Miranda rules in sub-regional wrestling at AHS

Noted for his quick pins, Aberdeen’s Jaime Miranda worked overtime to capture a sub-regional wrestling title on Saturday.

The Bobcat senior outlasted Alex Daarud in triple overtime, 8-3, to capture the 285-pound championship at the Evergreen 2A Conference Sub-regional Tournament at Aberdeen’s Sam Benn Gym.

Ranked among the top three at his weight in an all-classification state poll, Miranda will lead a nine-man Bobcat contingent to regionals next Saturday at Tumwater.

He will join teammates Jose Duran (second at 170 pounds), Jordon Logan (third at 285), Tristen Jimenez (fourth at 132), Henry Fultz (fourth at 195) and Filipo Cournoyer (fourth at 220) as automatic regional qualifiers. Aberdeen’s Sam Wagner (113), Erikk Machowek (145) and Tavo Sanchez (160) each placed fifth yesterday and will make the regional trip as alternates — a status more important in wrestling than in other sports due to the high injury rate among automatic qualifiers.

The Bobcats placed fourth in the team competition with 166 points.

Perennial power Chehalis, coached by former Elma High standout and ex-Bobcat coach Jamie Rakevich, took team honors with 303 points.

“The important think is we got 14 kids through (to regionals),” said Rakevich, echoing the sentiments of virtually every coach at the sub-regional level.

Much of the action in the technically proficient Miranda-Daarud match occurred in overtime.

An escape at the outset of the second round gave the Aberdeen senior a 1-0 lead. That’s the way it remained until Miranda incurred a penalty point for stalling with 25 seconds remaining in regulation.

A one-minute sudden-death round ended scoreless. Under the current format for OT matches, that forced a pair of additional 30-second periods, which would be wrestled to a a conclusion aside from pins.

An escape and a pair of takedowns in the second overtime gave Miranda a 6-2 lead. Daarud escaped at the beginning of the third OT, but Miranda scored another takedown as time expired.

“We knew Alex Daarud is a tough wrestler and they coached him up to wrestle Jaime,” Bobcat coach Chuck Veloni said. “Jaime’s by far in better shape and he wrestled him into the ground. When Jaime gets tired, he gets stronger.”

Duran dropped a 2-1 decision to Chehalis’ Billy Tufts in a 170-pound title match that contained nary a takedown.

After the wrestlers exchanged escape points, Duran was penalized one point for stalling midway through the third round, giving Tufts an edge he maintained to the finish.

Veloni was particularly pleased with the performances of first-year wrestlers Fultz and Cournoyer. The latter, who had suffered a broken foot midway through the campaign, returned only a week prior to postseason competition. He had logged only five matches prior to this tournament.

One of the most dramatic and poignant matches occurred between teammates Machowek and Justin Berkley to decide fifth place at 145 pounds.

Machowek owned a 5-3 lead when he and Berkley bumped heads while tumbling off the mat in the final minute. The collision opened a nasty gash under Berkley’s left eye that required stitches and left Machowek momentarily dazed, although those symptoms did not appear until later. After a bandage stemmed Berkley’s cut, the match was completed without further scoring. Machowek was tested for a possible concussion but was medically cleared.

Other champions included Chehalis’ Denver Park (120), Brandon Davis (126) and Gage Rife (220), Centralia’s Bryce Bock (106), Michael Stuart (145), Kellen Pelzel (152), Cole Riccardo (160) and Kyzer Bailey (182), Tumwater’s Cameron Nolan (132) and Sam Richards (195) and River Ridge’s Daniel Montesa (138). Summaries will be published at a later date.