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Inside the Numbers: 4A State Wrestling Meet
Four-time state champion Christopher Martino of Bishop Kelly headlines the 4A field
Published: 3/7/2022 12:39:07 PM
Al Fontes
Contributing Writer
 

The 2022 Idaho State Wrestling Championships held at Holt Arena in Pocatello lived up to all of my pre-tournament expectations and much more. It was definitely a barnburner of an event from start to finish.

Unlike last year’s state championships at the Idaho Center in Nampa, which was conducted in just one day with limited fan capacity (a result of COVID protocols), this year’s event was packed to near capacity and highly energetic to say the least, especially during the blood round (round of 12), medal matches, and championship finals. Having come from a single class system (no divisions) in California, my first experience with the two day multiple class (5A, 4A, 3A, 2A/1A, and Girls) state tournament was very exciting, filled with great competition from start to finish, and was well-coordinated and well-run throughout.

This year’s event crowned five new 4x State Champions, including the first in the Girls division. Another nine wrestlers joined the 3x State Champions Club, while seventeen others earned their respective second title. Additionally, twenty-three wrestlers brought home their fourth state medal.

In the team races, Meridian won their second 5A title in a row, while Minico (4A), South Fremont (3A), and Ririe (2A) won their respective divisions. In the Girls division, Eagle won their second state tournament in a row with this year’s title being the first earned in an officially sponsored state event.

Overall, the 2022 Idaho State Wrestling Championships did not disappoint. The following is my comprehensive breakdown of the final state results per each division, including the first officially sponsored Girl’s State Championships.

4A DIVISION

This season marks the 22nd year that the 4A division has been conducted in the state of Idaho. Mirroring the 5A division, the talent is solid from top to bottom and fields several national caliber wrestlers.

The leader is Bishop Kelly’s Christopher Martino at 132s. Winning a rare fourth state title, Martino is a 6x All-American and headed to Princeton University upon graduation. Following in his older brother’s footsteps is frosh standout Mathew Martino. Earning All-American honors at Fargo and with a Folkstyle National title to his credit, Martino dominated his competition this season and is rated among the top incoming freshman in the country.

Joining the 3x State Champions Club is Columbia’s Nico Rodriguez at heavyweights. In the final, Rodriguez (All-American) pinned Century’s Jackson Geslin by fall in the second period to cap off his prep career with four state medals overall (3, 1, 1, 1). Three underclassmen earned their second state title. They include Double Fargo National Champion Mack Mauger (Blackfoot – 106s), Carson Exferd (Nampa – 120s), and Folkstyle All-American Hunter Bidelman of Caldwell.

Other wrestlers to join the 4x State Placers Club include Columbia’s Simon Graeber at 126s (2, 3, 2, 2) and Luke Moore of Blackfoot at 138s (5, 4, 4, 2). Among the fourteen wrestlers to join the 3x State Placers Club include Dedrick Navarro (Nampa, 11, 106s), Simon Alberto-Luna (Nampa, 11, 113s), and Columbia’s Payton Hernandez at 120s. A Fargo All-American last summer, Navarro won a state title in 2020 and two runner-up finishes. Nampa teammate Alberto-Luna is a 3x finalist, winning a title in 2021, while Hernandez has finished runner-up three times. Each are juniors and in position to earn a fourth state medal in 2023.

Other State Champions include Gabe Martinez (Mountain Home, 11, 98s), Aiden Go (Caldwell, 12, 126s), Andrew Choat (Columbia, 12, 145s), Caigun Keller (Preston, 12, 152s), Nakoa Fouret (Columbia, 11, 160s), Tradyn Henderson (Blackfoot, 11, 170s), Luke Arthur (Minico, 12, 182s), Garrett Vail (Minico, 10, 195s), and Payton Gunter (Nampa, 11, 220s).

In the team competition, Minico utilized team depth to capture its first team title since 2018. With two individual champions and fifteen placers overall, Minico outscored state runner-up Nampa by 39.5 points.

Taking a closer look at the 4A state results, 70 out of the 90 wrestlers seeded in the top 6 placed (78%), while seeds 7th/8th had 10 placers (11%), followed by non-seeds with 10 (11%). The lowest seed to win an individual state title was #7 Andrew Choate of Columbia at 145s. Additionally, the total number of No. 2 wrestlers to place at state was 5 (6%) and incoming freshman placers at 13 (14%).

TOP 10 TEAM SCORES

1 – Minico (District IV): 260.0 (2 State Champs/15 Placers)

2 – Nampa (District III): 220.5 (2 State Champs/11 Placers)

3 – Blackfoot (District VI): 173.5 (2 State Champs/8 Placers)

4 – Columbia (District III): 167.5 (3 State Champs/7 Placers)

5 – Caldwell (District III): 136.5 (2 State Champs/7 Placers)

6 – Jerome (District IV): 122.0 (6 State Placers)

7 – Bishop Kelly (District III): 96.5 (2 State Champs/3 Placers)

8 – Bonneville (District VI): 95.0 (5 Placers)

9 – Preston (District V): 93.0 (1 State Champ/5 Placers)

10 – Twin Falls (District IV): 88.5 (4 Placers)

 

INDIVIDUAL STATE CHAMPIONS

98 – Gabe Martinez (Mountain Home, 11)

106 – Mack Mauger (Blackfoot, 10)

113 – Mathew Martino (Bishop Kelly, 9)  

120 – Carson Exferd (Nampa, 10)

126 – Aiden Go (Caldwell, 12)

132 – Christopher Martino (Bishop Kelly, 12)

138 – Hunter Bidelman (Caldwell, 11)

145 – Andrew Choate (Columbia, 12)

152 – Caigun Keller (Preston, 12)

160 – Nakoa Fouret (Columbia, 11)

170 – Tradyn Henderson (Blackfoot, 11)

182 – Luke Arthur (Minico, 12)

195 – Garrett Vail (Minico, 10)

220 – Payton Gunter (Nampa, 11)

285 – Nico Rodriguez (Columbia, 12)

 

4x STATE CHAMPIONS

132 – Christopher Martino (Bishop Kelly, 12)

 

3x STATE CHAMPIONS

285 – Nico Rodriguez (Columbia, 12)

 

2x STATE CHAMPIONS

106 – Mack Mauger (Blackfoot, 10)

120 – Carson Exferd (Nampa, 10)

138 – Hunter Bidelman (Caldwell, 11)

 

4x STATE PLACERS

126 – Simon Graeber (Columbia, 12): 2nd, 3rd, 2nd, 2nd

132 – Christopher Martino (Bishop Kelly, 12): 1st, 1st, 1st, 1st

138 – Luke Moore (Blackfoot, 12): 5th, 4th, 4th, 2nd

285 – Nico Rodriguez (Columbia, 12): 3rd, 1st, 1st, 1st

 

3x STATE PLACERS

106 – Dedrick Navarro (Nampa, 11): 1st, 2nd, 2nd

106 – Francisco Zaga (Twin Falls, 12): 5th, 4th, 6th

113 – Simon Alberto-Luna (Nampa, 11): 2nd, 1st, 2nd

120 – Payton Hernandez (Columbia, 11): 2nd, 2nd, 2nd

126 – Aidan Go (Caldwell, 12): 4th, 3rd, 1st

126 – Peyton Munson (Nampa, 12): 4th, 6th, 4th

126 – Brody Kemble (Middleton, 12): 4th, 3rd, 5th

132 – Nikko Gonzalez (Nampa, 11): 2nd, 4th, 2nd

138 – Hunter Bidelman (Caldwell, 11): 1st, 2nd, 1st

138 – Dominic Gonzalez (Nampa, 12): 4th, 5th, 3rd

145 – Tucker Banks (Bonneville, 12): 4th, 3rd, 5th

195 – Skeet Newton (Twin Falls, 12): 4th, 2nd, 3rd

285 – Miguel Perez (Caldwell, 11): 3rd, 3rd, 2nd

285 – Zane Lovell (Nampa, 12): 4th, 5th, 5th

 

2x STATE PLACERS (SENIORS)

120 – Clancy Mummert (Twin Falls, 12): 6th (’20), 3rd

120 – Kaiden Rubash (Jerome, 11): 6th, 5th

132 – Eli Abercrombie (Blackfoot, 12): 2nd, 3rd

145 – Taye Trautner (Blackfoot, 12): 5th, 3rd

160 – Milton Hernandez (Minico, 12), 2nd, 2nd

170 – Devon Suko (Lakeland, 12): 6th, 5th

182 – Michael Edwards (Blackfoot, 12): 6th (’20), 4th

195 – Robby Ortega (Jerome, 12): 4th, 4th

 

A CLOSER LOOK AT THE STATE RESULTS

  • State Placers seeded in the top 6: 70/90 = 78%
  • State placers seeded 7th/8th: 10/90 = 11%
  • State placers – Non seeds (NS): 10/90 = 11%
  • Lowest seed to win state: Andrew Choate (Columbia, 12) #7 at 145s
  • Total number of No. 2 wrestlers to place at state: 5/90 = 5.5 (6%)
  • Total number of incoming freshmen to place at state: 13/90 = 14%

 

FINAL RESULTS (TOP 6)

 

PLACE (SCHOOL, GRADE) #SEED

 

98

1 - Gabe Martinez (Mountain Home, 11) #1

2 - Alijah Macias (Nampa, 9) #3

3 - Saxton Scott (Bonneville, 9) #2

4 - Wyat Blanchard (Bonneville, 9) #7

5 - Greyson Molina (Minico, 9) #4

6 - Cyrek Harrell (Burley, 9) #8

 

1st Place Match

Gabe Martinez (Mountain Home) 56-6, Jr. over Alijah Macias (Nampa) 34-8, Fr. (MD 10-0)

3rd Place Match

Saxton Scott (Bonneville) 41-6, Fr. over Wyat Blanchard (Bonneville) 33-17, Fr. (Dec 6-0)

5th Place Match

Greyson Molina (Minico) 35-14, Fr. over Cyrek Harrell (Burley) 24-18, Fr. (Fall 4:28)

 

106

1 - Mack Mauger (Blackfoot, 10) #1 DOUBLE FARGO CHAMPION (FS/GR)

2 - Dedrick Navarro (Nampa, 11) #2 ALL-AMERICAN

3 - Draven Johns (Caldwell, 9) #3

4 - Andre Valero (Minico, 10) #6

5 - Cooper Stimpson (Minico, 10) NS

6 - Francisco Zagal (Twin Falls, 12) #4

 

1st Place Match

Mack Mauger (Blackfoot) 36-0, So. over Dedrick Navarro (Nampa) 44-3, Jr. (Dec 3-1)

3rd Place Match

Draven Johns (Caldwell) 45-7, Fr. over Andre Valero (Minico) 29-13, So. (Dec 10-8)

5th Place Match

Cooper Stimpson (Minico) 21-14, So. over Francisco Zagal (Twin Falls) 26-9, Sr. (SV-1 9-7)

 

113

1 - Matthew Martino (Bishop Kelly, 9) #1 NATIONAL CHAMP/2X ALL-AMERICAN

2 - Simon Alberto Luna (Nampa, 11) #2

3 - Clark Peterson (Shelley, 9) #7

4 - Jabyn Kemble (Middleton, 9) #4

5 - Jayce Wolf (Caldwell, 9) #6

6 - Carter Balmforth (Shelley, 10) NS

 

1st Place Match

Matthew Martino (Bishop Kelly) 37-3, Fr. over Simon Alberto Luna (Nampa) 36-5, Jr. (Dec 8-4)

3rd Place Match

Clark Peterson (Shelley) 37-12, Fr. over Jabyn Kemble (Middleton) 38-14, Fr. (Dec 3-0)

5th Place Match

Jayce Wolf (Caldwell) 36-14, Fr. over Carter Balmforth (Shelley) 31-19, So. (Fall 5:48)

 

120

1 - Carson Exferd (Nampa, 10) #1

2 - Payton Hernandez (Columbia, 11) #2

3 - Clancy Mummert (Twin Falls, 12) #6

4 - Ryker Vail (Bonneville, 9) #7

5 - Jose Contreras (Minico, 11) #4

6 - Avian Martinez (Blackfoot, 12) NS

 

1st Place Match

Carson Exferd (Nampa) 28-1, So. over Payton Hernandez (Columbia) 32-11, Jr. (Dec 5-2)

3rd Place Match

Clancy Mummert (Twin Falls) 36-8, Sr. over Ryker Vail (Bonneville) 37-10, Fr. (MD 14-6)

5th Place Match

Jose Contreras (Minico) 34-10, Jr. over Avian Martinez (Blackfoot) 25-17, Sr. (Fall 1:58)

 

126

1 - Aidan Go (Caldwell, 12) #2

2 - Simon Graeber (Columbia, 12) #1

3 - Joseph Terry (Minico, 11) #3

4 - Peyton Munson (Nampa, 12) #4

5 - Brody Kemble (Middleton, 12) #7

6 - Brady Armstrong (Ridgevue, 12) NS

 

1st Place Match

Aidan Go (Caldwell) 47-6, Sr. over Simon Graeber (Columbia) 38-7, Sr. (Dec 8-6)

3rd Place Match

Joseph Terry (Minico) 44-9, Jr. over Peyton Munson (Nampa) 26-13, Sr. (Dec 7-4)

5th Place Match

Brody Kemble (Middleton) 31-12, Sr. over Brady Armstrong (Ridgevue) 25-22, Sr. (MD 11-0)

 

132

1 - Christopher Martino (Bishop Kelly, 12) #1 6X ALL-AMERICAN

2 - Nikko Gonzalez (Nampa, 11) #2

3 - Eli Abercrombie (Blackfoot, 12) #3

4 - Brody Ottley (Minico, 10) #4

5 - Dominic Alcantara (Caldwell, 10) NS

6 - Tavin Rigby (Preston, 10) #5

 

1st Place Match

Christopher Martino (Bishop Kelly) 42-3, Sr. over Nikko Gonzalez (Nampa) 29-8, Jr. (MD 17-6)

3rd Place Match

Eli Abercrombie (Blackfoot) 39-5, Sr. over Brody Ottley (Minico) 32-12, So. (Dec 5-2)

5th Place Match

Dominic Alcantara (Caldwell) 45-11, So. over Tavin Rigby (Preston) 43-11, So. (MD 12-1)

 

138

1 - Hunter Bidelman (Caldwell, 11) #1 ALL-AMERICAN

2 - Luke Moore (Blackfoot, 12) #2

3 - Dominic Gonzalez (Nampa, 12) #6

4 - Levi Wilson (Columbia, 12) NS

5 - Lucas Williams (Lakeland, 12) #4

6 - Kale Osterhout (Minico, 11) NS

 

1st Place Match

Hunter Bidelman (Caldwell) 26-1, Jr. over Luke Moore (Blackfoot) 29-7, Sr. (Fall 3:41)

3rd Place Match

Dominic Gonzalez (Nampa) 31-18, Sr. over Levi Wilson (Columbia) 31-15, Sr. (Dec 7-1)

5th Place Match

Lucas Williams (Lakeland) 34-12, Sr. over Kale Osterhout (Minico) 25-22, Jr. (MD 10-0)

 

145

1 - Andrew Choate (Columbia, 12) #7

2 - Jacob Blandford (Middleton, 10) #1

3 - Taye Trautner (Blackfoot, 12) #4

4 - Carlos Valdez (Bishop Kelly, 9) #5

5 - Tucker Banks (Bonneville, 12) #2

6 - Diego Deaton (Moscow, 11) #3

 

1st Place Match

Andrew Choate (Columbia) 29-12, Sr. over Jacob Blandford (Middleton) 44-7, So. (Dec 10-7)

3rd Place Match

Taye Trautner (Blackfoot) 33-9, Sr. over Carlos Valdez (Bishop Kelly) 40-9, Fr. (Dec 6-4)

5th Place Match

Tucker Banks (Bonneville) 29-8, Sr. over Diego Deaton (Moscow) 25-9, Jr. (Fall 0:32)

 

152

1 - Caigun Keller (Preston, 12) #2

2 - Austin Ramirez (Blackfoot, 11) #1

3 - Paxton Twiss (Minico, 10) #4

4 - Ryland Turner (Jerome, 12) #6

5 - Jaxyn Smith (Burley, 12) NS

6 - Darrian Resso (Sandpoint, 11) #3

 

1st Place Match

Caigun Keller (Preston) 52-4, Sr. over Austin Ramirez (Blackfoot) 30-5, Jr. (Fall 2:32)

3rd Place Match

Paxton Twiss (Minico) 31-9, So. over Ryland Turner (Jerome) 36-9, Sr. (Dec 1-0)

5th Place Match

Jaxyn Smith (Burley) 20-9, Sr. over Darrian Resso (Sandpoint) 23-7, Jr. (Fall 4:04)

 

160

1 - Nakoa Fouret (Columbia, 11) #2

2 - Milton Hernandez (Minico, 12) #1

3 - Jonathan Seamons (Nampa, 10) #3

4 - Gavin Williamson (Jerome, 10) #4

5 - Hayden Kinney (Caldwell, 12) #7

6 - Caleb Somers (Canyon Ridge, 10) NS

 

1st Place Match

Nakoa Fouret (Columbia) 32-7, Jr. over Milton Hernandez (Minico) 36-5, Sr. (Dec 1-0)

3rd Place Match

Jonathan Seamons (Nampa) 39-13, So. over Gavin Williamson (Jerome) 32-13, So. (Dec 1-0)

5th Place Match

Hayden Kinney (Caldwell) 27-28, Sr. over Caleb Somers (Canyon Ridge) 31-13, So. (Fall 1:31)

 

170

1 - Tradyn Henderson (Blackfoot, 11) #5

2 - Micah Serr (Preston, 10) #2

3 - Spencer Pease (Minico, 10) #3

4 - Preston Sonner-Cranney (Minico, 9) NS

5 - Devon Suko (Lakeland, 12) #1

6 - Levi Lockett (Jerome, 11) #6

 

1st Place Match

Tradyn Henderson (Blackfoot) 39-8, Jr. over Micah Serr (Preston) 51-8, So. (Fall 0:40)

3rd Place Match

Spencer Pease (Minico) 39-7, So. over Preston Sonner-Cranney (Minico) 30-20, Fr. (Dec 8-3)

5th Place Match

Devon Suko (Lakeland) 34-11, Sr. over Levi Lockett (Jerome) 28-10, Jr. (Fall 2:03)

 

182

1 - Luke Arthur (Minico, 12) #2

2 - Emery Thorson  (Preston, 11) #1

3 - Matthew Young (Jerome, 12) #3

4 - Michael Edwards (Blackfoot, 12) #4

5 - Ethan Kincheloe (Nampa, 11) #8

6 - McKade Lanningham (Columbia, 12) #6

 

1st Place Match

Luke Arthur (Minico) 47-6, Sr. over Emery Thorson (Preston) 55-5, Jr. (Fall 0:00)

3rd Place Match

Matthew Young (Jerome) 35-6, Sr. over Micheal Edwards (Blackfoot) 32-14, Sr. (Dec 11-5)

5th Place Match

Ethan Kincheloe (Nampa) 33-19, Jr. over McKade Lanningham (Columbia) 31-15, Sr. (Dec 9-6)

 

195

1 - Garrett Vail (Minico, 12) #2

2 - Preston Colvin (Skyline, 11) #4

3 - Skeet Newton (Twin Falls, 12) #3

4 - Robby Ortega (Jerome, 12) #6

5 - Parker Bodily (Preston, 11) #5

6 - Isaiah Murphy (Moscow, 12) #1

 

1st Place Match

Garrett Vail (Minico) 49-10, So. over Preston Colvin (Skyline) 39-9, Jr. (Fall 3:47)

3rd Place Match

Skeet Newton (Twin Falls) 42-4, Sr. over Robby Ortega (Jerome) 35-11, Sr. (Dec 4-1)

5th Place Match

Parker Bodily (Preston) 49-14, Jr. over Isaiah Murphy (Moscow) 19-6, Sr. (Dec 4-3)

 

220

1 - Payton Gunter (Nampa, 11) #1

2 - Zahne Ruiz (Twin Falls, 11) #3

3 - Cash Weeks (Middleton, 10) #4

4 - Colby Coates (Jerome, 11) #2

5 - Javier Rangel (Minico, 12) #6

6 - Freddy Martinez (Minico, 11) #8

 

1st Place Match

Payton Gunter (Nampa) 42-3, Jr. over Zahne Ruiz (Twin Falls) 35-13, Jr. (MD 9-1)

3rd Place Match

Cash Weeks (Middleton) 33-11, So. over Colby Coates (Jerome) 34-12, Jr. (Dec 5-3)

5th Place Match

Javier Rangel (Minico) 32-21, Sr. over Freddy Martinez (Minico) 14-7, Jr. (Dec 6-5)

 

285

1 - Nico Rodriguez (Columbia, 12) #1 ALL-AMERICAN

2 - Jackson Geslin (Century, 11) #3

3 - Miguel Perez (Caldwell, 11) #2

4 - Kaiden Hansen (Bonneville, 12) #4

5 - Zane Lovell (Nampa, 12) #5

6 - Preston Jeffs (Lakeland, 11) #8

 

1st Place Match

Nico Rodriguez (Columbia) 41-2, Sr. over Jackson Geslin (Century) 47-6, Jr. (Fall 3:36)

3rd Place Match

Miguel Perez (Caldwell) 52-4, Jr. over Kaiden Hansen (Bonneville) 45-15, Sr. (Dec 6-2)

5th Place Match

Zane Lovell (Nampa) 28-9, Sr. over Preston Jeffs (Lakeland) 26-17, Jr. (Fall 0:18)





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