ninth with 104 points. West Valley-Spokane placed 10th with 91 points. East Valley-Yakima was a close 11th place with 90-1/2 points. Wapato was 12th with 82 points. Richland placed 13th with 61 points and Toppenish rounded out the field of 14 with 48-1/2 points. Davis High School arrived late at weigh-ins and wasn't allowed to compete at the invite.
The Greyhounds didn't field wrestlers at 103 and 119 lbs.
One of the top finishes of the day for Grandview came at 160 lbs. Grandview's Andrew Benavidez placed second, losing to Hanford's Jared Stoker in the finals. Benavidez was leading at the time he was pinned in the third round.
"Andy wrestled a pretty tough match," said Sevigny. "He just made a mistake."
Greyhound heavyweight Andrew Morales also nabbed a second place finish. Morales lost to Kiona-Benton's Ross McDormann in the third round of the finals match to take runner-up honors.
Grandview's Nestor Soriano placed third at 112 lbs. with a 4-1 record. Soriano received a trophy for the pins in the least amount of time at his weight class. Soriano had four pins on Saturday. Sevigny said his first three pins were in times of 2:10, 1:58 and 43 seconds. The time of the fourth pin wasn't available
At 125 lbs., Grandview's Mathew Saldana went 2-2 and didn't place. Saldana had the misfortune to wrestler Prosser's Manuel Plata, who won the weight class.
Grandview's Shay Seimears took fifth for the Greyhounds at 130 lbs., losing to East Valley-Yakima's Cameron Hopkins to finish the day 3-2.
Despite placing fifth with a 4-1 record, Sevigny was pleased with the efforts of Brian Naylor at 135 lbs. Naylor lost his opening round match to a wrestler from Toppenish, who won the tournament, before winning his next four matches. Naylor beat Michael Marler of Kennewick in sudden death overtime to place fifth.
Michael Benavidez lost his opening match 11-10 for Grandview at 140 lbs., but was pulled from the tournament after hurting his hip.
Jesus Soto went 0-2 for the Greyhounds at 145 lbs.
"It was a rough day," said Sevigny. "He just now got down to weight. We are in another week or so expecting good things from Jesus."
Tovias Magana went 3-2 at 152 lbs. for the Greyhounds. Magana finished fifth.
Grandview freshman Jacob Robillard went 1-2 at 171 lbs.
First year Grandview wrestler Rigo Rodriguez wrestled well, said Sevigny, at 189 lbs. Rodriguez went 1-2 on the day, winning one of his matches in overtime and losing a match in the extra session.
Greyhound freshman Junior Pena lost his first two matches at the invite at 215 lbs.
The Greyhounds will be competing at an eight-team invite in Wapato this coming weekend.
. Mike Kantman can be contacted at (509) 837-4500, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org