HRV wrestlers test mettle at Best in the West

PASCO, Wash. — Now that the HRV wrestling team has proven it can hang with the best in the Mt. Hood Conference, it had a chance to prove it is one of the Best in the West at a tournament Friday and Saturday in Pasco, Wash.

Some of the finest programs in Washington, Oregon and Idaho made the trip to the Tri-Cities, including Hermiston, which HRV coach Mark Brown calls “the best team in the entire Northwest.”

Hermiston proved that it is truly the best team in the west by winning the 24-team tournament going away. Nationally ranked Sandpoint, Idaho, took second and Pendleton third, while the Eagles placed eighth after being seeded seventh.

“I expected we might do a little better,” Brown said. “The kids also expected a little more, but we had a few injuries and were without some of our top guys. Under the circumstances, we probably wound up where we should have.”

Jacobe Krizman (160), Ray Munoz (215), Tommy Owyen (275) and Nigel Bond (189) dominated their weight classes, each going undefeated on the tournament.

Krizman finished 5-0 with three pins, while Owyen continued to show his emergence as one of the top heavyweights, going a resounding 4-0 with four pins.

Munoz also went 4-0, and Bond completed the weekend at 3-0. In addition, junior Josh Van Ek (112) showed how far he has come the past three seasons, going 4-1 in the tournament.

Other top performers for the Eagles were Felipe Magana (3-2 at 140 lbs.), John Harvey (2-2 at 145 lbs.) and Trent Shelton (2-3 at 145 lbs.). Caleb Smith also had a strong showing despite an injured shoulder.

“Caleb was really hurting and he did all he could for the team with just one arm,” Brown said.

Besides Smith’s injury, HRV was without three of its other top wrestlers: 2001 district champions Rocky Level (130) and Jason Macioroski (171), and Nathan Nash (215).

Senior Paul Robinson filled in at 171 and proved to be the Eagles’ most inspirational wrestler on the weekend.

“Paul battled to the end in every match and really pumped up our guys,” Brown said.

Brown also pointed to a strong performance by Matt Cody (189), who went 3-2 in half JV, half varsity competition.

Next up, the Eagles will take on Barlow Jan. 3 in Gresham.

Team and top individual performances

Friday Dec. 21

Marysville-Pilchuck 34, HRV 28

HRV 36, Deer Park 25

Saturday, Dec. 22

HRV 57, Kamiakin/Southridge 12

Rogers-Puyallup 44, HRV 21

HRV 39, Mac-High 31

Top Individual Performances

Jacobe Krizman 5-0, 3 pins (160 lb.)

Tommy Owyen 4-0, 4 pins (275 lb.)

Ray Munoz 4-0 (215 lb.)

Nigel Bond 3-0 (189 lb.)

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