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Five Vikes place at tournament

FREEMAN - Yesterday was a good day for five Mabton wrestlers who placed in the top five at Freeman's Winter Classic wrestling tournament.

A total of 16 teams competed at the event and Mabton scored 101 team points for 10th place honors.

Viking Coach John Kilian said the 11th place team had 60 points.

"It was a close top 10," he said, noting host Freeman won the 16-team modified bracket tournament with 166 points.

The Vikings had one champion at the competition. Eric Huesca won the 220-lb. weight class title after defeating Dakota Groves of Coeur D'Alene by an 8-7 decision in the finals.

Huesca secured the win with a takedown and near fall, which garnered him four points.

"A pin and decision made up his first two wins," said Kilian. "This was Eric's first tourney win and he's a senior...it was exciting."

In the 126-lb. bracket Mabton's Vicente Mireles was another finalist, but lost a 6-0 decision to Medical Lake's Anton King for runner-up honors. Mireles was 2-1 on the day.

"The (Medical Lake) guy was really good," Kilian said of the final bout for Mireles.

Third place honors went to Emilio Mireles in the 152-lb. weight class. He was 2-1 on the day after suffering a semi-final loss. In the 3rd/4th place bout, Mireles grappled with Selkirk's Gabe Sullens and won by pin in 1:46.

Heavyweight Carlos Rendon (285 lbs.) also placed for Mabton. He earned fourth place honors after losing a 4-1 decision to Medical Lake's Willy Kearney in the consolation finals.

"Our war horse at 113 lbs. is Emiliano Rodriguez," said Kilian, stating he notched fifth place honors by taking on five different opponents.

Rodriguez dropped into the consolation bracket after losing his second round bout. However, he battled back to have a 4-1 record on the day.

Kilian said Rodriguez fought with determination and the 5th/6th place bout was against Tommy Strader of University High of Spokane. After a long match, the Viking prevailed 7-6 for fifth place honors.

Mabton will take to the mat Thursday, Jan. 5, at Ki-Be in a double dual against Naches and Goldendale. Saturday, Jan. 7, the Vikes will compete in the Grandview Invitational.

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