“Weighing In”: This is the ninth installment of the 2014-2015 high-school wrestling blog. A look at Arlington’s Jeremy Nygard and Beamer’s Mitchell Owens, marquee matchups, top targets, big performances and links to individual and team rankings.
Nygard’s growth could be key to improving state finish
A big growth spurt hasn’t gotten in the way of Arlington wrestler Jeremy Nygard’s success. He jumped from 106 pounds to 132 pounds this offseason and finished the regular season with a 24-2 record.
The junior shaved off a few more pounds to wrestle at 126 in the post season, starting with the WesCo Class 3A North Sub-Regional meet at Stanwood High School on Saturday.
He’s in the semifinals following the first round of wrestling on Friday, winning his quarterfinal match against Everett’s Anthony Dorado via pin. He had a bye in the first round.
Nygard, known for scoring most of his points on takedowns, finished third at the state meet last season in Class 3A at 106.
Like his father, Tom, he’s got a winning pedigree and is looking to improve on his success. (Tom, who wrestled at Stanwood, was also a state placer.)
“His dad had the same growth pattern as a kid, too, ” Arlington coach Rick Iversen said. “(Jeremy’s) growth was a combination of gaining strength and growing about three inches.”
Nygard’s losses this season were both to Decatur’s Leviticus Arizpe (ranked No. 4 at 132 in Class 4A).
He could face a familiar wrestler in Saturday’s finals if he gets past Hazen’s Thien Bui.
Arlington freshman Gavin Rork is also in the semifinals — he’s got a match against Everett’s Patrick West to get through.
Rork is ranked No. 2 at 126 and has just one loss this season.
“We’re sending them into districts without them even challenging [each other in practice],” Iversen said.
“I don’t want them to tear each other up in our own mat room. If they meet in the district final, which we suspect they will, that will be the first time they’ve wrestled.”
Arlington is in first place heading into Saturday at the WesCo 3A North meet with Everett in second. Trey Swanson (106), Danny Herrera (113), Will Rush (120), Christian Evanger (120), Clayton Hunter (132), Cooper McAuslan (145), Riley Oakes (152), Ruben Crew (160), AJ Crew (160), George Spady (170) and Colton Ferro (195) are also in the semifinals for Arlington.
Owens clearly back on track after pair of serious injuries
After suffering a serious knee injury last July and then a broken ankle on the same leg in football with the Titans this fall, Beamer junior wrestler Mitchell Owens has had a lot to overcome.
So far, the Titans’ 170-pounder has blazed a comeback trail with a vengeance, opening this season with a 16-0 record and 14 pins since returning to practice on Dec. 15. All but one of those pins came in the second round or earlier this season.
“I’d say I’m about 60 percent now,” said Owens, who missed his sophomore season recovering from a torn ACL after taking fifth at 160 in Class 4A as a freshman. “I thought right when [the broken ankle] happened that I was going to be out for another season, and I just got extremely emotional because I didn’t want to be out another season.
“Everything about my conditioning and my strength was at zero when I came back to the mat. I just had to stay positive and keep working out. I knew it would come back to me.”
Beamer coach Brett Lucas is impressed with Owens’ resolve.
“After the first injury, [Owens] was super bummed that he couldn’t wrestle,” said Lucas. “He went to rehab and he was very diligent. Then, his second injury, it didn’t break his spirit, but it put him in a tough place. He said all he could think of was not being able to wrestle again.
“But luckily he’s come through that and been able to rehab that latest injury. He came into the [wrestling] season late, but has been able to do well.”
Owens never lost his confidence despite so much time off.
“I know for sure I have what it takes to win the state title,” he said. “For the most part, I’m just going to be happy that I am able to wrestle after missing all of last year.”
Marquee matches upcoming
… Most subregional tournaments will take place Friday, Feb. 6 and Saturday, Feb. 7 and most regionals are set for Feb. 13-14.
.. The SPSL 3A subregional tournament is slated for Feb. 6-7 at Auburn High School. The SPSL 3A regional event will be Feb. 14 at Bonney Lake High School.
… The SPSL 4A subregional tourney is scheduled for Feb. 6 at 4 p.m., and Feb. 7 at 10 a.m., both days at Kent-Meridian High School.
… The WesCo 4A subregional will begin at 4 p.m. on Feb. 6 and conclude at 10 a.m. on Feb. 7 at Cavelero Mid High School in Lake Stevens. The WesCo 4A regional event is tabbed for Saturday, Feb. 14 at Snohomish High School, beginning at 10 a.m.
… The WesCo 3A North Division, along with Seamount teams Hazen and Kennedy Catholic, competes at subregionals on Feb. 6 at 5 p.m. and on Feb. 7 at 11 a.m. at Stanwood High School. Regionals for those teams takes place on Feb. 14 at 10 a.m. at Marysville-Pilchuck High School.
… The WesCo 3A South Division takes the mats for subregionals on Feb. 6 at 5 p.m. and at 10 a.m. on Feb. 7 at Edmonds-Woodway High School. Regionals take place on Feb. 14 at 10 a.m. at Marysville-Pilchuck High School.
… The WesCo 2A/Cascade Conference subregional commences on Feb. 7 at 9 a.m. at Granite Falls High School. Regionals for these teams is scheduled for Feb. 14 at 10 a.m. at Hudson’s Bay High School in Vancouver.
… Teams from the Seamount League will compete in the girls subregional tournament on Feb. 7 at Decatur High School and the 2A boys from Seamount and KingCo will convene on Feb. 7 at 9 a.m. at Highline High School. Another girls subregional round takes place on Feb. 11 at Decatur High School and then regionals is set for Feb. 14 at Yelm High School.
The Class 2A Seamount teams compete at regionals on Feb. 14 at River Ridge High School in Lacey.
… Teams from the Metro League convene at Eastside Catholic High School on Feb. 6 at 2 p.m. and Feb. 7 at 10 a.m. for subregionals. Then, regionals for Metro teams takes place on Feb. 14 at 10 a.m. at Chief Sealth High School.
… KingCo 4A boys teams compete at subregionals Feb. 6 at 3:30 p.m. and Feb. 7 at 10 a.m. at Issaquah High School. Regionals is scheduled for Feb. 14 at Inglemoor High School.
… KingCo and Metro League girls compete on Thursday, Feb. 5 at Chief Sealth High School and finish on Friday, Feb. 6 at Eastside Catholic High School. Regionals for girls will be Feb. 14 at Bellingham High School.
… KingCo 3A schools travel to Skyline High School for boys subregionals on Feb. 6 and Feb. 7 at 10 a.m. and at Kelso High School for regionals on Feb. 14 at 10 a.m. KingCo 2A teams will compete in regionals on Feb. 14 at Washington High School.
… The state tournament is set for Feb. 20-21 at the Tacoma Dome with action starting at 10 a.m. each day.
… Issaquah junior Kacie Moorehouse improved to 16-0 this season against girls competition, scoring all wins via pin. Moorehouse is 5-5 against boys competition and is 21-5 overall this season.
… Lake Stevens capped off a perfect 7-0 record in WesCo 4A with a 77-3 triumph over Mount Vernon last Thursday. The 10-time state champion Vikings posted their seventh consecutive league or division title in WesCo.
… Edmonds-Woodway polished off a perfect 6-0 record to claim the WesCo 3A South Division with 56-18 win over Lynnwood last Thursday. The Warriors edged Glacier Peak (5-1) for the top spot.
… Marysville-Pilchuck (5-0) earned the WesCo 3A North Division crown with Thursday’s 48-32 victory over Arlington. The Tomhawks finished ahead of Everett (4-1).
… Eastside Catholic’s Matthew Iwicki (145) and Meadowdale’s Tim Smith (220) were named Outstanding Wrestler of the 2015 Lynden Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 24. Glacier Peak won the team title of the 27th annual event.
… Curtis captured its own Beserker Invitational wrestling tournament on Saturday, Jan. 31 with 167 points, finishing ahead of Beamer (145.5). Puyallup was fourth with 117 points, Kentridge fifth with 110.5 points and Bellevue sixth with 104. Beamer got individual titles from Jordan Rhodes (126) and Sean Van Earwage (145).
… Bellevue senior Christian Villani took the 152-pound class at Beserker, scoring three pins before topping Adrian Avena of Beamer 10-4 in the 152 final. Villani, a two-time state champion with titles at 132 in 2013 and 145 in 2014, was one of the titlists for the Wolverines.
2014-15 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 email@example.com and to the attention of Matt Massey.