With a few wrestlers missing, Gavino Rodriguez led Blaine wrestling to a sixth place finish out of 17 teams at the 32nd Annual Lynden Tournament on January 25.
Rodriguez, wrestling up a weight class at 195, pinned two opponents and then beat Nooksack Valley’s Cameron Bauman 12–2 in the finals match.
“Gavino is looking really good and just wrestled a really dominant match,” said Blaine head coach Tom Hinz. “He’s just getting better and getting better. He wants to be a state champ and I think it’s a really great potential.”
Rodriguez will wrestle in the 182-pound weight class in the postseason, which starts with sub-regionals on February 7 at Sedro-Woolley High School. He and many other Blaine athletes wrestled up a class to get more practice against stronger wrestlers in preparation for the postseason, Hinz said.
Blaine’s other top placers at the Lynden Tournament include: Adam Macauley, second at 126 pounds; Cael Button, fourth at 113 pounds; Colton Pederson, fourth at 182 pounds; Owen Hansen, fourth at 220 pounds; and Nahum Vazquez, sixth at 132 pounds.
Earlier in the week, the Borderites hosted Mount Baker in an exciting dual that Mount Baker won 40–39 after a tiebreaker. There are no ties in wrestling, so when Colton Pedersen pinned his opponent in the final match to tie the score, scorekeepers looked to the tiebreaker criteria.
They went down a list of criteria, finding that both teams were tied in penalties, both teams had won the same number of matches, both had the same number of technical falls, on down the list to the ninth tie breaker criteria: Mount Baker had the most points through near-falls, or near-pins – when an opponent is almost pinned but not held down long enough.
“It was super close,” Hinz said. “That was a really fun one for us.”
Next, the Borderites travel to the Berserker Tournament, at Curtis Senior High School, west of Tacoma on Saturday, February 1.