Tanner Baldwin and Roger Polanco went down to the Washougal River and brought home championship medals.
Polanco pinned Hockinson’s Nate Lazzaretto for the 132-pound title Saturday, at Washougal High School. Polanco also beat teammate Tony Maniscalco in the semifinals. Maniscalco finished in fourth place at 132 pounds.
“This is my second time wearing the orange,” Polanco said. “I feel like I wrestled better with it on.”
Lazzaretto took Polanco down at the beginning of the match, but the Panther responded with a quick reversal and a pin fall to win.
“Once he got the first takedown, I got a bit worried,” Polanco said. “I saw him slip, and I went for it. I took the shot and won it.”
Baldwin beat Skyview’s Cameron Hutchison 14-7 for the 152-pound title. Baldwin also pinned Wahuke’s Francisco Tapia and defeated Battle Ground’s Steven Evans 11-1 to get to the championship match.
Baldwin finished in third place at this tournament last year; he wouldn’t settle for anything less than a championship this time around.
“I just stayed in my position and didn’t try to rush anything,” Baldwin said. “It’s very special to be a Washougal River Champion. A lot of people came to support me. I had to do well.”
Bailey Burke grabbed second place for the Panthers at 182 pounds. He pinned Battle Ground’s Jesse Valitalo and Ridgefield’s Lane Anderson before losing the championship match.
“It’s kind of humbling to do the best you can and wind up in the finals trying to do your community proud,” said Burke. “I just love wrestling. It’s my life.”
Washougal’s Jesse Reagan bounced back from a tough loss in the semifinals by beating Centralia’s Paul Ward and Wahluke’s Adrian Toscano for third place at 138 pounds.
Battle Ground won the Washougal River Rumble with 213.5 points. Centralia followed in second place (168), Skyview took third place (156.5), Mark Morris claimed fourth place (122) and Washougal finished in fifth place (108).
These Washougal River medals encouraged the Panthers to keep working hard.
“I can’t cut myself short in practice,” Baldwin said. “I can’t slack off just because I won today. There is always going to be bigger and better tournaments.”