By Jordan Nailon
The Mat Classic State Wrestling tournament opened up with a few new twists this year but that hasn’t stopped area grapplers from keeping good position.
Unlike last season, when all seven classifications would wrestle at once, this year the tournament was given a staggered format. That means that there were area wrestlers from the 1A and 2B ranks going in the morning session, while the 2A and Girls classifications had to bide their time beneath the neon lights and concrete dust of the Tacoma Dome.
By the end of the day six area wrestlers remained in contention for a state championship.
In the 2B world, Lucas Ashley of Adna was able to keep his bid to repeat as a state champion alive with the early opening. Ashley enjoyed a bye in the first round of the 182-pound bracket and then pinned Sam Schneider of Davenport in his second match.
Brody Klein of Rainier stayed right side up in the 160-pound bracket with a first-round pin over Levi Turner (LICH) before besting Seth Baugher of Oroville in the quarterfinals.
In the 1A ranks Robert Marti of Tenino was able to qualify for the 220-pound semifinals. Marti opened up with an 11-2 win over Jarad Barth (GFAL) and then defeated Kevin Domingues of Royal 5-3.
In the 2A ranks Isaac Reavis of W.F. West was the only wrestler to remain on the path to the top of the podium after the first day of action. Reavis pinned Lance Menes (PANG) in the first round of his opening match and then topped Rocco Clark III of Topenish 3-2 in the quartefinals.
In the Girls bracket the only two wrestlers to make their way to Saturday also find themselves in the running for a state championship. Xylia Warner (140) of W.F. West pinned Elizabeth Bowen (LASD) in the first round of her first match and then flat backed Lindy Smith (WILS) in the third round of the quarterfinals. Jamiah Christin (115) of Tenino defeated Alanna Haney of Chiwanna 3-1 in her opening match and then bested Jenna Beddow (WRIV) 6-5 in the quarterfinals.
All of those wrestlers will need to win two matches on Saturday in order to bring home a state title. A loss in the semifinals would make the path to hardware a bit more intricate. The remaining 35 area wrestlers who took to the mat in Tacoma on Friday found out the hard way that a loss makes things much more complicated at The Dome.
Back in the busy world of 2B wrestling, there were all sorts of twists and turns.
After a first-round bye, Dusty Thayer of Winlock lost to Sammy Manina of Northwest Christian by tech fall. On Saturday Thayer will later face Caden Garcia of (WSWN) on the dark side of the bracket to see who will go on.
Damion Soto of Toledo defeated Tyler Palmer of (LROS) with a second-round pin but then fell to Bert Burnett in the 160-pound quarterfinals. Soto earned a 14-2 win in consolation to earn another day of wrestling.
Michael Echtle (220) of Toledo defeated Jonathan Jerome (NBCH) with a second round pin to start his day but later fell to Josiah Cwik (LBSG). Echtle stayed alive on the dark side of the bracket with a first-round pin over Hunter Olmstead (CONC). Hunter Smith of Toledo also wound up on the backside of the 220-pound bracket. After registering a first round pin over Skyler Schurger (MWAL) to open up his day, Smith then fell to Trevon Johnson (LROS). Smith was able to stay alive with a 4-1 win over Jesus Najara of Tonasket.
Kolby Mozingo (138) of Onalaska notched a first-round pin over Chad Doyen (RECU) to get going but was then pinned by Colin Silverthorn of Tonasket. Mozingo stayed alive with an 8-0 win over Jami Dimaano of Wahkiakum. Ashtin Draper of Onalaska lost a 12-7 decision in his opening 195-pound match but bounced back with a pin on the backside of the bracket.
Jayson Ducey of Rainier won his opening 106-pound match 14-6 over Bradlee Erickson of (MWAL) but was pinned by Colton Jackson of (LROS) in the quarterfinals. Ducey Bounced back by pinning Brandon Davis of Ritzville in 36 seconds. Levi Swann (113) of Rainier was pinned in his opening match against Iree Goodman of (COUL). In his first consolation match he pinned Braydon Rauscher of Kalama and now awaits a match with Malachi Taylor of Ilwaco.
Justin Filla of Toledo lost twice in the 132-pound bracket.
The Girls bracket did not wind up as complicated for area wrestlers. Elizabeth Patana (115) and Courtney Jones (120) of W.F. West, Jade Hudson (100) and Kupria Lapierre (135) of Centralia, Andrea Jones (140) of Toledo, Pearl Cave (145) of Napavine, and Keeton Dowell (155) of Adna were all pinned twice on Friday to put a halt to their seasons.
In 2A action eight more wrestlers were able to keep an avenue open to reach the podium.
In the 113-pound bracket Juan Gaspar of Centralia opened with a pin over Ali Zain (HILN) in his opening match but fell to Horacio Godinez in the quarterfinals. Gaspar remained alive for Saturday by defeating Luke Golphenee (WSGL) 5-0 in consolation action.
At 120 pounds Bo Davis of W.F. West defeated Eduardo Munoz (HILN) with a third round pin before dropping a 12-5 decision to Damian Monreal in the quarterfinals. Davis remained in contention for a podium spot with a pin over Colton Record of Hockinson.
Eddie Matias (126) of Centralia opened up the afternoon session with a second round pin over Carter Berrey (SDWL) but then dropped a 13-8 decision to Emerique Gonzalez in the quarterfinals. Matias was able to remain in the running with a pin over Domingo Pedro-Gaspar.
Riley Cohron (145) of Rochester faltered out of the chute with an 11-4 to Arturo Solorio of Othello in his first match, but then dropped Victor Blinkhov of Fife 7-5 in the consolation bracket. Cohron kept on keeping on with a 7-5 win over Jacob Kessinger (EVSK). Fellow Warrior Jayden Lancaster (152) downed Oswaldo Perez (QUIN) 15-2 in his first match of the day but was pinned by Gabriel Hawthorne (WRIV) in the quarterfinals. Lancaster then defeated Ethan Garza of Selah 7-1 to set up a date with Evan “Meaty” Moon of W.F. West on Saturday.
“Riley lost his first match, got banged up a little bit. But he’s a warrior,” said Rochester coach Jason Dick. “Jayden’s played this game before. They’re wrestling well, they’re wrestling tough. We battle, we fight like warriors. And not because it’s our school name. I’ll bet money on my boys every time. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions. High and lows. That’s why you do it.”
Evan Moon lost 13-0 against Jackson Showalter (CHEN) in his tournament opening match but then bested Hunter Sonnerberg 11-0 and before dropping Michael Murray of Bremerton 5-4 to stay alive into Saturday.
At 170 pounds Caleb Hylton of Centralia got off on the right foot with a 5-0 decision over Anthony Pina (TYEE) before dropping a 9-3 decision to Jared Rodarte (WRIV) in the quarterfinals. Hylton stayed in the running for a spot on the podium with a pin over Tate Cavanaugh of Burlington on the dark side of the bracket.
Daniel Matagi (220) of W.F. West is the final area representative who will strap on the headgear on Saturday. The freshman Bearcat won on an injury default over Tietan Nelson of Selah in his first match but fell to Sofian Hammou of North Kitsap in the quarterfinals. Matagi was then able to qualify for competition on Saturday by dropping John Judy of Tumwater 9-3.
There were also 2A wrestlers who weren’t so lucky.
W.F. West, who brought 11 boys on Friday, suffered the greatest losses.
Caleb Walters (126) of W.F. West defeated Gage Sabin (WRIV) 7-4 in his opening match but fell to Conor Groucher of Orting in the quarterfinals. Walters’ tournament ended with a pin at the hands of Gabriel Smith of Pullman. In the 132-pound bracket Zach Evans was pinned in his opening match but bounced back with a 9-1 win over Andrew Arends (FKPR) before dropping his final match 6-2 against Robert Gomez of North Kitsap. At 138 pounds Darren Gray fell 3-2 to Jaxon Rocha of Othello in his tournament opener but then defeated D’Angelo Ignacio (OLYP) with a second round pin. Gray had his season come to an end with a 2-0 loss to Hunter Despino (CHEN). Desmond Parriott (160) lost 5-4 to Aidan Franklin (SDWL) in his tournament-opening match but responded with a 7-0 win over Amir Quijada of Orting. The good times came to an end for Parriott soon thereafter when he was pinned by Blake Seubert (CHEN). In the 220-pound happenings Garret VonMoos was pinned in his first match of the day but was able to down Eliezer Mandujano (HILN) 1-0 before being pinned by Carter Thomas of Ortin to close out his season. Finally, Bearcat heavyweight Bryson Boyd began opening day with a pin in the first minute of his match against Matthew Haines (LINB), but then fell to Isaiah Perez of Othello in the quarterfinals. Boyd saw his season end on the wrong end of a pin in the consolation bracket.
Centralia saw two wrestlers eliminated on Friday. In 138-pound news Alex Hicks-Avron lost a 3-2 decision to Hunter Despino of (CHEN) in his opener and then saw his season end with a 3-0 loss to Jaxon Rocha of Othello. Sawyer Kassel (160) was pinned in his opening match and then fell by points in his only consolation match.
Rochester saw one third of its contingent go by the wayside on day one. Daelin Schlecht (132) pinned Jason Zuniga of Toppenish to start his day, but then fell 9-2 against Roman Schroyer of Sehome in the quarterfinals. Schlecht saw his tournament come to an end with a 6-4 loss against Gus menne of Burlington.
“It sucks Dailin lost in the blood round. Lost by one point, one mistake, in 1.3 seconds. He gave up a two-point reversal with 1.3 seconds left to tie it and lost in overtime,” noted Dick.
Wrestling will begin at 9:45 a.m. on Saturday. Those matches will include semifinals, consolations, and non-championship state placing bouts. Championship matches are set to begin at 5 p.m.