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Union’s Jordin Jimenez climbs to new heights by winning Pacific Coast Championships

Behind Jimenez's title, four Union placers, Titans take second out of 59 teams in the return of illustrious tournament

By , Columbian staff writer
Published:

The Pacific Coast Championships are capable of humbling a wrestler at any level, even a state champion. Or, in the case of Union’s Jordin Jimenez, the star-studded tournament can propel others forward.

The Titans senior was the lone grappler from Clark County to win a title, let alone reach the finals on Friday at Hudson’s Bay High School. Jimenez pinned Westview (Ore.) sophomore Elliot Mauck late in the third round of the 126-pound finals after gaining an 8-1 lead.

Jimenez rose up from the mat, put his hands together to flash the Titans’ ‘U’ and pointed to his supporters in the bleachers. Later, he thought back to something that’s been repeated to him this season by his mom and older brother, Dilyn, who placed third at the same tournament as a Union senior in 2019.

“They keep on telling me, ‘You’ve got nothing to lose. It’s your senior year, so just go out there and you do you,’” Jordin Jimenez said. “I’m not a big wrestler. I have some accomplishments, but I don’t have a lot. So winning this, it means a lot.”

Union took second place out of 59 teams and reached 202 points, just shy of first-place Stanwood’s 204.5 points, thanks to Jimenez’s win by fall in the finals. Union also got third-place finishes from Noah Koyama (132) and Clayton Maus (220), as well as Dylan Esperto (113) and Armando Nicacio (152) taking fifth. Additionally, Skyview’s JJ Schoenlein claimed third place at 170.

12 Photos
Union’s Jordan Jimenez, right, battles Elliot Mauck of Westview on Friday, Dec. 30, 2022, at the Pacific Coast Wrestling Championships at Hudson’s Bay High School. Jimenez won the 126-pound bout by fall.
Pacific Coast Wrestling Championships Photo Gallery

When the Pac Coast Championships were last held in 2019, followed by a two-year hiatus during the pandemic, Jimenez, then a freshman, did not place. He rose to eighth place at the Mat Classic as a junior, and is currently slotted No. 4 in the statewide Class 4A rankings at 126 pounds.

To open his senior season with the Titans, it came as a disappointment when he failed to place at the Rose City Championships.

“After that, it really kicked in a lot for me,” Jimenez said.

Jimenez drew the No. 4 seed for this week’s Pac Coast Championships, and won all of his matches by fall.

In the finals, Jimenez registered his first takedown late in the first round, and another to start the second. By then, he felt locked in and sensed the urgency to pick up the pace to go for the pin. Late in the third round, Jimenez executed his favorite move called “the ham and cheese,” and finished off the match in 5 minutes, 48 seconds.

“Seeing that my hard work is actually working for me and it’s paying off, it just makes me want to push myself even more to see what else I can accomplish,” he said.

Elsewhere for the Titans, Koyama, a sophomore, dropped a 6-0 decision to Stanwood’s Keaton Mayernik in the semifinals, but rallied with two wins in the consolation bracket, finished off with a 14-8 win over South Kitsap’s Quinn Lawrence.

Maus had a longer path to the podium after losing a tight, 3-2 decision against Frank Kissick of Mount Si in the third round Thursday. Six matches and six wins later, Maus earned third place after defeating Mountain View’s Ayden Denbo in a 5-2 decision.

“I’m feeling pretty good,” Maus said. “I’ve lost a whole bunch of weight also. I was weighing 265, lost about 52 pounds so I’m wrestling in a different weight class. It’s a lot more fun.”

Maus, a senior multi-sport athlete, also wrestled at the Pac Coast as a freshmen, then took his sophomore and junior years off from the sport before returning this year.

“I feel like I just want to do all the sports I can my senior year,” Maus said. “I feel like I’d regret it if I didn’t do it. So I’m doing football, wrestling, rugby and I’m going to do track also.”

Spectators were also treated to a Clark County clash between Skyview’s Schoenlein, the top-ranked 4A wrestler at 170 pounds, and Prairie’s Alex Ford, a defending 3A state champion. Schoenlein pinned Ford in 1:22.

Matchups like those, plus a pair of finals matches that pitted state champion against state champion, reflect the prestige of the Pac Coast, said first-year Evergreen head coach Jake Wilcox, who served as this year’s tournament director.

Reviving the tournament after two years off was a good opportunity to bring attention back to Southwest Washington wrestling, he said.

Although the tournament has traditionally been hosted by a Vancouver high school, namely Hudson’s Bay and Mountain View, the Pac Coast Championships could outgrow its current footprint. Wilcox said they’re looking at the possibility of using a larger venue for future years.

“We’d like to get somewhere where it’s not in a school,” Wilcox said, “because we’d like to get a couple more mats, maybe a couple more teams. We had 60 this year; we’d like to see about 70 (or) 80.”

Prior to the start of the finals, Wilcox and Prairie head coach Rob Smith presented a lifetime achievement award to Bob Glafka, a coach of 43 years in the wrestling programs at Fort Vancouver and Hockinson. Among the many wrestlers he coached was Wilcox

“I was just a marginal wrestler,” Wilcox said. “… And yet, Glafka never treated me any different than any other kid in there, and a lot of guys I keep in touch with feel the same way about Glafka.”

Smith started coaching in Clark County in Fort Vancouver’s program under Glafka.

“(Bob) brought me into his program, he helped me teach and helped me be pretty much the coach I am today,” Smith said. “I owe a lot of what I’ve done with my kids to what Bob has taught me.”

Pacific Coast Championships

At Hudson’s Bay High School

Team scores — 1, Stanwood 204.5; 2, Union 202; 3, South Kitsap 199; 4, W.F. West 182.5; 5, Rogers-Puyallup 164. Also: 9, Skyview 130; 12, Camas 125; 22, La Center 96; 26, Washougal 85.5; 35, Columbia River 68.5; 36, Mountain View 61; 39, Ridgefield 54.5; 44, Heritage 41; 45, Evergreen 39; 46, Hockinson 38; 47, Fort Vancouver 37; 48, Columbia-White Salmon 36.5; 51, Hudson’s Bay 34; 53, Woodland 31; 56, King’s Way Christian 17; 57, R.A. Long 6.

106 — 1st: Curtis Carlisle (Rogers-Puyallup) d. Kadyn Hagerty (Capital), 16-3. 3rd: Jovaien Manibusan-Bamba (Spanaway Lake) d. Nate Cronin (Central Kitsap), 18-6.

113 — 1st: Jeremiah Wachsmuth (Clackamas) d. Michael Fritz (Orting), 6-0. 3rd: Jackson Losee (Graham-Kapowsin) p. (Rogers-Puyallup), 5:03.

120 — 1st: Jacob Larsen (Clackamas) d. Brennen Williams (South Kitsap), 4-3. 3rd: Bryan Roodzant (Stanwood) d. Malachi Wallway (La Center), 7-2.

126 — 1st: Jordin Jimenez (Union) p. Elliot Mauck (Westview), 5:48. 3rd: Tristin Gibbons (Bethel) d. over Aidan Watson (La Center), 9-7.

132 — 1st: Mitchell Neiner (South Kitsap) d. Keaton Mayernik (Stanwood), 12-4. 3rd: Noah Koyama (Union) d. Quinn Lawrence (Central Kitsap), 14-8.

138 — 1st: Stone Hartford (South Kitsap) d. Jose Toscano (Granger), 7-4. 3rd: Tyler Rhue (Stanwood) p. Owen Pritchard (Skyview), 2:42.

145 — 1st: Ryan Wilson (Mount Vernon) d. Gil Mossburg (Glacier Peak), 11-4. 3rd: Tre Haines (Arlington) d. Tennyson Kurtz (Columbia River), 4-2.

152 — 1st: Blake Ely (WF West) d. (Burlington-Edison), 6-1. 3rd: Dustin Baxter (Arlington) d. (Bethel), 6-0.

160 — 1st: Westin Triplett (Enumclaw) d. Chase Dennis (Tigard), 13-0. 3rd: Devan Carter (Graham-Kapowsin) d. Alijah Wiatt (Capital), 7-2.

170 — 1st: Thor Michaelson (Bremerton) d. Ezekiel McEwen (Capital), 11-3. 3rd: JJ Schoenlein (Skyview) p. Alex Ford (Prairie), 1:22.

182 — 1st: Lars Michaelson (Bremerton) d. Conan Northwind (Granger), 3-1. 3rd: Trey Dieringer (Scappoose) p. Tucker Land (WF West), 0:45.

195 — 1st: Hunter Sonnenberg (Orting) p. Whyatt Larson Phelen (Orting), 0:38. 3rd: Wyatt Anicker (Scappoose) d. Elijah Fleck (Stanwood), 5-1.

220 — 1st: Frank Kissick (Mount Si) d. Steven Ramos (David Douglas), 7-4. 3rd: Clayton Maus (Union) d. Ayden Denbo (Mountain View) 5-2.

285 — 1st: Daniel Matagi (WF West) d. Connor Aney (Glacier Peak), 5-2. 3rd: Zeke Luchi (Enumclaw) p. Jesse Mains (Emerald Ridge) 0:25.

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