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Viking wrestlers win regular season finale

MABTON - Paced by four match victories and five forfeit wins, Mabton's wrestling team took care of Zillah 49-21 in the regular season finale.

The victory secured a 4-2 league record for Mabton, 4-3 overall, good for third-place in the SCAC West.

The host Vikings claimed forfeit wins in the lower weight divisions.

Eric Meza and Luis Aviles received forfeits at 103 and 112 lbs., respectively. Andy Torres and Arturo Nunez were handed forfeits at 119 and 125 lbs., respectively, and Andy Rivera received a forfeit in the 130-lb. weight division.

In match victories, Cesar Macedo pinned Zillah's Rafael Guzman at 160 lbs. and Mabton's Damien Marquez edged Noel Lustre, 9-8, at 189 lbs.

Eli Perez moved up a weight class to 215 lbs. for the Vikings and easily handled Manclovio Lopez by a score of 11-2.

"That was a pretty good victory," noted Mabton Coach John Kilian. "It's always tough to bump up a weight class."

Robert Marquez also moved up a weight class and earned Mabton's other win on the night, with a pin at 275 lbs. over Sidney Miller.

The match ended a difficult regular season for Zillah, which has won the SCAC West the past eight years.

Despite the lop-sided team result, Kilian said there were several key matches Mabton's wrestlers won to help with seeding for the District tournament at Zillah on Saturday, Feb. 4.

"Zillah is a league opponent and there were seeding implications as we head into Districts," he noted.

Final seeding for the District tournament will be decided during a coaches' meeting next Monday night.

Mabton's top seeds appear to be Perez, with a likely first seed at 189 lbs., and Robert Marquez in the 215-lb. weight division.

Aviles looks to have the inside track on a second seed at districts in the 112-lb. weight division. Kilian figures that Torres will receive a second or third seed at 119 lbs.

The top four wrestlers in each weight division at Districts advance to Regionals at Royal City on Feb. 11.

The top four in each class at Regionals then move on to the Feb. 17-18 State Tournament, known as the Mat Classic, in the Tacoma Dome.

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