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Several area wrestlers win at PNW Classic

Cameron Babcock is too busy with other sports to devote the offseason to wrestling.

That didn’t prevent the Shadle Park athlete, in his first matches since dropping to 195 pounds, from winning the weight class during the Pacific Northwest Classic Saturday at University High School.

“I play football, baseball and rugby,” Babcock said, explaining his lack of summer wrestling time.

Rugby? He took it up because his dad, Tim, a former wrestler at Rogers, played it.

“A lot of the positions in rugby and football are the same as wrestling,” he said, talking about the hard shots, tackles (takedowns) and mental makeup it takes to grind things out on the mat.

Babcock dispatched Lane Armstrong 8-3, one of six finalists from Glacier of Kalispell.

Glacier ran away with the team championship with 194 points to the host Titans’ 144.5 and Deer Park’s 140.

Shadle Park, fifth with 125 points, had three individual champions, most among area schools.

Shadle’s Terrance McKinney remained unbeaten with a first-round pin of Glacier’s Alek Mitchell at 126 pounds.

“He pinned every kid in the first round,” said coach Shawn Howard, who estimates McKinney has won 18 or 19 matches. “He puts in a lot of time in the offseason. He is the first (to arrive at practice) and the last to leave. He wants to be a wrestler.”

Highlander Justin Miller, at 182, got an overtime takedown to nip Mt. Spokane’s Jamie Miesler 4-2.

Howard lauded the Highlanders’ effort that included two third places.

“That’s not bad,” he said. “It was a great tournament. They are great kids and if they work hard, we’ll be even better in time.”

Even though Glacier dominated team scoring, also with three team champions, local wrestlers had more than their share of success. They won half of the individual titles, had 15 finalists in the 14 weight classes and had four of the top six teams. Mt. Spokane scored 123.5 points to finish just behind the Highlanders.

Deer Park had four finalists and two champions, including Cole Harris, who nipped North Central’s Izeek Quintanilla 4-1 at 132 pounds.

“I’ve been wrestling him forever,” said Harris, who hopes to eventually drop to 126 pounds. “It’s probably been six times over the years.”

He said he has been upping his conditioning and noticed it this weekend.

A match later teammate Joe Grable topped U-Hi’s Ryan Gabel 8-2 in a match between state veterans.

• Cheney Invitational: Five Cheney wrestlers won their weight classes and the Blackhawks took first place.

Hunter Pederson (126 pounds), Elias Mason (152), D.J. Empert (170), Cameron Schlotter (195) and Zac Corean (220) all won their weight classes for Cheney.

Lakeland had three weight-class champions. The Hawks’ Tyson Hendricks (113), Brandon Yount (138) and David Nelson (145) won titles.

• Rollie Lane: Lewiston took second place at the tournament in Nampa, Idaho.

The Bengals’ Ryan Rigney defeated Eagle’s Matt Llanes 5-0 for the title at 220 pounds.

Post Falls, which took fifth place, and Coeur d’Alene, which took ninth, also had weight-class champions. The Trojans’ James Ost won the title at 145 pounds and the Vikings’ Garrett Demers won at 195 pounds.