By all accounts, Mat Classic X was a rarity.
Not only was it bigger, with the addition of a fourth tournament, it was better.
Adding six mats on the floor of the Tacoma Dome, actually improved the well-run wrestling extravaganza in some ways.
John Olson, who oversees wrestling for the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association, said fans seemed happy with the floor plan that allowed them to focus on the classification of their choice.
That’s important because, with 24 matches going on at once, sensory overload can make it close to impossible to focus on a single match.
The one minor complaint was the way the mats were set up for the championship. There was one mat in each corner, which again allowed fans to focus on their favorite classification. However, because wrestling fans embrace their sport, some were disappointed that it was harder to see and follow the championship match from other classifications.
The flip side is that the mats were closer to the stands than in finals past, and the wrestlers could feed off the crowd better.
Once again, wrestlers from the East in general and the Spokane area in particular, dominated in Tacoma.
The Greater Spokane League had two of the top four teams, led by state champion Central Valley. The Big Nine had three of the next five teams.
CV became just the fourth GSL team champion. Lewis and Clark won state in 1981 and Mead won in ‘83 and ‘93.
Moses Lake and East Valley gave the East a 1-2 finish in 3A, as did Toppenish and Lakeside in 2A. The top four in A/B were from east of the Cascades - Warden, Liberty Bell, Tonasket and Zillah.
To review, 19 of 31 GSL wrestlers placed at state with five becoming champions. Eight of 14 Frontier League entrants placed with three finishing second. There were 42 wrestlers from the Great Northern League and 29 placed with three champions. And from the A/B leagues, the Northeast A and three area B leagues, 12 of 33 placed with two state champs.
With four regions making up the state tournament, logic would dictate any percent above 25 is good. The east was exceptional.
Start with the champions: 101, Tommy Owen, University; 122, John Reese, Central Valley and Joben Nuesse, Riverside; 129, Shane Cunanan, CV; 148, Kelly Jones, Colfax; 168, Travis Pascoe, Gonzaga Prep and Matt Westenfelder, Lakeside; 178, Sean Wheeler, Lakeside and Darrell Doolittle, Wilbur-Creston; and 190, David Sandberg, North Central.
Second place: 101, John Sommer, East Valley; 115, Chris Montgomery, G-Prep; 122, Ryan Ellis, Ferris; 141, Brad Crockett, EV and Matt Parker, Medical Lake; 178, Tyson Thivierge, Clarkston; 215, Luke Winona, Almira/ Coulee-Hartline; and 275, Dan Eller, Reardan.
Third place: 129, Justin Walker, EV and Anthony Layton, Lakeside; 135, Conor Jordan, U-Hi; 148, Aaron Laughery, Lakeside; 158, Nick Bliss, G-Prep; and 168, Courtney Brown, CV and Rusty Ruchert, EV.
Fourth place: 115, John Slater, Colville; 122, Jesse Moroni, Medical Lake; 129, Tony Beggs, NC; 168, Blair Alderman, CV; 215, Kyle Taylor, Reardan; 275, Chad Charbonneau, Lakeside.
Fifth place: 101, Robert Paintner, Lakeside; 122, Kevin Woolf, EV and Tim Weisser, Lakeside; 135, Adam Christen, Lakeside and Ricky Pierce, Ritzville; 141, Ty Roberts, WV and Jason Christen, Lakeside; 158, Dan Mewhinney, Liberty; and 168, Nate Scott, Chewelah and Craig Winona, ACH.
Sixth place: 129, Tu Le, Riverside; 135, Sean Malone, G-Prep; 148, Josh Hafer, Colville; and 158, Mike Easton, CV; Justin Divis, Colville; and Jeff Wigen, Freeman.
Seventh place: 101, Kris Matthews, Lakeside; 122, Jesse McCarty, Mead; 129, Tom Cahill, Colville; 135, Jay Campbell, EV; 141, Ben Osborn, U-Hi, and K.C. Harman, Republic; 158, Dan Dormaier, ACH; 178, Kyle Gleason, G-Prep; 190, D.J. Hammond, Pullman; and 275, Blake Falor, Cheney.
Eighth place: 101, Jack Claros, Ferris and Wyatt Schlertenleib, Republic; 115, Chris Bennett, Newport; 135, Brandon Morris, Riverside; and 148, Zack Moffat, Ferris.
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