GRANGER - Angelo Salinas and Damien Marquez, each of whom won three matches enroute to claiming individual titles, powered the Mabton High School wrestling team to a third place finish at last Saturday's Granger Ironman Invitational.
The team title at the 10-school tourney went to the East Valley Red Devils, who totaled 209 points. Zillah's Leopards were runners-up with 174 points, with Mabton and the Sunnyside JV tying for third place honors with 162 points apiece.
Besides the individual titles secured by Salinas and Marquez, the Vikings advanced four other grapplers to the finals. All four wrestlers settled for second place honors, however, in their respective weight classes.
Salinas came away as the Ironman's 171-lb. champion. He opened the tournament with a quick 21-second pin of Eisenhower's Chuck Resendez, then put Cameron Rainford of East Valley onto his back a minute and 43 seconds into the second round of their semi-final match.
In the finals, Salinas found the sledding a bit tougher in his match with Granger's Humberto Morales. In the end, though, Salinas prevailed, 2-1.
Marquez earned his Ironman title at 215 lbs. All three of his victories came by way of pin.
The Mabton 215-pounder needed just 25 seconds to dispatch Eisenhower's Christian Gonzalez in the opening round of the tournament. In the semi-finals, Sunnyside's Alex Isiordia provided a sterner challenge, but still got caught by Marquez a minute and 59 seconds into the bout.
Marquez then dusted off Nathaniel Deardorff of Zillah in the championship match, pinning the Leopard a minute and 42 seconds into the second round.
Mabton's four Ironman runners-up included Jerry Quesada (103 lbs.), Daniel Magallon (119 lbs.), Arturo Nunez (135 lbs.) and Andy Rivera (140 lbs.).
Quesada was pinned in the finals by Sunnyside's Nathan Gonzalez. Magallon sustained a 50-second pin against Granger's Joe Salcedo in their championship match. Nunez fell by way of pin, too, midway through the second round of his title match against Jacob Standfill of East Valley. Rivera also suffered a fall in his title bout, although the pin didn't occur until 39 seconds had elapsed in overtime against Jimmy Wilson of East Valley.
Mabton had a pair of third place finishers last Saturday as well, in the likes of Luis Aviles (130 lbs.) and Sal Lopez (285 lbs.). The one other medalist for the Vikings was Fabian Ruiz (135 lbs.), who placed fourth.
The Viking grapplers will host Granger this coming Thursday. Action will get underway at 7 p.m.