The most difficult part of East Valley’s journey to the State 3A high school wrestling tournament, Knights coach Craig Hanson contends, is the first step.
EV is in Kennewick this weekend for the eastern sub-regional where Greater Spokane League teams have 63 entrants versus the Columbia Basin League’s 142.
Four wrestlers per weight advance to regional against Metro League opposition from Seattle.
“Our toughest week is the first week when we and the CBL battle each other,” Hanson said a couple of weeks ago. “From there, a soft district coming in is to our advantage.”
District is also a good seasoning experience in general for athletes in the EV program. With 25 subdistrict entrants in the 14 weight classes, the Knights have 40 percent of the GSL’s total.
Among them are returning state placers Clete Hanson and Dakota Lawson and sub-regional top-six finishers Keith Babington, 103, Matt Mehlbrech, 119, Sean Biltoft, 125, Jake Rodriguez, 135, Nic Price, 145, Nic Bellomy, 160, Jordan Berezay, 215 and Alaric Parks, 285.
•Central Valley qualified nine top-two seeds among 24 competitors and University has six among 28 in the District 4A meet that concludes today at Mead. Semifinals begin at 10 a.m. with placing matches and championships to follow.
The Bears could have two finalists at 189 pounds where Jake Neumann and Logan Bowman are ranked one-two respectively. Tanner Teeples, 112; Tyler Simmet, 130; Jordan Choate, 145; Josh Renfro, 152; Tyler Cochran, 215 and Cody Davis, 275; were all top seeds. Also seeded second was Andy Wickstrom, 171.
The Titans’ Anthony Rivera, 119, nationally ranked Brian Owen, 125; Ryan Zumwalt, 140 and Danny Jordan, 160 were seeded No. 1 at their respective weights.
U-Hi’s second ranked wrestlers were Tyler Clark, 103 and R.J. Daschbach at 152.
•West Valley is hosting the 2A district and Freeman is in Chewelah for 1A.
Titans gymnastics champs
University ended Mead’s three-year hold on Greater Spokane League gymnastics last Friday, returning to the top after a nine-year hiatus.
The Titans beat Shadle Park 161.1 to 155.775 with North Central finishing third despite having the top two all-around performers.
Taylor Vold was third all-around for U-Hi at 33.125, and Denel Lang fifth at 32.2. Vold and Tatiana Garcia were second and third on vault and Lang second on beam.
University won six straight championships between 1993 and 1998 and seven of eight beginning in 1991.
The Titans host regionals on Friday.
District basketball looms
District basketball is rapidly approaching for three GSL Spokane Valley teams. Two others, including 4A University have business to attend to if they are to participate.
Central Valley’s boys and girls (both 9-8) will finish among the top five in their respective leagues and University’s girls (11-5) are fourth and will play in loser-out, winners to regional 4A games beginning Feb. 12.
District 8 4A boys and girls games are played at either U-Hi or CV.
University boys (5-11) are among three teams, including Lewis and Clark and Rogers, vying for the sixth spot. The Titans host East Valley tonight and finish against the Tigers, Pirates and Ferris.
Three 3A girls teams, East Valley (4-11), Mt. Spokane and North Central (4-12) will sort out which two make their district/regional playoff.
The Knights upset Gonzaga Prep last week 47-37 with Morgan Manchester and Kelsi Jacobson dividing 26 points. It thrust them into contention with a game at U-Hi tonight and upcoming games, beginning Tuesday, over the next two weeks against Shadle Park, the Wildcats and Indians respectively.
•West Valley’s showdown this week against three other top-four Great Northern League contenders was put on hold by snow postponement. The second place Eagles boys (10-4, 6-2) and girls (12-2, 7-1) host first place Pullman teams on Tuesday, then have makeup games at Clarkston on Wednesday and Cheney Feb. 13.
•Northeast A League district play is upcoming for the first place Freeman girls (18-1, 8-1) and Third place boys (11-8, 5-4). The Scotties boys will be involved in a loser-out game at Mead on Friday. The girls have a bye until Feb. 13.
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