There is no more arduous road to a state tournament than in Eastern Washington’s Region IV.
As strong as the Greater Spokane League was this year, with 22 regional veterans, the Big Nine nearly matches that.
When regional wrestlers gather at Central Valley Friday and Saturday, 41 of last year’s participants will be back on the mat.
Left home for various reasons are 6 of 28 state veterans, 16 of whom placed.
The meat-grinder weight classes include 122 pounds, where 6 of 8 wrestlers have either state or regional experience, including two state champs and two placers.
And at 115 pounds, three state placers, a two-time state runner-up and two third placers, are among five with state experience.
East Valley is a Class AA powerhouse with 13 regional qualifiers. But getting out of Region IV meet in Selah will be difficult.
Ellensburg was unbeaten in dual meets, and of the 16 returning state placers, a dozen are from the traditionally powerful Mid-Valley, including seven who finished in the final four.
“Everything looks real positive,” said EV coach Craig Hanson. “The one weird thing is we didn’t see any other Mid-Valley teams but saw Ellensburg twice. A couple of their guys are fifth placers, which helps out. Now it’s a matter of doing the job.”
Lakeside has advanced 14 wrestlers to the Region IV A-B tournament, which is at Mead for the second straight year.
Northeast A-B wrestlers return 20 regional veterans, including 10 state wrestlers, eight who placed last year.
“Getting the numbers there is important,” said Lakeside coach Scott Jones.
It must be. District 6 qualifiers include 29 regional veterans. Of that group, 13 are state veterans, including 11 placers.
Four wrestlers in each of 14 weight classes advance to state during this weekend’s tournaments.
WV coach finds blood match
West Valley wrestling coach Bill Bauman received good news last week.
Two of his brothers are potential matches for his blood stem cell transplant therapy to treat acute mylogenous leukemia.
“Usually when siblings match, the other tests come out good,” said Bauman.
The matches are his fraternal twin, John, and older brother, Eugene.
“We were all joking beforehand that it would be John because he looks like me and Eugene because he’s obnoxious like myself,” said Bauman. “I also thought it might be my sister Annette, because she’s stubborn, too. It’s OK as long as there’s one.”
Bauman said details must be worked out on his transplant procedure, which will take place in Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Institute, perhaps within a month.
, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo
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