Sergio Torres recently had five teeth removed, including all four wisdom teeth, but Bellingham’s senior wrestling standout remains convinced he can have quite a bite at Class 2A state.
Torres went three for three on pins to qualify for the 132-pound finals in the 27th annual Lynden Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 24. But he made no excuses after being pinned by Class 4A state medal contender Wyatt Butler, a Snohomish junior who is already a two-time state qualifier and lists his records as 27-8 this season and 78-21 for his career.
“The guy was pretty good, but it (the pin) still bothered me,” said Torres, who also had two pins Friday to help Bellingham win the inaugural “Battle of the Boot” against city rivals Sehome and Squalicum.
Butler was, indeed, outstanding while piling up a 19-5 lead with eight scoring moves before pinning Torres with 4:57 elapsed.
“It was better to get those teeth pulled earlier (two weeks ago) than later,” said Torres, a two-time state qualifier with a 22-7 season record and 93-38 career mark. He is seeking his first state medal.
Bellingham coach Tom Hinz said Torres plans to wrestle at 126 in the post-season, which begins Feb. 6-7 with sub-regionals.
“I think Sergio could be a state champion,” Hinz said. “He really has a shot.”
Likewise, Bellingham senior Riley Takemura, a three-time state participant still seeking his first medal, made no excuses for his 11-3 loss in the 126-pound final to junior Conner Snow of Snohomish. Takemura came in with a pin and a 5-3 decision and now lists his records as 25-6 season and 90-42 career.
“I’m a little frustrated because I know I can wrestle better than this,” Takemura said. “I did not execute the fundamentals well, but I have no excuse. I will just have to work harder. My goal is peak performance.”
Hinz is more than a little optimistic over state chances for Takemura, who last week won the Northwest Conference championship and likely will drop to 120 pounds.
“Riley is probably a top-four guy at state,” said Hinz. “Right now, he’s ranked fourth statewide in 2A.”
Whatcom County had only two other finalists in the 18-school meet. Burlington-Edison placed sixth with 114.5 points as the top Northwest Conference finisher, while Bellingham was seventh with 87. Lynden was ninth with 73, followed by Squalicum in 10th with 70 and Sehome in 12th with 59 among locals in the top 12.
Squalicum freshman Jase Cooper (17-7) scored two pins to qualify for the 106-pound final. He lost 6-2 to Snohomish sophomore Dillan Meyer, who helped Snohomish finish second with 181 points behind rival Glacier Peak’s 211.5.
“Jase had a great day,” Storm coach Russell Robinson said. “He’s working on refining his style. He’s really got a motor on him. Getting to state would be well within his reach. He’s getting better with every week.”
Lynden junior Primitivo Cruz won decisions by 8-5 and 6-5 to gain the 113-pound final, where he fell 13-0 but fought hard against Burlington’s Ty Peth, a state veteran who improved his records to 31-2 season and 55-7 career.
“Primitivo started out very green this season but made the conference finals last weekend,” Lynden coach Alan Moore said. “He’s young for a junior and he’s really been coming alive. He’s focused and determined. I think he can get to state.”
Locals who earned ties for third place (the best they could do after losing in the semifinals) were Meridian’s Jake Cheney (106), Squalicum’s Spencer Wallace (126), Sehome’s Kyle Clemenson (138), Mount Baker’s Jerimiah Cronk (145), Bellingham’s Alden Roberts (152), Squalicum’s Jacob Burgoon (170) and Lynden’s Brody Weinheimer (195).
LYNDEN WRESTLING INVITATIONAL
Team scores: Glacier Peak 211.5, 2. Snohomish 181, 3. Oak Harbor 151.5, 4. Meadowdale 132, 5. Mountlake Terrace 124, 6. Burlington-Edison 114.5, 7. Bellingham 87, 8. Eastside Catholic 83, 9. Lynden 73, 10. Squalicum 70, 11. Newport 66, 12. Sehome 59, 13. Mount Vernon 51, 14. Lynnwood 42, 15. Shorecrest 41.5, 16. Port Townsend 37.5, 17. Mount Baker 34.5, 18. Meridian 23.
106: Dillan Meyer (Snohomish) dec. Jase Cooper (Squalicum) 6-2; 113: Ty Peth (Burlington) dec. Primitivo Cruz (Lynden) 13-0; 120: Hugo Diaz (Burlington) dec. Brad Hodkinson (Snohomish) 8-6; 126: Conner Snow (Snohomish) dec. Riley Takemura (Bellingham) 11-3; 132: Wyatt Butler (Snohomish) p. Sergio Torres (Bellingham); 138: Jeremy Vester (Oak Harbor) p. Mason Fairbanks (Glacier Peak); 145: Matt Iwicki (Eastside Catholic) p. Dymond Piper (Oak Harbor); 152: Joseph Proffit (Snohomish) dec. Mark Johnston (Oak Harbor) 6-3; 160: Colton Davis (Meadowdale) dec. Daniil Oliferovskiy (Mountlake Terrace) 7-5; 170: Kevin Massey (Mountlake Terrace) p. Chaplyn Mack (Mountlake Terrace); 182: Griffin Thomas (Glacier Peak) dec. Matt Goss (Burlington) 11-3; 195: Peder Morrill (Snohomish) p. Marcus Becerra (Glacier Peak); 220: Tim Smith (Meadowdale) dec. Alex Fairhurst (Snohomish) 11-3; 285: Mosese Fifita (Glacier Peak) dec. Alex Neale (Eastside Catholic) 5-2.