DES MOINES - Competing against some stiff competition this past weekend, the Victory Wrestling Club laid claim to the team title at the second annual Thunderdome Throwdown Invitational, staged in Des Moines.
Of the 50 or so youngsters who make up the Yakima Valley team, many of them from the Sunnyside area, 21 made the trek across the Cascades to compete at the tourney. And of those 21 wrestlers, eight brought home individual championships.
Placing first at the tournament in the 8&U age division were Victory Wrestling Club members Eli Barajas (46 lbs.), Oscar Alvarez (50 lbs.), Ignacio Payan (54 lbs.), Ricky Cisneros (58 lbs.) and Abel Nava (70 lbs.).
In the 10&U age division, Victory Wrestling Club member Jose Campos won top honors among the 70-lb. grapplers.
The two other Victory Wrestling Club members who secured individual titles were 15&U age division competitors Hunter Bair (95 lbs.) and Jesse Barajas (108 lbs.).
In winning the team title the local squad amassed 80 team points, three more than the runner-up, Team Aggression of Puyallup. Placing third at the tourney with 64 team points was USA School of Wrestling from Portland, Ore.
Besides the eight individual titlists from the Victory Wrestling Club, the Yakima Valley team had seven second-place finishers in their respective age divisions and weight classes. They included 6&U wrestlers Kiyanno Zuniga (37 lbs.) and Alex Fernandez (50 lbs.); 8&U wrestler Emilio Jimenez (46 lbs.); 10&U wrestler Diego Isiordia (77 lbs.); 12&U wrestlers Chuco Cisneros (86 lbs.) and Juan Isiordia (106 lbs.); and 15&U wrestler Jesse Torres (108 lbs.).
The Victory Wrestling Club will be represented this coming weekend by nine team members at the Rocky Mountain Nationals Monster Match in Denver, Col. More than 1,200 grapplers from across the country are expected to compete there.