Carter Comito knew he had his hands full entering the final match of the District 8 4A wrestling championships at Mead Saturday night.
Fortunately, he didn’t know how much weight was on his shoulders. It may have been even more than a heavyweight could bear.
But when the Mead senior put a Central Valley Bear in a bear hug and threw him to the mat to produce a pin, it brought the tournament to a successful conclusion for his Panthers.
The six team points gave Mead a 357-356 win over University.
“I didn’t know what the team score was,” Comito said. “That would have been way too much pressure. It feels pretty amazing.”
That capped a taut 4A race between the Panthers and Titans, who split 10 individual titles between them. Mead advanced 10 wrestlers and had five in the heart-breaking, fourth-place alternate spot. The Titans had 12 move on and three finish fourth.
The 3A meet, which included five Greater Spokane League teams and three from the Columbia Basin League, wasn’t nearly as intense. East Valley rolled up 3451/2 points to 278 for Sunnyside. The Knights had five individual champions and 12 wrestlers advance to regionals at Sunnyside next weekend. Overall, the GSL had nine of 14 championships and advanced 32 wrestlers to 24 for the CBL.
Comito and CV’s Colby Davis squared off three times this season. Davis won the first one with a one-point decision and the third with a pin. Comito had a pin in the second match.
“I was very confident,” Comito said. “The coaches told me what I did wrong. I knew what I had to do.”
The Panthers and Titans split a pair of early decisions.
At 119 pounds, Mead freshman Jeremy Golding defeated U-Hi junior Mitch Bell 7-1, and at 125 Titans senior Zack Lester beat Panthers junior Sam Edminster 7-3.
“It was really nerve-wracking,” said Golding, who led 2-0 entering the third period. “I was kind of worried. I never wrestled him before. The key was not getting angry. I just stayed cool and beat him. My goal is to get to state. I didn’t think I’d win district.”
Lester, who split two earlier matcheswith Edminster, had a reversal and near-fall in the third period to win.
“It’s my senior year. I want to have fun – that’s how you win,” Lester said. “The big thing was outguessing him. I think I was in better shape.”
A surprising result was U-Hi’s Tyler Clark taking a dominating 17-5 decision over CV’s Jarod Maynes in a battle of sophomores at 112.
“We’ve been wrestling since third grade and it’s close to 50-50,” Clark said. “He’s a real good opponent. My coaches told me to stay loose, don’t worry about winning or losing, just wrestling for myself and the people who care for me.”
There was a surprising finish at 130 when Ferris senior Andrew Michel got a takedown as time expired to beat CV junior Trevor Delmedico 6-5.
“I was pretty nervous. Time was short, I had to do something,” said Michel, who got an escape with 8 seconds left to set up the finish. “Don’t panic. Even if you’re losing, even if time is running out, you can pull something incredible off.”
CV senior Cody Stratton pulled out a 3-2 win over Ferris senior Ian Bauman but that wasn’t half as wild as Stratton’s 2-1 semifinal win over U-Hi’s Dustin Johnson in overtime.
Gabe Rodriguez started EV’s parade of champions.
While the others – Chris Tripplet (145), Jake Rodriguez (152), Nic Price (160) and Dakota Lawson (189) – came fairly handily, Gabe Rodriguez knew better than to be overconfident. His previous encounter with Shadle Park’s Brendan Tarr was just a 2-1 win.
“The key was staying in good position – last time he got me in trouble – and riding him tough,” Rodriguez said of the battle between juniors. “I was semi-confident. I didn’t know how good I would do, but I knew I was going to regional. I’ve never been before. It feels really good.”
The 3A shocker came at 125, not because North Central’s Mitchell Bocook won but because he was trailing Sunnyside’s Isidro Ramierez 10-5 late in the third round in a battle between freshmen before getting a pin with 18 seconds left.
“I was (angry),” said Bocook, who got Ramierez in a cradle after a reversal. “I knew I had to come back to pin.”
Junior heavyweight Steven Taylor gave NC a second title. Mt. Spokane also had two champions, Wyatt Maguire (119) and Ryan Phillipy (171).
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe to the sports newsletter
Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.