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Mabton 4th at invitational

CATHLAMET, WASH. - Four was again the Mabton wrestling team's magic number as for the second consecutive weekend the Vikings were fourth in a 12-team meet.

This past weekend the grapplers bundled up for a seven-hour road trip to the Wahkiakum Invite, located in Cathlamet, about an hour from Longview.

"We did well," said Coach John Kilian. "It was a fun trip and the guys wrestled hard."

Leading Mabton's fourth-place team effort at Wahkiakum was a trio of wrestlers who took first.

Eric Meza brought home the first-place medal in the 103-lb. bracket with a pin over Kelso's Zatir Ismasailov at the 4:42 mark.

At 112 lbs., Luis Aviles won the championship round on a pin. Time and opponent were not available.

Fifth at the State tourney last year, Robert Marquez captured first in the 275-lb. division with a 6-4 win in the finals.

Two other Vikings, Arturo Nunez (125) and Andy Torrez (130), reached the championship matches in their respective weight divisions and brought home second-place finishes.

Eli Perez earned third-place at 215 lbs.

Though he did not medal, Adrian Magana brought home fifth at 171-lbs.

Kilian said he was impressed with Magana's effort, considering he had to wrestle both the winner and the loser in one bracket due to a computer malfunction.

That happened after the bracket loser was inadvertantly advanced to face Magana. After Magana lost that match, the error was discovered and he then competed against the actual winner.

"He lost both those matches but it showed a lot of heart to still come back and win the fifth-place match," Kilian said of Magana.

Another unique element at the Wahkiakum tourney was the number of westside teams represented.

"We usually are familiar with the teams we go up against," Kilian noted. "But we just laced 'em up and competed. Sometimes it's better not to know too much about the other guy you're wrestling because guys can start getting worried and forget to wrestle."

The Vikings stay closer to home this week when they hit the mat again this Thursday to wrestle at the Warden Invite.

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