“Weighing In”: This is the sixth installment of the 2014-2015 high-school wrestling blog. A look at Juanita’s Mason McDaniel, marquee matchups, top targets, big performances and links to individual and team rankings.
With good health, McDaniel hopes to achieve higher state finish
Juanita High School junior Mason McDaniel hopes the path at the state wrestling tournament is paved with good fortune this season.
His eighth place finishes in 2013 and ’14 weren’t without health setbacks.
As a freshman, McDaniel suffered a concussion in his pursuit of a state title at 160. Last season at 152 pounds, the Rebels’ standout wrestler competed while he had mononucleosis, something he found out after the state meet had finished.
“I’ve always wanted to finish first at state, and that’s been my goal since my freshman year,” said McDaniel, who is off to a 19-3 start this season at both 160 and 170 pounds with wins over a pair of defending state champions. “It hasn’t worked out in the last couple years. It was disappointing to finish eighth last year, and it motivated me.
“I don’t want to feel that way again at the end of this year. It made me work harder.”
Juanita coach Brent Christine sees a wrestler this season who has improved with experience. McDaniel has 15 pins this season and is the school’s all-time leader with 62.
“This season is going very well, and he’s wrestling some of the best matches I’ve ever seen him wrestle,” said Christine, who has been coaching McDaniel since age 12. “For six minutes at a time, he’s putting it together. That’s fantastic to see.
“I’ve had the pleasure of watching him develop as a first-year wrestler [in sixth grade] to where he is now.”
McDaniel, who took second in the 160-pound class at the Tri-State wrestling tournament earlier this season, isn’t sure if he’ll land at 160 or 170 pounds in the postseason.
On Saturday, McDaniel was second at 160 in the Gut Check Challenge in Olympia where he beat a defending Oregon state champion in the semifinals.
“You have to manage the four-month season [health-wise] and that’s just as important to him as to what he does on the mat,” Christine said. “Mason has a lot of tools in his toolbox that he hasn’t shown over the past years.
“His strength is in Greco Roman wrestling. He’s most comfortable with Greco. So, he’s a thrower. But this year he’s got confidence in other things.”
In his three-year career at Juanita, McDaniel owns six wins over previous state champions.
If McDaniel points toward a postseason at 160 he might have to face two-time Izaec Quintanila of North Central in Spokane. Quintanilla won 152 in 2013 and 160 in 2014 and beat McDaniel 8-2 in the finals of Tri-State in 2014.
“I think it would be a good match if we wrestled again,” McDaniel said of Quintanilla, who is ranked No. 1 in 3A at 160. “I would have to wrestle really, really tough to beat him, but I think I can. I’m not scared to wrestle him.”
Marquee matches upcoming
… Decatur, ranked No. 5 in Class 4A by www.washingtonwrestlingreport.net, travels perennial power Tahoma in a key SPSL match on Wednesday. Decatur, second in Class 3A in both 2013 and 2014, leads the SPSL Northwest with a 3-0 record. Tahoma, fifth in Class 4A in 2014, tops the SPSL Northeast at 3-0.
… Enumclaw (3-1) hosts Sumner (4-0) in a clash for the lead in the SPSL 3A standings on Wednesday on the Hornets’ home mats.
… Everett is 8-1 in all dual meets and 1-0 in the WesCo 3A North Division standings.
… Highline and Renton are tied at 4-0 atop the Seamount League standings.
… Sumner moved to 4-0 and into sole possession of the lead in the SPSL 3A standings with a 34-29 win over Bonney Lake on Wednesday.
… Tahoma took second place in the team standings with 191 points in Saturday’s 2015 Dick Pruitt Memorial tournament at Kent-Meridian High School. Sunnyside claimed the team title with 217.5 points.
Beamer was third with 161.5 points and Lake Stevens, ranked No. 3 in Class 4A by www.washingtonwrestlingreport.net took fifth with 120.
… Snohomish took second in its own Panther Classic on Saturday, scoring 181 points to team winner Meridian, Idaho’s 205.05 total. Kentwood took third with 175 points.
Alex Fairhurst was the Panthers’ lone individual champion at 220. Kentwood had three champions with Andy Sandhu (113), Walker Meyers (132) and Haroldo Parada Soto (160).
… Marysville Getchell topped the team standings with 151 points on Saturday in the Island Invitational at Bainbridge High School. Klahowya was second with 140 points. Mercer Island was fifth with 109.5 points and Islanders Taylan Yuasa (120), Scott Lee (138) and Evan Condon (195) won individual crowns.
Getchell’s lone champion was Rage Quick (132).
… Bonney Lake took third in the Bearcat Invitational on Saturday at W.F. West. The Panthers posted 170 points behind W.F. West (202.5) and Tillamook, Ore. (197.5).
2014-15 preseason team & individual rankings
All Classifications page
High school page
Here are three valuable wrestling resources on the web:
Track wrestling link
Searchable database for results
Team and individual rankings, results
WIAA wrestling page
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.