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Road to Regionals looks promising for Mabton Vikings

by Michael Kantman

The door seems to be wide open for the Mabton High School wrestling team to make some noise this postseason.

The Vikings begin their journey to the State tournament at the Tacoma Dome this coming Saturday in Granger. District tournament action begins at Granger High School at 10 a.m. The top four wrestlers in each weight class at Districts will advance to the Regional tournament in Royal City on Valentine's Day.

Of the 10 Mabton wrestlers competing this Saturday, five have either been seeded No. 1 or 2.

"I am pretty happy with the seeding," said Mabton Coach Ron Rutz. "We are going to go in and battle in Granger. We are looking forward to representing Mabton."

The Vikings have two No. 1 seeds going into Districts. Abel Barcenas received a top seed at 125 lbs. with a 19-7 regular season record. Barcenas will wrestle the winner of the match between Zillah's Art Sevigny and White Swan's Dave Demas in his second round match.

Alex Gutierrez is the Vikings' other top seed at 130 lbs. Gutierrez will wrestle the winner of the match between Noe Beedle of Cle Elum and Tyler Martinez of White Swan in his first match.

One of the more interesting weight classes should be at 112 lbs. Mabton's Andy Torres received a No. 2 seed, which comes with a first round bye. Torres is set to meet Darren Howard of White Swan in his opening match of the day. Also in the 112-lb. weight class is Granger's Sam Sanchez, who gained a top seed with his 21-2 mark.

Victor Bustos is another No. 2 seed for the Vikes, gaining a first round bye at 119 lbs. Bustos will wrestle the winner of the match between Kevin Willette of Cle Elum and White Swan female wrestler Marie Olney.

Mabton freshman Robert Marquez (22-10) earned a second seed and will face Sydney Miller of Zillah in his opening match.

The Vikings also have three No. 3 seeds.

Javier Galvan is seeded third for the Vikings at 140 lbs. After his first round bye, Galvan will face Daniel Sanchez of Goldendale.

At 152 lbs., Mabton's Cesar Macedo, a No. 3 seed, will face Fred Schann of Zillah.

Despite missing a significant portion of the season, Mabton's Noe Calixto still garnered a No. 3 seed at 189 lbs. Calixto will face Shane Lloyd of White Swan in his first match.

Mabton's Marcos Zepeda enters Districts as a No. 4 seed for the Vikings. He will face Zach Bogle of Highland in his opening bout.

Jovanni Ochoa of Mabton, a No. 5 seed, will wrestle Highland's Miguel Estrada in his first match.

. Mike Kantman can be contacted at (509) 837-4500, or email him at mkantman@eaglenewspapers.com

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