The Hermiston Bulldogs are sitting pretty after the first day of the District 8 Wrestling Tournament at Hermiston High School.
The Bulldogs pushed nine guys through to the semifinals Friday, starting with Adrian Delgado at 106 pounds, and ending with heavyweight Dustyn Coughlin.
“I’m happy,” Hermiston coach Kyle Larson said. “Some guys are fighting hard and imposing their will. We have nine in the semis, that is huge. You come back in the morning, you win you go to state. You lose and you have to wrestle again and again.”
Mt. Spokane leads the team race after the first day with 122.5 points, followed by Kamiakin and Rogers, who are tied with 76 points. The host Bulldogs are right on their heels with 75.5 points.
Action gets underway Saturday at 10 a.m. with the semifinals and consolation matches.
“We have guys coming in the back door,” Larson said of the consolation side of the bracket. “Those are big matches too. We are fired up. We have guys in a lot of weights earning points for us.”
Delgado, who was the first to reach the semis, did so with a pin of Kennewick’s Ler Pweh Htoo in 2 minutes, 26 seconds. Delgado will face Steven Zaragoza of North Central in the semifinals.
Isaac Lambert followed at 113, with a pin of Zach Lopez of Shadle Park in 5:29. Lambert led 10-1 after the first round, and 11-4 after the second.
Lambert will wrestle Jarret Sharp of Mt. Spokane in the semis.
The Bulldogs figured freshman Jon Lee would be a lock for the semis at 220 pounds. And while he did beat Kennewick’s Chayc Ottum 10-4, he trailed 4-3 in the second round before righting the ship in the third.
“I was a tiny bit nervous before the match,” Lee said. “I had beaten him before, so I knew I would win. I just knew I couldn’t lose. I have gotten this far. This tournament is another step in achieving my goal (state).”
Lee will take on Tyler Dallas of Mt. Spokane in the semifinals.
Trevor Wagner made quick work of Shadle Park’s Jimmy Howells at 160 pounds, registering a pin in 2:49. He will wrestle Drew House of Mt. Spokane in the semis.
“It’s nice to keep winning and keep the mojo going and keep going forward,” Wagner said. “There was a little bit of nerves, but I was going to go out and do what I do. There are a lot of good kids here, some of the toughest in the state.”
Coughlin, who had a bye in the first round, wasted no time in reaching the semifinals, pinning Jaxin McCallum of Kamiakin in 40 seconds.
“I threw him in a head-and-arm,” Coughlin said of McCallum. “It took a while to get him pinned. I think he gave up in the end.”
Coughlin will wrestle Gavin Johnson of Southridge in the semis.
“I beat him in the dual,” Coughlin said. “I pinned him in the first round.”
It’s an all-Mid-Columbia Conference semifinal round at 120 pounds, and Hermiston’s Hunter Dyer is in the thick of things after a 43-second pin of Hayden Mortamer of Rogers. Dyer will take on Jacob Williams of Southridge in the semis, while Kamiakin’s Xavier Zavala and Kennewick’s Antonio Ramos battle in the other match.
Gage Shipley advanced at 126 pounds, beating Riley Bonser of Mt. Spokane 10-1. He will wrestle Riley Buth of Mt. Spokane Saturday morning.
The lighter weights were good to Hermiston, with Jordan Franklin rounding out the first five weights with a 13-8 decision over Cash Ruegsegger of Mt. Spokane.
Ruegsegger got the opening takedown, but it was all Franklin from there. He led 5-4 after the first and 10-4 after two.
Franklin will wrestle Ky Haney of Mt. Spokane in the semis.
The big surprise of the day came at 195, where freshman Sam Cadenas pinned Nick Dallas of Mt. Spokane in 1:51 to reach the semis. He will wrestle Nate Smilari of Shadle Park on Saturday morning.