WARDEN — If the Girls Wrestling Sub-Regionals on Saturday were a Broadway stage production, you would say the Othello Huskies hit their mark.
The four-time Central Washington Girls Wrestling League champions crowned two champions, had three runners-up and qualified 13 for the regional tournament with a decisive sub-regional championship, winning by 115 points.
Husky sophomore Emily Mendez beat teammate Gabriela Rodriguez 10-2 to win the 105-pound championship. Elizabeth Giles pinned Sara Morrow of Wenatchee in the 140 final to lead Othello one step closer to the end game, which is a state championship.
“Next week is where it really matters. We wrestled well today. Now, we have to get our girls ready for the regional tournament,” said Othello coach JJ Martinez, whose team scored 277 points. “The girls know what Othello wrestling is all about. We have to step up one more week to get as many girls as we can qualified for the state championships.”
Warden was a distant second with 162.5 points, but did put itself in a fairly good position by qualifying seven for regionals, including DaNeil Jolley, who won a sub-regional championship at 190 pounds, and 235-pound runner-up Karely Garcia.
“The girls we expected to move on did well. There were a couple with the opportunity. But overall, with this performance today, the girls coming back next year will be coming back with fire,” Warden coach Valerie Hernandez said. “There’s always room for improvement.”
Ephrata junior Mya Spencer (3-0), who was named the wrestler of the year, pinned Hunter Duke of Cashmere at 4:11 to win the 125-pound championship. Spencer started wrestling in middle school and this is her third season at the varsity level and her first at wrestling at 125.
“I’m more aggressive and know how to attack better than I did last year,” Spencer said. “Moving up a weight isn’t all that different, but the girls are stronger. I’ve been wrestling against most of these girls for quite awhile, so to win the (sub-regional) championship is pretty special.”
Quincy freshman Jaselyn Jones went through the 135-pound class with three consecutive pins to secure a title for the Jacks, who were third with 96 points. Jones pinned Emily Carroll of Wenatchee a fraction of a second before the buzzer sounded, ending the first period.
“Winning this tournament is extremely important to me. Good things can happen in a small program if you work hard,” Jones said. “She bridged up when I got her to her back, so I had to keep her head up so she couldn’t bridge and finally got the pin before the period ended.”
Moses Lake’s Melanie Flores (3-0) and Aaliyah Escamilla of Warden had one more go-round in the 100-pound championship match. Flores, the Moses Lake junior, had dominated her first two matches, winning by pin in 28 seconds in the first one and another pin in 1:10 on her way to the finals. Escamilla’s first two rounds concluded with a pin and a tech fall. Something had to give in the championship and it was Flores with a major decision, 11-3.
“You have to go into every match with a strong mindset and know that you’ve worked hard to get there,” Flores said. “We’re both fairly strong wrestlers. Once it went 1-1 into the second round, I knew it had to take a shot and get out of my comfort zone. I didn’t want to go 1-1 into the third round, so I attacked and it paid off.”
Royal’s Marissa Delarosa (3-0) won by major decision 11-2 over Charlie Johnson of Liberty to claim the 155 title.
The Girls Regional tournament will be at East Valley in Spokane on Saturday.
Local regional qualifiers
100 pounds - 1. Melanie Flores, Moses Lake; 2. Aaliyah Escamilla, Warden; 3. Bernice Mendoza, Othello.
105 - 1. Emily Mendez, Othello; 2. Gabriela Rodriguez, Othello; 3. Alexia Hernandez, Warden.
110 - 2. Cynthia Diaz, Quincy; 4. Mercedes Gonzalez, Othello
115 - 2. Sienna Stocking, Ephrata; 3. Jackie Peguero, Othello; 4. Iyazely Barraza, Othello
120 - 3. Rose Gutierrez, Othello
125 - 1. Mya Spencer, Ephrata; 3. Monica Canales, Warden; 4. Ruby Villalobos, Othello
135 - 1. Jaselyn Jones, Quincy; 3. Leslie Rodriguez, Othello; 4. Esmeralda Mendoza, Othello
140 - Elizabeth Giles, Othello; 4. Zoyanna Dahlgren, Moses Lake
145 - 3. Laly Gonzalez-Nunez, Wahluke; 4. Andrea Hernandez, Warden
155 - 1. Marissa Delarosa, Royal
170 - 2. Kaitlyn Goodman, Othello; 4. Diana Lopez, Wahluke
190 - 1. DaNeil Jolley, Warden; 2. Victoria Mendoza, Othello. 4. Samantha Schaapman, Quincy
235 - 2. Karely Garcia, Warden; 3. Amanda Contreras, Warden; 4. Cassie Ruiz, Quincy