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Vikings take third at Warden invite

WARDEN - One of the preseason goals for Mabton High School wrestler Robert Marquez was to win one tournament this season.

The Viking sophomore heavyweight has already exceeded his preseason expectations. Marquez earned his third individual tournament title of the season with his championship performance at the Warden Invitational on Tuesday. Marquez also won tournament titles at the West Valley and Granger tournaments.

Marquez's heavyweight tournament victory helped spark the Vikings to a third-place finish in the seven-team tournament.

"We did well," said Mabton Coach John Kilian. "We keep learning. We have to keep getting better."

Mabton finished in third with 96 points, well ahead of Columbia-Burbank, which was fourth with 57 points. Concrete won the team title with a commanding 148 points. Host Warden was a distant second with 118 points.

Marquez went 3-0 on the day, winning a 10-4 decision over Robert Gillock of Concrete in the finals.

"He dominated him pretty well," said Kilian.

Kilian said Marquez is doing a good job of sticking his opponents with a head and arm for the pin. Marquez won his first two matches of the day by pins in times of 1:01 and 1:20.

Kilian had another wrestler in the finals yesterday. Jovani Ochoa placed second at 145 lbs., losing to Jesse Dellinger of Concrete by pin in 51 seconds. Kilian said Dellinger was a dominating wrestler, but Ochoa looked good in his other two bouts of the day, winning both by pin.

Freshman Luis Aviles went 2-1 for Mabton at 112 lbs. to place third. Aviles won by pin over Jared Webster of Concrete in the consolation finals.

After losing to Warden's Chad Pruneda 12-11 in his opening match of the day at 119 lbs., Mabton's Andy Torres came back to take third place honors. Torres defeated Pruneda this time around 9-4. Kilian said Torres didn't wrestle up to par in his first match, but looked terrific the second time around against Pruneda.

At 140 lbs., Kilian had two of his wrestlers face off against one another in the consolation finals. Marco Zepeda pinned teammate Michael Clark in 2:24 to place third.

At 152 lbs., Mabton's Moises Gutierrez placed fifth after beating Ritzville's Jimmy Bartz by pin in 2:26.

Cesar Macedo had another good outing for the Vikings at 160 lbs. Macedo defeated Concrete's Anthony Holt by pin in 2:43. Macedo had three pins on the day, said Kilian.

The Vikings will be at a tournament in Lake Roosevelt Tuesday, Dec. 28.

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