Kamiak junior takes first place at Lady Knights Invite | Wrestling

Second annual tournament draws 286 wrestlers from 42 teams to Mariner H.S.
By David Pan | Jan 30, 2019
Photo by: David R Pan Kamiak’s Diana Cantini is in control of Arlington’s Vivian Potong during a 110-pound semifinal match at the Lady Knights Invitational Saturday, Jan. 26, at Mariner High School. Cantini went on to pin Potong and later won the tournament title.

The second annual Lady Knights Invitational showcased some of the top wrestlers in the state, including Kamiak’s Diana Cantini.

The junior standout did not disappoint.

Cantini took first place in the 110-pound division, defeating Sedro-Woolley’s Cora Orton 3-0 in the finals Saturday, Jan. 26, at Mariner High School.

“It means a lot because I took second last year,” Cantini said. “I was glad to be able to win my own tournament and show my Kamiak pride and win for my school.”

Unlike the last time the two met, Cantini dominated the match in Kamiak coach John Baldwin’s opinion.

“She was in control all the time,” Baldwin said. “There was no question who was going to win.”

Cantini edged Orton 5-4 at the Kelso Tournament earlier this month.

“We have pretty equal technique, but the way I wrestled I was able to get some points early on,” Cantini said. “I stayed strong toward the end of the match. I kept moving so she wasn’t able to get any points.”

The Kamiak junior scored a takedown and escape in the second round.

“It was a pretty close match,” Cantini said. “I was pretty nervous because the other match, it could have gone either way. … But I stayed focused.

“I’m glad that I’ve had those two matches. They have boosted my confidence and my skills and given me a few lessons to take away about how to wrestle better.”

Cantini recorded three straight pins to advance to the finals. She opened with a 42-second fall over Spanaway Lake’s Alyssa O’Brien and then pinned Othello’s Denise Guerra at the 3:52 mark. Cantini then recorded a pin of Arlington’s Vivian Potong at 1:10 in the semifinals.

“It was nice to get my matches in and then go rest,” Cantini said.

Kamiak’s Solana Ordonez had one of her best performances of the season. The freshman pinned Stanwood’s Aliya Hammons at the 4:28 mark in the third/fourth place 100 match.

“That’s very impressive wrestling for a freshman to take third at the Lady Knights Invitational,” Baldwin said.

Based on her strong showing, Baldwin is hoping that Ordonez will qualify for the state tournament.

Teammate Tina Tran also had a solid tournament, finishing sixth in the 100 division. Tran won a 10-7 decision over Concrete’s Anna Spangler in the consolation semifinals and dropped a 10-7 decision to Othello’s Virginia Pineda in the fifth/sixth place match.

Tran missed the first half of the regular season due to a non-wrestling injury.

“I’m very impressed with her first year,” Baldwin said. “It’s just a matter of mat time.”

The Knights had three other wrestlers in the varsity bracket. Two recorded victories.

Hee-Soo Suh pinned Cedarcrest’s Abbi Link at 4:38 in the 100 division and Sarah Giovi edged Burlington-Edison’s Angelicia Rodriguez 6-5 at 135.

Mariner had seven wrestlers in the varsity and junior varsity brackets. In the JV 110-119 division, Ava Rudberg took first place with three pins. Teammate Brenda Martinez-Chavez also recorded a 4-0 decision over Burlington-Edison’s Tori Sims at 152-165.

Mariner coach Zach Shurlock liked how his young team competed.

“I saw the heart and determination that I wanted to see for next year,” he said.

Baldwin noted that 42 teams with 228 varsity and 58 junior varsity wrestlers participated in the tournament.

“It went amazingly well,” he said. “I got a lot of positive feedback.”

Next year’s invitational is tentatively scheduled to return to Kamiak High School, though that might change. Baldwin said there are certain advantages to having the tournament at Mariner High School with the main and auxiliary gyms in closer proximity.

The Sub-regional tournament is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, Feb. 1-2, at Bellingham High School.

The first matches are 6 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. Saturday.

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