MABTON - Although Mabton has a short wrestling roster this season, there were two grapplers who earned runner-up honors at the team's annual tournament, the Mid Valley Classic, this past Saturday.
The Sunnyside JV team earned the team championship with 148.5 points.
Vicente Mireles and Brandon Marquez of Mabton both fared well, earning runner-up honors.
Mireles, who has only lost three bouts during the 2012-13 campaign, opened the tournament with a pin over Michael Sims of Reardon in 3:33.
The 132-lb. Viking moved on to defeat Rainier's Tyler Wentworth by a 7-2 decision.
It was in the finals that Mireles "...ran into a buzz saw from Reardon," according to Mabton Coach John Kilian.
Nathan Sorci of Reardon, said Kilian, is a great competitor. The "B" competitor earned a 12-6 decision over Mireles after a hard fought battle on the mat.
"Vicente kept coming at him, but came up short," said Kilian, noting Mireles took several shots at the Reardon Indian, but was caught on his back a few too many times.
"The kid (Sorci) was good," said the coach.
Marquez, too, was having a great tournament. His knee, which was injured earlier in the week, held up and he opened the Mid Valley Classic with a pin over Sunnyside JV grappler Javier Mendoza in 2:51.
Marquez, the eventual 152-lb. runner-up at the tourney, pinned Zach Crossley of Zillah in 3:52 in the second round of matches, but White Swan's Baldimar Torres put the brakes on Marquez's run.
Torres earned championship honors after battling with Marquez for 4:32. That's when the Cougar secured the pin.
"We hadn't seen White Swan all year and the team has some strong competitors," said Kilian.
White Swan captured second-place team honors behind the Sunnyside JV squad.
At 170-lbs., Rudy Ramirez of Mabton earned his second victory of the season.
"It was exciting," said Kilian, noting the Viking has shown a lot of heart this season.
Ramirez lost his first match by way of pin in 19 seconds to Michael Dougherty of Bellevue Christian, but battled back in the consolation round.
That's when Ramirez pinned Isaias Vela of Zillah. It took the Viking just 49 seconds to subdue the Leopard.
Although the celebration was sweet, it was short.
Ramirez was matched up with Aaron De LaTorre in the third round of action and lost by pin in 56 seconds.
"I told him any time he gets a win, it's a good day," Kilian said of the encouragement he offered Ramirez.
Isaac Velasquez of Mabton (182 lbs.) had a tough day. There were just four grapplers in his weight class and he was pinned in both of his matches.
Ike Martinez of Reardon got the pin in 2:34 and Naches' Ryan Davis pinned Velasquez in 1:24.
"We also had some big girls action," said Kilian, noting both the Gutierrez sisters fared well in their individual matches.
The younger of the two sisters, Noemi, pinned Burbank's Melissa Grimm in 1:59 in 106-lb. action.
Mary, the older of the Gutierrez sisters, grappled with and defeated two competitors Saturday in 112-lb. action.
The Lady Vike defeated Miranda Borrego of Zillah by a 5-1 decision and Kayla Gonzalez of Sunnyside fell to Gutierrez by a 10-6 decision.
"The battle between Mary and Kayla was a good one...they are both tough competitors," said Kilian.
Grimm later defeated Cassandra Martinez of Mabton (106 lbs.) by a pin in 4:24, and Lady Viking Jazmin Mendoza split her two matches.
Mendoza made quick work of Lupe Rodriguez of Sunnyside, earning the victory by way of pin in 21 seconds. It was White Swan's Gladdys Vela that defeated the 118-lb. Mabton grappler in the second bout by a 6-4 decision.
This coming Thursday Mabton returns to the mat in Warden against the Cougars and Wahluke.