TACOMA – Dalton Young had mixed emotions Saturday.
Young captured a fourth State 1A wrestling championship at Mat Classsic XXIX. So that emotion wasn’t new to him.
Finishing his high school career having never lost – the first in Washington history to do so?
Well that provided unmitigated joy. Can you say 170-0?
That is the chief feat among a myriad of feats. And for those who claim Young has dodged tough opponents, consider in December the Lakeside wrestler became just the third four-time winner at the prestigious Tri-State tournament.
The Stanford-bound Young won all four of his matches in the Tacoma Dome by pin.
“I knew what I needed to do,” he said. “I knew I needed to wrestle at a higher level. Just being in the Dome, I always wrestle better here.”
He’s the second undefeated wrestler in Inland Northwest history. Jared Lawrence of Sandpoint did it, finishing 133-0 back when there was a match limit.
“The last four years it’s been just grinding trying to get through to this point,” Young said.
He had his goal on his bedroom ceiling because he wanted to see it every night when he went to bed.
The normally stoic Young showed much emotion. One could tell he was glad it was over and that he answered critics.
“Yes, there’s been a lot of pressure on me all season to stay perfect,” Young said. “I feel I lived up to that hype. I really silenced a lot of people that are critiquing my wrestling abilities and my technique and how I go out there and battle. I’m proud of that.”
Young displayed laser-like focus at state. He needed just 12 seconds to win his opening match Friday by pin.
The last wrestler in Washington to go undefeated was Ben VomBauer of Evergreen in 1998. He did it for three seasons.
Of Young’s wins, just 17 were decided by three points or fewer. He was taken to overtime twice. Once as a freshman and once last year in a 3-2 win over Alec Hoover of Mt. Spokane.
Among his most difficult matches, though, was this year in the Tri-State final. Larry Johnson of Lakeland took down Young with 40 seconds left for a 4-3 lead. Young said it was the first time he’s trailed in the third period.
Young rebounded, flipping out of a scramble and scored a reversal with 18 seconds left to win.
He had a long embrace with his father, one of the assistant coaches. Then he sprinted into the bleachers to hug his mother.
“It’s been a helluva ride for sure,” Young said. “(It’s) something he (his father) never got to do. To win four, we share those. It wasn’t something that was just me. I had a lot of people that I need to thank for helping me get here.”
Young’s coach, Bradley Perry, was in his corner for all 170 victories. He most likely won’t coach another wrestler like Young.
“I just feel blessed to have had the opportunity to coach him for four years,” Perry said. “It’s been a privilege and an honor. I don’t think if I could create the perfect kid, I don’t think I could make one any better than that guy right there. It’s been a long journey with pressure building along the way. He’s answered every call, which makes him one of a kind.”
The Baun brothers became the first two-time state champions for Colville. And in so doing helped the Indians to a state runner-up finish for a second straight year.
Colville posted 185.5 points and state champ Granger had 190. Deer Park (117.5) took fourth.
Trent Baun won first at 120 with a 7-3 decision. Then a few minutes later TJ Baun won 7-5 at 132.
“I want him win too because then it will be both Baun brothers on the same day,” Trent said before his brother wrestled. “I wrestled him before so I kind of knew what he did. He’s slick on his shots so I just had to block all of his shots and keep pushing the pace.”
Hunter Nees of Freeman topped Everett Pierce of Deer Park 1-0 at 113.
Nees got an escape in the second period.
Brent Hodgson (138) of Deer Park and Thailor Morrison (160) of Colville finished second.
2A: Randy McDonald (132) and Winston Scott (182) of East Valley took second and defending champ Drake Ferguson (160) of West Valley lost 1-0 in his final.
Toppenish captured the team title.
2B/1B: Justis Anderson and Ethan Landt of Reardan captured state titles.
Anderson won by major decision, 13-2, at 152 and Landt got a pin in 3:53 at 170.
Those wins helped Reardan take second with 141 points. Tonasket won the team title (184.5).
Ryan Issakides of Selkirk, Randy Dixon of Springdale, Caleb Cole of Reardan, Joe Peasley of Wilbur-Creston and Jake Harrington of Liberty each took second.
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