Pederson, Wirth take second in Liberty Invite

What was supposed to be a busy week for the Cheney High wrestling team turned into a short one.

The Blackhawks were scheduled to face Colville, Dec. 9, in a nonleague dual match and then compete in the Inland Empire Classic tournament, Dec. 12-13, at Central Valley High School. According to head coach Brad Rasmussen, Colville’s athletics director called Jim Missel, assistant principal for athletics at Cheney High School and canceled the dual. As for the Inland Empire Classic, Rasmussen said several of the wrestlers were too sick to compete. Instead the Blackhawks traveled to Spangle, Wash., Dec. 13 and competed in the Liberty Invite. Rasmussen said this was the first year the team competed in that tournament.

“We weren’t sure what to expect,” Rasmussen said. “But it was an opportunity for our team to get a lot of wrestling in, especially the younger kids. It was fun to watch.”

Cheney had several top placers in the tournament. Marshall Lane (113 pounds), Braden Wirth (126) and Garrett Pederson (285) all took second in their weight divisions.

Lane went 1-1 for the day, losing via pin in the second period of the championship round.

Wirth won his first two matches, including a major decision over Freeman’s Justin Krell, before he lost in the finals. Rasmussen said Wirth solidified his position at 126.

“It benefited him to compete at that weight,” Rasmussen said. “He wrestled solid throughout the tournament but got caught in the finals against a tough opponent.”

Pederson also went 2-1 for the day. Rasmussen said Pederson had “solid technique and wrestled hard.”

Brannon Pederson (170) and Kodi Smith (195) took third in their weight classes while Cameron Wiseman (138) took fourth in his division. Saul Bautista, Francisco Martinez and Bobby Marshall all had wins but were eliminated in the consolation bracket. Team scores were not available as of press time.

The Blackhawks return to action Dec. 20 when they travel to Yakima to compete in the Eisenhower Mat Classic.

“Right now we’re working on technique with the newer kids,” Rasmussen said. “With the varsity kids, we’re fine tuning things and getting some quality time on the mat.”


About Al Stover

I graduated from Eastern Washington University with a bachelor's degree in journalism. I currently work as a Staff Reporter for the Cheney Free Press. I have interviewed characters like cage fighters, drag queens and dungeon masters. I like Batman, coffee, MMA and beer.
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