All three Grays Harbor 1A schools packed a big top-two punch in Saturday’s Region I 1A wrestling tournament at Hoquiam Square Garden, sending a good-sized contingent to Tacoma for next week’s Mat Classic.
Elma advanced seven wrestlers, plus two more as alternates, to the state tournament, while Hoquiam will bring five and Montesano four after Saturday’s one-day tournament.
The Eagles also led the Harbor with five regional champions out of six finalists, while the Grizzlies claimed one regional title in two finalists. Monte landed all four of its state qualifiers as regional finalists.
Blaine claimed the tournament team title with 217 1/2 points. Mount Baker was second with 171 points and Elma third at 161 points.
“Nine of the 10 wrestlers (who came today) are going to the Dome,” Elma head coach Jason Dick said. “I’m selfish. I want all of my kids to have the opportunity. It was a good day for Elma. I thought all of the kids battled hard. I’m just happy and proud of the Elma boys.”
Tournament officials ran a two-mat format for the finals, sending the lightest and the heaviest weights out first.
Elma senior Ryan Wilson kicked off the finals at 106 pounds and dominated Forks’ Sebastian Morales. With three takedowns and an escape scattered through the three rounds, Wilson earned the major decision, 7-0.
Another Elma senior, Matt Gamino, also dominated his match, this in the 113 final against Mount Baker’s Shelby Miles. Gamino streaked out to a 10-0 lead in the second period before rolling Miles for the pin at 3:29.
Junior Austin Carrell was the only Elma wrestler to fall in the finals. Carrell took on Blaine’s Caleb Johnson in the 195 final and Johnson kept Carrell under control for the win by pin at 3:30.
Senior Layne Sutten and junior Tanner Sample competed side-by-side, but Sutten had to work against Montesano’s Anthony Louthan in the 170 final.
Louthan took the early lead, 2-1, but suffered a Sutten takedown for a 3-2 Elma lead after one period. Louthan escaped early in the second period to tie, 3-3, then the grudge match began. Both wrestlers couldn’t find the proper combination before Sutten scored a reversal from the down position early in the third period.
Sutten didn’t get any near-fall points and held off Louthan for a 5-3 win.
While Sutten battled, Sample cruised in the 132 final against Blaine’s Caleb Frey. The Elma junior never allowed Frey to get into the match en route to a 7-0 major decision.
Junior Tyson Dick finished Elma’s run in the finals when he took on Forks’ Ricky Barragan in the 138 final. Dick led 3-0 at the start of the third period. Barragan scored a reversal from the down position at 3-2 with 1:15 left. The Spartan released Dick in hopes of a match-tying takedown, but Dick scored the takedown and a 2-point near-fall for an 8-2 victory.
Hoquiam’s Jonathan Molina wrapped up the tournament’s action with the final match in the 152 finals against Montesano’s Cristian Gutierrez. Late in the first period, Gutierrez scored a takedown, but Molina escaped at the buzzer for a 2-1 score.
Molina got his takedown early in the second period and gained enough momentum to get Gutierrez onto his back for the pin at 2:21.
“The five finalists from the district tournament moved on and I knew the other guys would have trouble with No. 1s to start,” HHS head coach Fidel Sanchez said. “We need to get a little bit better on our feet, but to survive a tournament like this is a good thing. This was a good day overall.”
Montesano had two other regional finalists in the tournament, but only one of them competed. Freshman Kylar Prante lost by injury default to Rochester’s Lucas Eastman in the 145 final.
Earlier in the finals, junior Ben O’Brien took on Mount Baker’s Tyrel Cronk in the 182 final. Cronk erased an early deficit in the second period by rolling O’Brien, who started the period from the down position, twice for five near-fall points and a 6-2 lead.
Cronk got a reversal in the third period, then rolled O’Brien for the pin at 5:30.
“First place is nice, but second place is the next best thing going into state,” Montesano head coach Jeff Klinger said. “It’ll give them a draw that is suitable to start and make something happen. All four of them are wrestling well. You want to peak at the right time and we feel like those four are doing that.”
Full summary of the regional tournament results will be posted online at www.thedailyworld.com.