Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Othello to host girls wrestling tourney this weekend

Sports Reporter | January 19, 2023 5:22 PM

OTHELLO — The Othello High School girls wrestling team will host a home tournament over the weekend, welcoming more than 70 high school wrestling teams from across the Pacific Northwest and close to 600 wrestlers to their home mat, according to Head Coach Rafael Ruiz.

“We’re expecting teams from Idaho, Oregon and, of course, Washington, so it’s going to be pretty competitive,” Ruiz said. “I believe this is the biggest tournament on the east side of the state for the girls, and it’s one of the main tournaments before we head into the postseason.”

With participation in girls wrestling increasing this season due to what Ruiz believes to be the changes in classification divisions at the state tournament, signups for this weekend’s Lady Huskie Wrestling Invite have nearly doubled.

“Generally the numbers have been around 300 or so girls, but now it’s almost double that,” Ruiz said. “We’re happy to be hosting it, and we’re excited because it shows that girls wrestling is growing. With that, we have great community support that’s coming together to make sure everything’s taken care of.”

With the regular season wrapping up, many teams are entering their final tournaments before postseason competition begins. Othello only has one more tournament after this weekend, next Saturday’s Bring Home Da Beef tournament at Quincy.

“They get to wrestle girls that they’re most likely going to see at the district, regional and state level,” Ruiz said. “We’ve got teams from the west side, eastern Washington and other states that are bringing in some of their best wrestlers. It helps you gauge things that you’ve got to improve to be ready for postseason.”

Joining Othello at the Lady Huskie Invite are six other local teams – wrestlers from Ephrata, Moses Lake, Quincy, Royal, Wahluke and Warden will compete in this weekend’s tournament.

Ian Bivona may be reached at ibivona@columbiabasinherald.com.

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