TACOMA — Two Grays Harbor small-school wrestlers will get a full night’s rest and a day to contemplate their chance as state finalists after the first day of competition at the Mat Classic XXVI at the Tacoma Dome on Friday.
The state wrestling extravaganza will have Ocosta’s Brian Hart and North Beach’s Daniel Fruh in tonight state title matches in the Class B tournament. Four other Grays Harbor wrestlers — in the 2A and 1A tournaments — are undefeated in the championship semifinals with a shot at a title-match berth on the line.
Overall, at most 14 wrestlers are guaranteed state placings in the dome, while seven other Class B wrestlers must win their first matches today to guarantee a state placing. One of those who needs a win to start the day is Raymond senior Hunter Borden, the 2013 state B 182-pound champion, who lost his semifinal match.
Today’s matches will begin at 10 a.m. and the championship finals will begin at 5 p.m.
For Fruh, this is his second consecutive state finals match. The North Beach junior lost in last year’s state title match in the 285-pound division by pin to Wilbur-Creston senior Damon Dixon.
On Friday, Fruh dispatched his two opponents in similar fashion — pins at 3:18. In the opening round of the eight-man bracket, Fruh pinned Waitsburg-Prescott’s Tristan Newman and advanced into the final with a semifinal pin over Mary Walker’s Mark Dituri.
Hart, a first-time state qualifier, dominated his opponents in the 160 division for his finals berth. In the opener, Hart major decisioned Nick James, of Davenport, 13-4. In the semifinals, Hart beat a familiar opponent — Raymond’s Grant Camenzind — with a major decision, 14-4.
In the Class 2A tournament, Aberdeen’s Jordon Logan, an all-academic state champion, broke through to the semifinals in the 285 division.
Logan, a two-time state qualifier who guaranteed his first state medal in his senior campaign, survived a 4-3 overtime win over Port Angeles’ Roberto Coronel in the opening round. In the quarterfinals, Logan knocked off West Valley-Yakima’s Jorge Mendoza, 5-2, to advance.
In the Class 1A tournament, East County rivals Elma and Montesano have semifinalists still alive for a state title — Monte’s Jacob Ellefson and Elma’s Tanner Sample and Austin Cristelli.
“We have four placers, so I’m happy,” Elma head coach Jason Dick said. “If we have four top-three placers, that would be great. It’ll come down to how well they wrestle. Tanner wrestled like he’s been wrestling all year — physical and controlling. He’s really wrestling well. Austin stepped up his game. I do like the (semifinal) matchups, but we’ll see how it goes.”
Sample found himself in a bit of a fight in the 126 quarterfinals when he outlasted Riverside-Chattaroy’s Tyler Jack, 4-1.
In the opening round, Sample dispatched Cascade Christian’s Andrew Jennings by pin at :37. Sample, who will finish his high school career as a three-time state placer, will face Chelan’s Julio Vega in the semifinals.
Cristelli put in a yeoman’s effort to get into the semifinals. In his 152 opener, Cristelli outlasted Goldendale’s Dean Enstad, 2-1. In the quarterfinals, Cristelli used his opening-match experience to finish Port Townsend’s Matt Cain, 8-2. The Eagle senior will finish his high school career with his second straight state placing and will face Omak’s Alex Aguilar in the semifinals.
At most, eight 1A wrestlers will walk out of the Tacoma Dome with a state medal today — Elma’s Tyson Dick (145) and Brek McGaughy (220) and Montesano’s Kylar Prante (160), Anthony Louthan (170) and Taylor Rupe (195). Due to incomplete brackets, the final results of the day were incomplete for Hoquiam’s Jesse Velez and Alex Valliere and Montesano’s Austin Cain at press time.
Tyson Dick had an adventurous time getting to today’s matches. In his opening match, Dick was leading Freeman’s Jesse Schmidlkofer whaen he fell into a bad position and was choked unconscious and pinned in the third round. Schmidlkofer had his arm underneth Dick’s mask via a hammerlock and inadvertenly choked Dick out — like a rear-naked choke in mixed martial arts.
“It was scary,” Coach Dick said. “He was asleep and went limp on his back. He had to be cleared by the doctors. He was OK and put the hammer down on his (two) matches.”
At most, seven wrestlers will need wins to start the day in the Class B tournament to get a top-four placing at state — Raymond’s Hunter Borden (182), Shiloh Borden (170) and Camenzind; Ocosta’s Sam Quinby (106) and Connor Maben (120) and South Bend’s Joseph Lewis (120). Due to incomplete brackets, the final results of the day were incomplete for South Bend’s Matthew Lewis.