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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Mat Classic 35: University’s Libby Roberts moves one step closer to perfection with third state title

By Madison McCord For The Spokesman-Review

TACOMA – Three down, one to go.

That’s all University standout Libby Roberts has left to reach her goal of becoming a four-time Mat Classic champion after she again ran through the 105-pound bracket Saturday at the Tacoma Dome.

“Seeing all that hard work in the room and then taking it out here and having it pay off just means so much,” Roberts said. “It’s awesome to pin my way through a state tournament, and now I’m tied with my brother with three titles and I’ve got a chance to pass him.”

Roberts capped another perfect run through her girls 4A/3A bracket with a 50-second pin of Sumner’s Bailee Wagner in the title match.

Roberts, a junior, finished this year’s tournament with four pins in four matches, bringing her Mat Classic career total to 11 pins and one major decision in 12 victories.

“It would mean a lot to me if I was able to capture that fourth title,” Roberts said. “I watched girl wrestlers growing up and I wanted to be like them. And if I was able to add the title of four-timer next to my name it might inspire younger girls to follow in my footsteps.”

Roberts is just one title away entering rarefied air as a four-time champion.

That goal has always been a priority for her, even as she spends more time wrestling in larger regional and national tournaments. This year alone she won at Briaded 64 in Kelso, Washington, the Hellgate Invitational in Montana and the prestigious Walsh Ironman in Ohio. She also had a fourth-place finish this summer at the USMC Women‘s National Championship at the Podium.

“Mat Classic will always hold a special place in my heart,” she said. “Looking at all the national stuff, when I’m here this is the most important tournament. And now I can move onto the next one.

“But state will always mean a lot to me.”

In the year between now and her shot at history, Roberts said the focus and skill only need to keep getting better.

“Just keep grinding like I have been,” Roberts said. “There is always room to get better.”

• In the 2A/1A/2B/1B girls tournament, Newport senior Madisen Pillers fell in the 235-pound title match to Omak’s Kiona Michel with a second-period pin.

Bogle brings title home to Deer Park

Liam Bogle capped off a strong weekend for Deer Park with a title at 165 pounds in the 1A tournament.

Bogle, a senior, topped Northeast A League rival Jonah Orndorff of Freeman 6-0 in the championship tilt.

“Wrestling has been my second home since I was a little kid,” Bogle said. “I’ve looked up at that wall and the champions everyday since I was a little kid saying I want to be up there.”

The Staggs also had a second-place finisher in Gavin Carnahan at 132. In total, Deer Park finished with five wrestlers on the podium and 82 team points – good enough for fifth place.

The Lakeside duo of Konnor Spradling (106) and Myles Christen (144) also made it to the championship round, but ended up earning second-place finishes.

Davenports’s Gustaveson avenges loss to win title

Last year, Davenport’s Brock Gustaveson was knocked out of his second Mat Classic on the second day by Pomeroy’s Curtis Winona.

Fast forward a year and this time Gustaveson was the one who came out on top – with much higher stakes.

Gustaveson, a sophomore for the Gorillas, earned his first state title with a second-period pin of his regional rival.

“I spent all summer grinding and getting better, and it’s just so fulfilling to see all that hard work pay off,” Gustaveson said. “I try not to think about who I am wrestling and just go out and do my thing.

“I wrestled him a few times this year already, but I stuck to what got me here.”

In winning, Gustaveson becomes Davenport’s first state wrestling champion. Two years ago, he also became the first eighth-grader in school history to qualify for state.

But he was not alone at the top of the small-school podium. Liberty Launch Academy freshman Caiden Kassel won at 113, Chewelah’s Jared Haden claimed the 157 prize and Lind-Ritzville’s Gabriel Smith won at 215 over league rival Noah Butler of Almira/Coulee-Hartline.