TACOMA — Upsets were the order of the day Friday in the opening rounds of the Mat Classic XXXIII wrestling tournament in the Tacoma Dome.
Highly-ranked Kalama wrestlers fell early, then lost late and didn’t advance to Saturday’s placings. Ditto for Ilwaco and Castle Rock. A day that started with hope and optimism ended with shaking heads and unfulfilled potential.
“I guess it comes down to we didn’t prepare ‘em right,” Kalama coach Jarred Staup said. “You come to this tournament and everyone (on our team) has really overachieved. I think some of the guys were a little overconfident out there. You can’t let that get to your head this time of year.”
Injuries sidelined defending state champions Sutton Moon and Chase Staup. Moon had a spot in the tournament but chose to nurse a shoulder injury with a possible football scholarship looming. Staup has been hurt for a while.
“Those are mature decisions,” Staup said. “They’ll catch some flak from people who say they should wrestle through it. But they would if they could. But I supported them both.”
The Chinooks had a pair of ranked grapplers go down in the first round — 113-pounder Braydon Rauscher and 170-pounder Elijah Haynes — and neither wrestled out of the consolation bracket and neither will wrestle on Saturday.
After a first round bye, Rausher dropped a decision to Lake Roosevelt’s Julien Lopez, 15-6, then got pinned by Rainier’s Levi Swann.
Haynes, who also had a bye, got pinned by Liberty (Sprague)’s Jesse Turner in the third round, then befell a similar fate to Selkirk’s Sven Rasmussen.
The Chnooks still have winning hopes. Abe Foreman is in the semifinals at 160 pounds despite a bum knee, and Ian Campbell also remains alives. Foreman gets Bert Burnett of Selkirk in the semifinals and Campbell gets Chris Rodriguez from the powerhouse that is Tonasket.
Heavyweight Seth Hoseney battled into Saturday after starting Friday morning with a loss.
“They’ve got pretty tough matches,” Staup said of Foreman and Campbell. “Abe’s sitting a little better in the bracket. Pulling out that win last week, that one-point win at regionals, (is huge).
“If he can stay healthy, I think he’s got a good shot at making the finals.”
The Ilwaco Fishermen had a similarly frustrating day in 2B Region 1 competition
Keegan Kemmer fell to a pin by Chewela’s Clay Jeanneret in he first round at 145 pounds, but he rebounded for a 19-4 technical fall over Blake Vandenburg of Kalama.
Malaichi Taylor won his frist match at 113 pounds, but Johnny Ryan of Linden-Ritzville pinned him in the second. Taylor got to Saturday with a second round pin of Riley Jones of Kettle Falls.
Ilwaco’s Tristan Walker had a similar day at 120, starting with a 7-4 win followed by a 17-1 tech fall to Waylon Wilson of Tonasket. He came back with a third round pin of Zariah DeBiaso to move on to Saturday.
Ilwaco sophomore Christopher Lake came into Friday unranked, but he will wrestle in the semifinals on Saturday after a first round 13-2 major decision and a third round pin in the quarterfinals.
He will be joined in the semis by Ilwaco heavyweight Michael Rodda, who was on the mat just 58 seconds on Friday.
Aiden Auttelet is still alive in the consolation bracket at 152, but all the other Fishermen have been eliminated.
In the 1A tournament, the Castle Rock Rockets were just as frustrated.
Castle Rock started 4-2, but Tony Ibsen (113), Austin McQuilliams (160), Dakota Gottschalk (170) and Jonah McGary (285) — all first round winners — each lost in quarterfinal bouts. Ibsen, McQuilliams and Gottschalk all followed with losses again, each in overtime.
“Momentum, especially in the state tournament, momentum is everything,” Castle Rock coach Joe Godinho said. “This third round, it just snowballed on us. It’s kind of the way it is. We didn’t pick ourselves up after losses.”
McGary had to wrestle Jett Johnson in a heavyweight consolation quarterfinal, and the burly junior beat the senior 7-2, eliminating Johnson. McGary, the newest member of the Rockets’ squad, is now the only chance Castle Rock has at bringing home any hardware.
Elsewhere, Toledo’s Damion Soto is still alive at 160 pounds, as is Michael Echtle and Hunter Smith at 220 and Trey Rego at 145. The other Indian — Justin Filla (132) — is out.
Wahkiakum brought four to Tacoma and three were eliminated on Friday. Janil Dimaano (138), Braxton Johns (145) and Jerimyah Johnson (170) all suffered a pair of losses on Friday. Johns was eliminated by league foe Rego.
Cayden Mendez went win-loss-win at 195 pounds and still can bring home a sixth place medal on Saturday.
Winlock’s only representative — Dusty Thayer at 126 — withstood a technical fall from Northwest Christian’s Sammy Minina after his bye, then advanced to Saturday due to an injury forfeit.
Action on Saturday starts at 9:45 a.m.
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