Stats show east is far from least at 2019 Mat Classic
Pluses and minuses aside, the 32-wrestler bracket the Mat Classic used this year in lieu of a regional tourney made one thing clear: The heart of wrestling in Washington lies east of the Cascades, and the toughest wrestling also happens on the east side of the mountain passes.
Not only that, but according to Quincy boys head wrestling coach Greg Martinez, the Quincy Jacks’ league, the Central Washington Athletic Conference brought home 33 percent of the 2A medals at the Mat Classic. Not bad when considering that the CWAC amounts to about 16 percent of the 2A schools in Washington.
“CWAC does represent,” Martinez wrote in a text message.
Martinez’ research on the dominance of eastside schools showed that in a normal year, that is, a year with a district tournament, a regional tournament and a state tournament, a 16-man bracket at the Mat Classic would have left at home three wrestlers in two weight classes who medaled at state this year.
“Our league won more than twice as many medals than any other league, 3-4 times more in most cases,” Martinez wrote in an email, adding that the east side’s Region 4 won 38 percent of the medals, four teams from the CWAC finished in the top 10 at state, and seven teams from CWAC finished in the top 17 at state.
“That means 70 percent of the CWAC league placed in the top 26 percentile of the state,” Martinez wrote.
Forty-one percent of the top 17 teams at state came from the CWAC, Martinez wrote, “and we only account for 16 percent of the 2A teams in the state.”
Moreover, eight of the top 18 teams at state came from Region 4, Martinez wrote, with 44 percent of the top 18 teams at state hailing from Region 4.
A glance at the brackets for 2A shows Martinez has a point.
At 106 lbs., Toppenish’s Horacio “Lacho” Godinez was crowned state champion, with teammate Joel Godina coming in second. They are both freshmen.
The top eight wrestlers in each 32-man bracket earn medals.
At 113, while the top two wrestlers come from the west side, the medals for third, fourth, sixth and eighth places all headed east at the end of the two-day tournament. Two of those belong to CWAC wrestlers, including third-place finisher Josue Flores of Ephrata.
At 120, four wrestlers from the east side earned medals, and all four came from CWAC schools.
At 126, five of the eight medals went to CWAC wrestlers, including state champion Haiden Drury of Toppenish. The second-place medal went to a wrestler from Spokane.
At 132, Kyler Romero of Toppenish won the state title, and Quincy’s own Damion Casillas finished seventh.
At 138, east and west split medals 4-4, with three of the four medals for eastside schools belonging to the CWAC.
At 145, a Toppenish wrestler once again took the state title, Alexei Rubio. Quincy’s own Salvador Chavarin took sixth and Cheney’s Blake Seubert took seventh.
The 152-lb. category served as the exception, with seven of the eight medals going to west side schools. Eighth-place finisher Jackson Showalter of Cheney was the lone east-sider to place.
At 160 lbs., the pattern was restored, with five of the eight medals going east, including second-place finisher Keyano Zamarripa of Toppenish. Four of the five medals for eastside schools went to the CWAC.
At 170 lbs., westside schools earned five of the eight medals. However, three of the four top places went to CWAC schools, including state champ Andres Aguilera of Toppenish.
At 182 lbs., the state crown also headed east, this time to Othello (another CWAC school), thanks to top-placer Bernabe Garza. One more east-sider earned a medal, seventh-placer Henry Rinehart of Ellensburg.
At 195 lbs., the top two places went to CWAC schools: First place went to Carson Northwind of Toppenish and second place went to Mac Laird of Ephrata.
At 220 lbs., three medals went to the eastside schools and all three were in the CWAC: State champ Amadeo Pimentel of Selah, fifth-place Elijah Roylance of Othello, and seventh-placer Ruben Vargas of Quincy.
And lastly, at 285, the state crown also headed east, with Isaiah Perez of Othello finishing first. Toppenish’s Terrell Underwood finished seventh.
Not surprisingly, Toppenish won the state team title in 2A, 51 points ahead of second-place school White River. Othello finished fourth, Selah finished seventh and Ephrata finished eighth. Prosser and Ellensburg finished in 12th and 13th place, respectively, with Quincy in 17th place, out of a total of 63 schools.
Wapato finished 28th, Grandview finished 50th and East Valley-Yakima finished 53rd.
By Sebastian Moraga, firstname.lastname@example.org