Titan Wrestlers, Gymnasts Protect Flawless Records
A pair of University High School athletic teams Thursday night completed unbeaten Greater Spokane League seasons.
The Titan wrestlers, who defeated rival Central Valley 34-21 for an 8-0 season, won their first GSL title.
U-Hi’s gymnasts won their fourth championship in five years and third in a row during a perfect 21-0 season.
Also unbeaten was all-around performer Kim Meyers whose 35.55 score was a season best.
And it was appropriate that the wrestling match’s deciding win came from senior Andrew Richardson.
Four years ago as an unheralded freshman 101-pounder, Richardson’s upset win decided U-Hi’s victory over the Bears.
A year later he was undergoing treatment for Hodgkin’s Disease. Richardson made an amazing recovery and was competing again as a junior.
Grown to 122 pounds, in his final league dual meet the senior rallied for a 5-2 win to assure U-Hi’s perfect season.
“It feels really good, particularly since I did it three years ago,” said Richardson, “It went down to the wire, didn’t it?”
The match was tied 21-21 with three contests remaining before Josh Knowles won by pin and Richardson clinched victory.
“Everybody helped decide this match, really,” said Richardson.
Richardson said that his junior year was his best, that this had been somewhat disappointing. The final match helped remedy that.
“Overall, it’s been a good career,” he said.
Alumni witness U-Hi-CV match
Prior to the match, 42 alumni of the Titan and Bear programs were introduced, including Steve Tucker who ran for a judgeship last fall.
Another five or 10 alums remained unrecognized in the stands.
Tucker’s late father Vern was the wrestling coach at Central Valley and an award is presented each year in his memory.
Steve Tucker graduated from CV in 1968 but his twin sons, Joel and Jeff were on the mat for the Titans, each wrestling up a weight. Jeff’s pin victory at 168 was instrumental in the Titan win.
Another interested bystander with mixed feelings was Central Valley assistant principal Rick Sicilia. He was the successful Titan coach until two years ago when he entered administration.
“I just root for individual wrestlers,” said Sicilia. “I’m glad University is reaching its expectations.”
Knights cling to crown
Final Frontier League wrestling standings were as close as was the regular season match between East and West Valley.
The Knights (4-1) were upset 32-30 by Colville and finished just ahead of the Eagles (3-1-1) whose tie on Tuesday with Cheney prevented them from a title share. The Eagles were without a couple of performers in that match.
Each team will have nearly half a dozen first or second seeds in next weekend’s district tournament.
Included are unbeatens Casey Stookey at 122 pounds and Troy Campbell at 148 for the Knights, 101-pounder Quinn Sharpe, 115-pounder Aaron Lehinger, 135-pounder Jeremy Thornton and 148-pounder Jarod Richardson for the Eagles.
The Knights have at least eight and the Eagles at least six regional prospects.