GRANGER - Placing three wrestlers in the championship finals, the Mabton Viking wrestling team finished in sixth place as a team this past Saturday at the Granger Ironman Tourney.
Mabton scored 76 points to finish sixth out of 12 teams. Colville won top honors with 182 points, and host Granger was close behind in second with 174 points.
One of the Mabton wrestlers to reach the championship round was Vicente Mireles (126 lbs.), who lost in the finale 12-9 to Highland's Andres Tereza. Mireles, who was 2-1 on the day, rallied from eight points down in the final bout before coming up short. "He made it close, he did well but not quite enough," Coach John Kilian said.
Fabian Ruiz (152 lbs.) also reached the championship final, where he lost by a pin in 1:19 to Zillah's Shane McMurray. "It was close to being a slam, it knocked Fabian's wind out of him," Kilian said. He noted if McMurray's move to throw Ruiz down hard to the mat had been ruled a slam then the Mabton wrestler would have been awarded a point and even won the match since he was unable to continue.
The third Mabton wrestler to reach the championship round was Eric Huesca (220 lbs.). Huesca was pinned in the finals in 1:01 by Albert Cruz of Wahluke. Like Mabton's other two championship round wrestlers, Huesca was 2-1 on the day. "It was nice to have Eric make the finals. That was a big positive of the day for us to have three finalists rather than two," said Kilian.
One other Mabton wrestler placed at Granger, Brandon Marquez (160 lbs.), who tied for third place with Ramon Hernandez of Sunnyside's JV squad. Kilian explained the tie happened because Hernandez had already wrestled five matches on the day and WIAA rules prevented him from competing in a sixth match in what would have been the third/fourth place bout.
Mabton will return to action this Thursday with a double-dual match at Columbia-Burbank against the host Coyotes and Kiona-Benton.