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Gutierrez, Meza qualify for State

ZILLAH – Both Noemi Gutierrez and Jesenia Meza of Mabton High School have qualified to compete at the Mat Classic in Tacoma this coming Friday and Saturday.

Although both suffered injuries to their arms this past weekend at the Regional tourney in Zillah, they garnered fourth-place honors in each of their weight classes.

Gutierrez was behind 7-3 before being pinned by Othello’s Tori Zambrano in in 3:16 the opening round of 112-lb. competition on Saturday. The Lady Viking recovered to win by pin over Rosie Gudino of Quincy in 3:57. Gutierrez won her third match by a 6-4 decision over Alyssa Edson of Warden. Gutierrez’s final match placed her against Zambrano again. The Lady Vike forfeited the match due to her injury.

“We had to protect Jesenia’s arm as much as possible,” said Mabton Coach John Kilian.

He said, “This is what we hoped would happen…we just had to qualify the girls to State.”

Meza has been suffering for a sore shoulder, but managed to get through three matches before forfeiting the final bout for third/fourth place honors.

She opened 130-lb. competition with a 7-2 decision over Ephrata’s Chloe Spencer. In the second match, Meza lost by injury default to Jennifer Mendoza of Warden. The Lady Viking took just 35 seconds to dispatch Brittany Fetters of West Valley-Spokane in the third match. That’s when Meza forfeited by an injury default to Spencer for fourth-place honors.

“Our evil plan worked…it will be tough at State because the girls will compete against the No. 1 seed,” said Kilian.

However, he knows Gutierrez and Meza will do their best “…and see if we can come home with a couple of medals.”

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