TACOMA – There won’t be any four-time state champions crowned at Mat Classic XXXII, but 10 wrestlers came in with a chance to become three-timers.
Chewelah junior Kaden Krouse made sure he kept his bid alive with an early second-round pin of Oroville’s Colby Guzman in a 2B/1B 170-pound quarterfinal. Krouse had drawn a first-round bye.
In the team standings, Lakeside (Nine Mile Falls) was in fifth place in 1A after the first day with 46 points, behind first-place Granger’s 76. In 2B/1B, Liberty was second with 64 points, but well behind leader Tonasket’s 104.5. In 2A, Cheney was in seventh, well behind first-place Toppenish.
“Kaden’s a real consistent wrestler,” Chewelah coach Kim Hogan said. “It’s hard to be surprised by anything he does.”
Krouse didn’t like getting a first-round bye, but he didn’t let it affect him.
“It kind of bothered me that I didn’t get a warm-up match because it does take me a while to get going,” Krouse said. “But it gave me a break and let me watch the competition a little.”
Krouse held a 2-0 lead after one period but learned a few things about Guzman’s approach. The two had previously wrestled in freestyle matches, but never in the high school setting.
“I realized how he was trying to stand up.” Krouse said. “So I went cross-body and spiraled, went back and got the cross-face to a cradle.”
Krouse liked the tournament’s new format, giving him time to relax and insure that he’ll make weight on Saturday.
Should Krouse win a third straight title, Hogan said the accomplishment would be unique.
“But when you put in the work, there are dividends that pay off sometimes,” Hogan said.
Colville’s defending 132-pound champion, Reuben Seeman, was knocked out 11-8 in the quarterfinals by Aidan Fleming of Sultan, thanks in large part to a right shoulder injury.
Seeman suffered a recurrence of an early season injury during last week’s 5-3 Region 4 finals loss to top-ranked Levi Miller of Deer Park. Heavily taped, Seeman won his first match by pin over Granger’s Ramiro Jiminez in 3:01, and grabbed a 7-1 third-period lead over Fleming.
But twice in the final minute the match was stopped to deal with Seeman’s injury. Although he finished the match, the sixth-ranked Fleming dominated and turned the score on its head.
Lakeside led local 1A teams by sending six wrestlers – Tomio Yamada (106), Ty Friedman (113), Paul Stinebaugh (126), Mason Christen (138), Hayden Blank (138) and Cole Tenny (160) – on to Saturday’s semifinals.
Liberty’s Owen Prince (120), Jesse Turner (170), Josiah Cwik (220) and top-ranked Charlie Harrington (285) reached the semifinals. Five other Lancers reached the second day in the consolation bracket.
Deer Park’s two top-ranked wrestlers, Nathan Gregory and Miller, made it through to the 1A semifinals.
Gregory, a sophomore, scored a shutout technical fall in just 3 minutes over Seton Catholic’s Paulo Vidales at 120, then came back to beat Jose Toscano of Granger 12-1. He’ll wrestle fourth-ranked Cole Ekerson of Montesano in the semis.
Miller, who came in the top seed after his regional win over defending champ Seeman, downed Brendan Cole of Warden with a 12-2 major decision, then earned a 16-0 technical fall over Payden Webster of Columbia (White Salmon) in just 2:26. He’ll meet eighth-ranked Ariel Morales of Forks in the semis.
Third-ranked Matthew Jorgenson of Deer Park also reached the semifinals at 152 by pinning Ian Linn-Glasgow of Port Townsend in the first round and scoring a 10-0 major decision over Royal’s Mark Martinez. Second-ranked Hayden Long of Granite Falls will be Jorgenson’s semifinal opponent.
Medical Lake’s Ethan Davis, top-ranked at 170 in 1A, got to the semis with a pin of Zillah’s Ricardo Gomez-Sanchez and a 4-2 win over fourth-ranked Hayden Baker of Forks. Royal junior Benji Bustos, ranked sixth, awaits Davis in the semifinals.
Sammy DesRoches of Riverside, top-ranked in 1A at 182, pinned both Tristan Turner of Stevenson and Brian Sims of Zillah to join his brother Jonny, who wrestles at 138, in the semis.
Third-ranked Dylan Straley of Cheney made the 2A semifinals at 145 and will meet Hayden Hall of Franklin Pierce. Teammate Justin Showalter, also ranked third in his weight class, reached at 152 and faces second-ranked Scott Lees of Washougal.
Third-ranked Gaje Caro of West Valley will compete in the 2A semis at 182, against fifth-ranked Elliott Carlsson of Steilacoom.
Liberty’s Maizy Feltwell advanced at 120 to become the only area girls wrestler to advance to the semis. Feltwell earned a first-round pin before defeating Bethel’s Olivia Hollenbeck 4-1 in the quarterfinals.
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