In this edition of “Weighing In,” we’ll look at Mercer Island’s regular-season success and the tough task looming at regionals. Also, we’ll take a look at Marquee matches upcoming, Top targets, Big performances and links to state rankings individually and team.
Islanders make it clean sweep with dual-meet and tournament titles
The Mercer Island High School wrestling team appears to just be getting warmed up for a postseason push – at least, individually.
The Islanders, led by three individual champions from six finalists, reeled in the KingCo 3A/Seamount League sub-regional team title on Saturday at Interlake High School for the second year in a row, on the heels of winning the KingCo 3A/2A regular-season dual-meet crown two weeks ago.
Mercer Island scored 212 points. Hazen was second and Mount Si took third.
Taking home titles for the Islanders were Luke Wilson (126), Jake Pruchno (132) and Evan Condon (195). Earning second-place trophies were Taylan Yuasa (113), Scott Lee (138) and Trevor Gullstad (132).
The Islanders went 7-0 in league duals to capture that regular-season crown for the fifth time in a row and sixth time in seven seasons.
“We have five or six guys with over 20 wins this season, so that to me is a hallmark of a really strong season,” Mercer Island ninth-year coach Creighton Laughary said. “Nobody’s undefeated, so they all got challenged this year.”
A group of 10 Islanders’ boys qualifiers convene at Skyline High School on Saturday at 10 a.m. for the Class 3A Region III tournament and a whole new challenge. KingCo 3A and Seamount League 3A teams now will be joined by 3A Greater St. Helen’s League teams.
Now, the test as a group gets much tougher for the Islanders, who hope to advance at least six wrestlers to Mat Classic XXVI at Tacoma Dome on Feb. 21-22. MI hasn’t won a regional crown as a team since 2011, but with tougher competition looming that looks like a tough task.
“I’d like think we have six or more wrestlers who can get through,” Laughary said. “Crazy things happen at these tournaments. We just want to make the most out of our opportunity.”
Mountain View of Vancouver, ranked No. 7 in Class 3A by www.washingtonwrestlingreport.net, No. 10 Prairie, No. 12 Hudson’s Bay and No. 16 Kelso jump into the mix.
“We know that we’re going to meet up with some really strong wrestlers,” Laughary said. “We have a lot of respect for the wrestling they do in the GSHL. They have some very tough teams. Our guys are going to work hard and hope the breaks go their way.
“It was tough for us to get that many guys through from our league.”
Junior Christian Villani of Bellevue won the 145-pound division at KingCo 3A/Seamount sub-regionals to push his record to 21-0 this season. Villani, who won the 132-pound title in Class 3A state last season, missed part of this season with an injury.
Villani dominated Mount Si’s Riley Absher 16-0 for technical fall in the 145 final on Saturday. Villani won last year’s state title at 132 with a 14-0 major decision over Kelso’s Tyler Wicken to become the Wolverines’ first state champion in 36 years.
Villani went 33-3 last season.
Mercer Island’s league success could pave the way to more postseason accolades.
The Islanders essentially plowed through KingCo 3A/2A competition, posting win over Sammamish 57-24 on Dec. 12, Interlake 54-21 on Dec. 19, Lake Washington 54-27 on Jan. 8, Juanita 36-30 on Jan. 9, Liberty 48-24 on Jan. 16, Mount Si 37-30 on Jan. 23 and Bellevue 51-27 on Jan. 30.
Entering postseason, the Islanders had four wrestlers – all juniors — in the Class 3A state rankings put out by www.washingtonwrestlingreport.net.
“Even though it’s an individual sport, we’re committed to team success,” Laughary said. “Our formula has really been depth, and we’ve prevailed on that. Some teams have stronger tournament teams, but dual matches we have guys step up and win one for the team.
“It’s kind of two different sports, and two different animals.”
Condon (23-2), a junior, was No. 8 at 195 pounds and the highest MI wrestler in the rankings. Wilson (28-5), a junior, came in at No. 9 in the 126-pound class, Yuasa (23-5), a junior, checked in 10th at 113 and Gullstad, a junior, jumped into the No. 11 spot recently at 138.
“Our best shot [for a regional title] is probably at 195 with Evan Condon,” Laughary said. “Almost all of his wins are pins and he’s just a great athlete. He recently committed to West Point [Army] for lacrosse.
“He’s only lost to Class 4A wrestlers. He has a good opportunity.”
Wilson is a two-time state placer, taking seventh place at 120 in 3A last season.
“He’s a more technical wrestler,” Laughary said.
Yuasa finished eighth at 106 in 3A last season.
“He had a bit of a setback by finishing second at sub-regionals,” Laughary said. “I hope that will make him hungry for regionals.”
Pruchno is 27-9.
Big Performances …
Falcons soar at KingCo 4A sub-regional meet
Woodinville won the KingCo 4A sub-regional tournament, powered by three individual champions, on Saturday at Bothell High School.
The Falcons, who were second in the regular-season dual-meet standings in KingCo 4A, scored 175.5 points to fend off the challenge of Inglemoor and 164 points and Skyline 161.5.
Woodinville went 32-13 in sub-regional matches with 19 wins by fall, including four from 182-pound champion Ryan Christensen, who was named Outstanding Wrestler of the Meet.
The University of Wisconsin-bound Christensen, the defending state champion at 182 in Class 4A state, improved to 29-0 this season and 112-2 for his career with 74 wins by pin. He finished off his title run with a pin in 1:05 over Inglemoor’s Eddie Sjoquist in the 182 final.
Also winning titles for the Falcons were seniors Zachary Gracia (126) and Everett Bingisser (152).
Gracia beat Redmond junior Chase Simmons 6-1 in the 126 title bout. Bingisser topped Bothell senior Rene Arriola 14-2 for a major decision on the 152 final.
Eagles take flight atop Class 2A Seamount League sub-regional meet
Powered by six individual champions, Lindbergh drove to a title on Saturday in the Class 2A Seamount League sub-regional tournament.
The Eagles tallied 177 points to outdistance Renton (150).
Taking home first-place trophies for Linbergh were Colton Maddy (126), Westerling Nugent (138), Diego Gellegos (170), Joey Hernandez (182), Trevonn Russell (195) and James Garcia (285).
Russell and Garcia won their respective finals by pin and Hernandez took his by technical fall. Nugent won his crown by major decision.
Here are the finals for the Class 2A Seamount League sub-regional:
106—Kendrick Untalan, Renton, dec., Tony Pham, Renton, 6-0
113—Luis Cuellar, Foster, dec., Chad Omonaka, Lindbergh, 4-2
120—Cale Woyvodich, Foster, dec., Jayden Schwope, Lindbergh, 3-1
126—Colton Maddy, Lindbergh, maj. dec., Tony Vo, Renton, 13-1
132—Abraham Cuevas, Renton, maj. dec., Deven Maddy, Lindbergh, 13-4
138—Westerling Nugent, Lindbergh, maj. dec., Anthony Hunter, Renton, 15-3
145—Michael Stewart, Renton, pinned Danny Chaires, Renton, 3:16
152—Khali Crowl, Rneton, dec., Volodomir Kalinin, Renton, 2-1
160—Samuel Nicolas, Renton, dec., Brayan Contreras, Renton, 8-5
170—Diego Gellegos, Lindbergh, dec., Lam Phung, Evergreen, 6-2
182—Joey Hernandez, Lindbergh, tech. fall, Leroy Rowe, Renton, 21-6
195—Trevonn Russell, Lindbergh, pinned Estefano Agustiano, 1:13
220—Edin Espinoza-Lopez, Evergreen, maj. dec., Daniel Huynh, Evergreen, 14-4
285—James Garcia, Lindbergh, pinned Jeremiah Kelemete, Evergreen, 3:22
Decatur dominates SPSL 3A sub-regional
Five individual champions and strong depth added up to Decatur dominating at the South Puget Sound League (SPSL) 3A sub-regional tournament on Saturday at Auburn Mountainview High School.
The Gators, who narrowly finished second in Class 3A state last season, piled up 344.5 points for first place well ahead of Bonney Lake (238) and Enumclaw (231).
Leading the parade of champions was Trysten Dawson (120). Following up with titles were Isaiah Diggs (138), Brandon Zimmerman (160), AJ Sarno (170) and Max Henry (195).
Lake Stevens secures WesCo 4A sub-regional team title
Lake Stevens won the WesCo 4A sub-regional team title on Saturday at Snohomish High School. The Vikings edged Snohomish 379.5 to 356 over Snohomish and advanced 15 wrestlers to Saturday’s Regional tournament.
Here’s a link to Sandy Ringer’s story:
Bears dominate SPSL 4A North sub-regionals in runaway fashion
Tahoma piled up eight individual titles to run away with the team title at the South Puget Sound League (SPSL) 4A North Division sub-regional tournament for coach Chris Feist on Saturday at Kent-Meridian High School.
The Bears amassed 441 points to easily outdistance runner-up Kentridge and its 230 total. Kentwood was third with 227.
Tahoma’s title-winning wrestlers were Nick Whitehead (113), Justin Sipila (120), Cruz Velasquez (126), Todd Link (132), Justin Weiding (145), Tucker Mjelde (160), Adam Hokenson (182) and Cooper Thomas (195).
… Bethel won the team title at Saturday’s SPSL 4A South Division sub-regional tourney at Curtis High School.
The Braves, powered by four individual champions, tallied 268 points to finish just in front of second-place Rogers of Puyallup, which had 254.5.
Irish nail down 3A Metro League sub-regional team crown
Despite just two individual first-place finishers, O’Dea was able to secure the top spot on Saturday at the Class 3A Metro League sub-regional tournament at Eastside Catholic High School.
The Irish went 41-18 with 28 falls as they piled up 245 points to runner-up Bishop Blanchet’s 190.5.
Korry Broderick won the 113-pound class for O’Dea and teammate Logan Flones ascended to the top at 170. Broderick won his title by fall and Flones eked out a 7-6 decision over Joe Osborne in the championship bout.
Matthew Iwicki of Eastside Catholic won the 132-pound weight class and was named Outstanding Wrestler for weight classes 106 to 145. Iwicki won all three of his matches by fall.
Dylan Read of Bainbridge took top honors in the 152 division and was honored with Outstanding Wrestler for weights 152-285. Read downed Bishop Blanchet’s Jack Auter 13-7 in the 152-pound final.
Ferndale tops WesCo 3A North sub-regional; Glacier Peak wins WesCo 3A South sub-regional
Led by five individual champions, Ferndale proved too tough to overhaul in the WesCo 3A North Division sub-regional on Saturday at Marysville-Pilchuck High School.
The Golden Eagles put up 369.5 points, ahead of runner-up Everett’s 282.
Glacier Peak also sent out five titlists and the Grizzlies were a runaway winner in the team race of the WesCo 3A South Division tournament on Saturday at Marysville-Pilchuck High School.
The Grizzlies scored 342 points to Mountlake Terrace’s 217.5 total.
Samir Mahmoud (106), Ethan Barr (138), Logan Coleman (160), Griffin Thomas (170) and Mosese Fifita (285) were victorious for Glacier Peak.
Yelm easily takes top spot in Class 4A Narrows League sub-regional
On the strength of six individual titlists, Yelm took first place in the Class 4A Narrows League sub-regional on Saturday.
The Tornadoes scored 430.5 points to runner-up South Kitsap’s 336.
Junior Darren Harris, the Class 4A state runner-up at 113 pounds last season, won 120 with a pair of pins in his last two matches.
Girls: Rogers of Puyallup wins tight race for SPSL sub-regional title
Rogers of Puyallup didn’t have single individual titlist, but the Rams’ overall depth was just enough to capture first place in the South Puget Sound League (SPSL) sub-regional – Region 3 — tournament on Saturday.
The Rams finished with 115 points, just in front of Beamer (114) and Spanaway Lake (112). Emerald Ridge was fourth with 109 points.
Junior Arian Carpio, the state champion at 112 last season, won the 124-pound weight class with three falls.
Sophomore Jordyn Bartelson, the state champion at 118, captured 118 on Saturday with a fall and a 22-6 major decision over Federal Way’s Evelyn Lafferty in the 118-pound final.
… Lakes won the sub-regional 4 tournament on Saturday, thanks to three individual champions at Auburn Mountainview High School. The Lancers edged Franklin Pierce and White River 142-137.
Enumclaw’s KC Moulden, the defending 235-pound state champion, captured the 235-pound class on Saturday. Moulden is one of two state champions for the Hornets since girls wrestling started there in 2008, and she hopes to join Chantelle Bailey (2009, 2010) as a two-time champ.
Marquee matches upcoming
… The Class 4A Regional tournament — KingCo 4A/Greater St. Helens 4A teams – takes place Saturday at 10 a.m. at Inglemoor High School.
… The Class 4A Regional tournament – WesCo 4A/Narrows League 4A – is set for Saturday at 10 a.m. at Central Kitsap High School.
… The Class 4A Regional tournament – South Puget Sound League (SPSL) 4A North and South Divisions – is scheduled for Saturday at 10 a.m. at Emerald Ridge High School. This is Region III.
… The Class 4A Regional tournament – Big 9 Conference/Greater Spokane League (GSL)/Mid-Columbia Conference 4A – goes Saturday at 10 a.m. at Pasco High School.
… The Class 3A Regional tournament – Metro League/Northwest Conference/WesCo 3A North – is on Saturday at 10 a.m. at Nathan Hale High School.
… The Class 3A Regional tournament – SPSL 3A/Narrows League – is set for Saturday at 10 a.m. at Bonney Lake High School. This is Region II.
… The Class 3A Regional tournament – Greater St. Helen’s/KingCo 3A/Seamount League – will commence Saturday at 10 a.m. at Skyline High School.
… The Class 3A Regional tournament – WesCo 3A South/Mid-Columbia Conference/Greater Spokane League (GSL) – takes place on Saturday at 10 a.m. at Glacier Peak High School.
… Girls information will be updated as formulated and obtained from Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA).
Sites announced by WIAA for upcoming regional wrestling
Regional Wrestling Alignment 2012-14
(Alignments approved by WIAA Executive Board 12/3/2012)
Regionals take place Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014
(4.5) Wesco 11 + Narrows 7 = 18 (Central Kitsap)
(4) Kingco 11 + GSHL 6 = 17 (Inglemoor)
(4.5) SPSL North 9 + SPSL South 9 = 18 (Emerald Ridge)
(3) Big 9 5 + GSL 5 + MCC 4 = 14 (Pasco)
(4) Wesco North 5+ NWC 1 + Metro 11 = 17 (Nathan Hale)
(4) SPSL 6 + Narrows 7 = 13 (Bonney Lake)
(4) GSHL 6 + Kingco 6 = Seamount 3 = 15 (Skyline)
(4) MCC 5 + GSL 5 + Wesco South 6 = 16 (Glacier Peak)
(4) NWC 7 + Cascade 5 + Kingco 2 = 14 (Squalicum)
(4) Seamount 4 + Olympic 8 + GSHL 5 = 17 (Hockinson)
(4) Evergreen 7 + SPSL 8 = 15 (Steilacoom)
(4) CWAC 10 + Gr North 7 = 17 (West Valley, Spokane)
(4) NWC 5 + Evergreen 7 = 12 (Blaine)
(4) TriCo 8 + Nisqaully (Port Townsend) 5 = 13 (Castle Rock)
(4) SCAC East 8 + SCAC West 6 = 14 (Zillah)
(4) Northeast A 7 + Caribou Tr 7 = 14 (Freeman)
(3) W. Wash 10 – Site (Darrington)
(5) E. Wash 16 – Site (Kittitas)
All Classifications — Girls Regional
(4) Region 1 – (Bellingham)
(4) Region 2 – (Steilacoom)
(4) Region 3 – (Hoquiam)
(4) Region 4 – (Wahluke)
Regional and state link
… According to www.nwcaonline.com, here are the top teams in wins in the state in dual-meets competition:
University (Spokane) 13-0; Port Angeles 13-2; Woodinville 12-2; North Mason 12-8; Olympic 11-3; East Valley (Spokane) 10-1; Skyline 10-3; Lake Stevens 9-3; North Central (Spokane) 9-4.
… Woodinville senior Ryan Christensen is undefeated at 29-0 heading into regionals this weekend.
Sub-regionals results links – Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014
Preseason team & individual rankings
All Classifications page
Preseason All-Class individual rankings
High school page for Washington Wrestling Report
Here are three valuable wrestling resources on the web:
Searchable database for results
Team and individual rankings
When there’s top performance or noteworthy event in high-school wrestling, please feel to send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and to the attention of Matt Massey.