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Palomino boys grab top honors second straight week

CONNELL - Isaac and Noe Palomino are quickly establishing reputations for themselves.

The two "mighty mite" wrestlers, members of the Sunnyside 'Lil Grapplers, won individual championships for the second week in a row. Their latest titles came while competing at a tournament in Connell this past Saturday.

The younger of the two, Isaac, secured his tournament title in the 7/8-year-old 70-71-lb. division. Noe was the top finisher among the 9/10-year-old 80-85-lb. competitors.

Both boys also won weight division titles at the season opening tourney in Finley two weekends ago. They, along with the 50 or so other members of the Sunnyside 'Lil Grapplers, are scheduled to compete at the two remaining tournaments of the season the next two Saturdays, as well as at the season ending Jason Crawford Invitational the first Saturday in April.

The Palomino boys, although the only two remaining undefeated wrestlers in the Sunnyside youth club, were just two of the 10 local youngsters who brought home individual titles from Connell. The eight other champs at Connell included Silvestre Cortez Jr. (5/6-year-old 60-64 lbs.), Frankie Gomez (7/8-year-old 72-74 lbs.), Oscar Ibarra (7/8-year-old 117-126 lbs.), Jesse Barajas (9/10-year-old 60-65 lbs.), Orlando Medina (9/10-year-old 95-100 lbs.), Devan Amaro (11/12-year-old 122-127 lbs.), Nathan Gonzalez (11/12-year-old 79-83 lbs.) and Frankie Ochoa (11/12-year-old 144-149 lbs.).

Sunnyside 'Lil Grapplers bringing home runner-up honors from Connell included Izaiah Gonzalez (5/6-year-old 37-40 lbs.), Marcel Saenz (11/12-year-old 77-79 lbs.) and Adam Peters (11/12-year-old 176-222 lbs.).

A total of nine Sunnyside youngsters placed third in their respective weight divisions at Connell. They included (7/8-year-olds) Drew Gallardo; (9/10-year-olds) Ethan Kantman, Angel Magana and Fidel Medina; (11/12-year-olds) Daniel Guillen, Tyler Kantman, Marcos Yanez, Charlie Barajas and Nicholas Lopez.

The coach of the Sunnyside 'Lil Grapplers, Daniel Guillen, said he was pleased that of the 50 wrestlers he took to Connell, 22 of them earned a top-three finish.

"They represented Sunnyside very well," said Guillen.

"There was a lot more competition at Connell than at our season opening tournament in Finley," he added.

Next up for the local wrestling club is a tournament in East Wenatchee this coming Saturday.

"We'll be taking 50 or so kids again," said Guillen. "Unfortunately, when we go to these tournaments, a lot of times our kids have to wrestle against their teammates, and end up knocking them out of the tournament.

"But, that's wrestling," he said.

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