Andy Roberts became the first Greater Spokane League wrestler to win three state championships when he dominated Scott Jones of Davis 8-2 in the 129-pound final Saturday night at Mat Classic IX.
In the process, the University senior capped the Roberts run - for now.
Kevin Roberts won a state title in 1991, Dusty Roberts won in 1993 and ‘95 and Andy won as a freshman in ‘94 and again in ‘96 before making Spokane history in the Tacoma Dome.
“We’ve got to get a few more in the oven, I guess,” Andy Roberts joked. “I mean Kevin.”
Prior to the win by Roberts, GSL wrestlers had lost three heart-breakers.
Gonzaga Prep junior Chris Montgomery lost 2-0 to Ben Vombaur over Evergreen at 108 pounds; Jared Osborn, a U-Hi senior, lost 1-0 to Peter Zamora of Moses Lake; and Shane Cunanan fell 6-4 to Aaron Mann of Richland.
Then it went to 275 pounds before Joe Collier of Mead was pinned in the first round by last year’s runner-up, Jesse Workman of Lincoln.
Roberts, 37-1, had a much tougher match against Jones, 34-4, before winning the regional 3-1.
“I was definitely ready to go here,” Roberts said. “I watched some video this week and coach (Don) Owen went over some things to get my offense going.
“Go forward. I’m most effective when I move my feet. Hit and push.”
Roberts could afford to think about what might have been after he accomplished his goal.
“I was thinking before this match two (state titles) seem good, three would be better,” he said. “Someone asked about four and I said I have to win three.”
Roberts missed the postseason his sophomore year when he broke a thumb practicing with Dusty.
“There’s always going to be a missing link,” he admitted. “People are always saying, ‘Would he have done it, could he have done it?’ “
Montgomery, fifth a year ago, lost to Vombaur for the second time this season, allowing an escape early in the third period and losing a point for stalling in the last minute.
“He’s the biggest and strongest guy I wrestled all year,” Montgomery, 33-2, said. “Last time I wrestled him, he worked a lot of Russian ties. He did the same thing. I just started playing his game, tying up. I can be happy (with second), not satisfied.”
Vombaur, a junior, finished the year at 35-0. He was the state 101 champion last year with a 33-0 record.
Osborn beat Zamora 5-3 in overtime in the regional final but after Zamora got an escape to start the third period he couldn’t make the takedown.
“I was still thinking I could get in on him but he was pretty defensive,” Osborn, 35-3, said. “I was close a couple of times but he went out of bounds. I don’t know what happened other than that he was defensive and stopped all my shots.”
Osborn was fourth a year ago.
“Second place is still pretty good,” he said. “Most people don’t get a chance to be here or be in the top eight, so No. 2 is pretty good, even though my goal was to be No. 1. It happens, though.”
Cunanan beat Mann by two points for the regional title and could not be consoled after the loss, even though he placed for the third straight year.
“They could wrestle for a half-hour next week and there would still be two points between them,” CV assistant Rick Giampietri said. “Next week it could be Shane.”
At 105, Collier found himself in the midst of an emotional farewell for his coach, Cash Stone, who is retiring after 38 years. The shorter and heavier Workman kept him tied up until getting him down and in trouble midway through the first.
Three GSL wrestlers finished third, Mead sophomore Mark Denholm (101), Rogers freshman Ryan Anstrom (158) and North Central junior David Sandberg (190). , DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Color Photo