TACOMA – Amid the backdrop of Mat Classic reaching its 25th anniversary, the University Titans were setting the table for a State 3A championship on Friday.
University coach Don Owen stopped short of calling it a perfect opening day. He also sidestepped the question about the team championship.
The Titans moved six into this morning’s semifinals.
“We’ve got kids who are wrestling really solid right now,” Owen said. “Hopefully, we’ll get a few to the finals and put it on ice. I have a lot of confidence in the quality kids they are and the great shape they’re in. We haven’t stopped scoring points, I know that. It wasn’t a perfect day, it was a good day. We had a good time.”
U-Hi posted 69 points, 2.5 ahead of Decatur. Sunnyside is third (62.5).
In 4A, the title-quality athletes that Central Valley and Mead brought to Tacoma are right where they’re expected to be. CV moved four into the semifinals and Mead advanced three.
“We brought a Volkswagen over and they’re still pulling it,” CV coach John Owen said.
Heavy favorite Lake Stevens has 84 points, 20 ahead of Tahoma. CV is fourth (43) and Mead fifth (42).
4A: The Bears’ Bryson (113 pounds) and Blake Beard (126), Colton Orrino (132) and Tanner Davis (182) moved to the semis.
“They dominated,” Owen said, noting the younger Beard advanced with an 11-2 major decision, the older Beard on a 24-9 technical fall and Orrino and Davis by pin.
Mead pushed through the two sure things – senior Tyler McLean (160) and junior Chandler Rogers (170) – along with junior Matthew Petrini (113).
McLean won by major decision, 9-0; Petrini had just enough gas to top Jordan Rhodes of Todd Beamer 2-1; and Rogers needed just 27 seconds before flattening his opponent.
“It’s a big stage so for them to come out and win the first matches like they did, that usually opens things up and they wrestle like they can,” Mead coach Phil McLean said.
He was especially pleased with his son.
“He was under control and real patient,” the coach said. “Guys know his style so they’re going to be harder to wrestle.”
Rogers took on an opponent in the quarterfinals that likes to attempt throws. A bad recipe.
“You don’t do that against Chandler,” McLean said, smiling.
Rogers ran his winning streak to 85.
Petrini scored a first-period takedown and appeared poised to earn a point for an escape in what turned out to be a scoreless second period. His opponent was awarded a point when Petrini was called for stalling in the third.
3A: It wasn’t a surprise that the Titans got six through to the semifinals. After all, they had six regional champs.
Freshman Cam Sorenson continues to amaze. He posted two pins Friday.
“I’ve wrestled my whole life and gone to national tournaments,” Sorenson said of dealing with the state atmosphere. “I like the pressure. It makes me work harder.”
Sorenson saluted the Titans seniors.
“We’ve got a lot of seniors and they really motivate us to do better,” Sorenson said.
Joining Sorenson in the semis are Kwest Osborn (106), Ryan Gable (138), Austin Stannard (170), Tanner Orndorff (195) and Tate Orndorff (285).
Stannard is in his first state tournament.
“I knew at the beginning of the season this was a very achievable goal because of my great coaches and my great workout partners,” Stannard said.
Other Greater Spokane League semifinalists are: Kiegen Schauer, Mt. Spokane (120); defending state champ Terrence McKinney, Shadle Park (138); Dylan Schmidt, Shadle (145); John Hoover, Mt. Spokane (145); Izaec Quintanilla, North Central (152); Bryson Pierce, NC (160); and Tom Harvey Mt. Spokane (220).
They honored the individual champs from the first Mat Classic in 1989, when there were just three classifications. Rogers was the AAA runner-up, led by individual champ James Watkins (275). Cheney captured the 2A title while Ray King of East Valley (129) and Lance Hamilton of Mead (168) won titles. … U-Hi coach Don Owen was the 3A Coach of the Year. He promptly told his assistants the award wasn’t about “me, but about we.”