MAT CLASSIC XXIII: By Weiks' sheer will

Tumwater's Colton Weiks isn't one to let a thing like a dislocated elbow block his road to the state tourney

February 18, 2011 

MAT CLASSIC XXIII: By Weiks' sheer will

Tumwater senior Colton Weiks qualified for Mat Classic XXIII at 130 pounds despite suffering a dislocated elbow in December. Weiks returned two weeks ago, time enough to place third at the subregional and regional tournaments to earn his second straight trip to state.

STEVE BLOOM — The Olympian


    At the Tacoma Dome

    Today: First session, 10 a.m.; second session, 4 p.m.

    Saturday: Third session, 10 a.m.; finals, 5 p.m.

    Tickets: Single-day – $15 adults, $11 students and seniors. Two-day – $23 adults, $17 students and seniors.



    Black Hills: Cody Carlson, sr., 145; Garrison Stamp, sr., 171

    Centralia: Chris Lazo, sr., 125; Jesse Gonzalez, so., 130; Kellen Pelzel, so., 140; Cole Riccardo, so., 145; Preston Churchill, jr., 152; Andrew Huerta, sr., 152; Cooper Johnson, sr., 171; Kole Braaten, sr., 189; Dayna Squibb, jr., 189; Justin Gillaspie, sr., 215; Garret Pankuk, jr., 285

    Chehalis: Will Bardezbain, so., 112; Geff Duncan, jr., 125; Cristian Orozco, sr., 135; Zach Braun, fr., 140; Andrew White, jr., 140; Matt Dean, jr., 145; Sean Koreis, jr., 160; Logan Ferrier, sr., 189

    Elma: Ryan Wilson, so., 103; Tyson Dick, fr., 112; Tanner Sample, fr., 119; Gage Shepard, so., 125; Brad Watson, sr., 130; Ky McGaughy, sr., 171; Casey Felder, sr., 215

    Olympia: Joel Anthony, sr., 215

    North Thurston: Caleb Richards, jr., 215

    Rainier: Bryton Mede, so., 112; Derik Mede, sr., 130

    Rochester: Jacob Franco, sr., 125; Jordan Davis, sr., 160; Collin Hornby, jr., 171; Tyler Hulweger, sr., 189

    Shelton: Ty McCullough, jr., 112; Jakeob Garrick, so., 125; Colby Barber, jr., 160

    Tenino: Chance Petrich, jr., 125; Riley Fisher, so., 130; Tyler Langford, jr., 135; Zack Chamberlain, fr., 160

    Timberline: Dean Reginio, jr., 103; Josh Beam, so., 119; Tyler Saichompoo, jr., 171; Stone Hart, so., 215

    Tumwater: Austin Chase, so., 103; Daniel Page, sr., 112; James Nolan, jr., 119; Cameron Nolan, so., 119; Riley Wolf, so., 125; Colton Weiks, sr., 130; Chandler Rodriguez, jr., 135; Riley Prentice, jr., 160; Easton Hargrave, sr., 189

    Yelm: Dillon Harris, so., 125; Dylan Hyder, sr., 125; Josh Inouye-Clayton, sr., 130; Marcus Crone, sr., 130; James Bradley, jr., 135; Anthony Allred, so., 152; Jeffrey Leuth, so., 189; Tyler Wallace, jr., 215


    Centralia: Isabella Silva-Perez, so., 103

    Elma: Charlene Carrell, so., 140, Julia Arnold, jr., 145; Hannah Strickland, jr., 171

    Rainier: Katy Dawson, sr., 135; Cheyenne Larson, sr., 171; Tristanni Barrett, so., 171-plus

    Rochester: Liezl Mondoc, sr., 130; Alexandra Selleck, so., 160

    Tenino: Morghann Eckardt, jr., 125; Jessica Mays, fr., 145

    Yelm: Samantha Keesler, sr., 125; Haylie Osborn, sr., 130; Morgan Michels, jr., 160; Tonie Edwards, fr., 171; Monica McMonigle, sr., 171-plus; Robin Howe, jr., 171-plus

TUMWATER - In an instant, Colton Weiks went from cruising to being a casualty.

It was at Tumwater’s Pat Alexander Invitational wrestling tournament Dec. 18 that Weiks, a Thunderbirds senior, thought he had wrestled for the last time.

There he was on the mat, writhing in pain with his right arm jutting out at an awkward angle. His elbow was dislocated. Paramedics arrived within moments and later had Weiks transported to Providence St. Peter Hospital by ambulance.

“I never thought I’d come back,” Weiks said. “The pain was terrible.”

But the improbable happened. Less than two months after the injury, he’s one of nine Thunderbirds who will wrestle at Mat Classic XXIII, which starts today and concludes Saturday at the Tacoma Dome.

At 130 pounds, Weiks is making his second appearance at state. He placed seventh as a junior last year at 125.

Weiks, who was ranked in the top 10 in the state in his weight class at the time of the injury, was in command of his 135-pound quarterfinal match at the Alexander Invitational. He had a 6-1 lead over North Thurston’s Derrick McDannald in the first round, and went for an ankle-pick takedown. A split-second later, the scene was a gruesome reminder of how dangerous the sport can be.

“It was pretty bad,” Weiks said.

It has been a long road to recovery for Weiks. At first, there was doubt he could recuperate in time to finish the season. Routine tasks – including taking a shower – proved to be painful, even with nearly an entire roll of athletic tape supporting the elbow.

The pain eventually subsided and the range of motion began to return. But he’s still unable to fully extend his arm.

For weeks, he ran at every team practice and kept scores during every meet – all the while doing rehabilitation three to four days a week.

Then, he got the news he was hoping to hear.

On Jan. 31 – seven weeks after the injury – doctors cleared him to wrestle again, saying he had made tremendous progress. The date of his return was only four days before the two-day subregional tournament in Centralia. At the subregional, Weiks placed third to qualify for the Region II meet at Tumwater last weekend.

Once there, he earned another third-place finish, pinning Tyee’s Abraham Torres in 1 minute, 38 seconds in the third-place match – his third pin at the regional.

The top four wrestlers in each weight class qualified for state, with the fifth-place finisher being an alternate.

Tumwater coach Tony Prentice can relate to what Weiks went through. Prentice suffered the same injury during his senior season at Tumwater during a subregional match. The injury also cost him his final season of high school baseball.

“It’s a pretty traumatic injury,” Prentice said. “It ends most people’s career. (Colton) worked his butt off through rehab and running, and he never missed a day with us. He did everything he could possibly do to get himself ready.”

Weiks has had five pins in the past two postseason meets, and today will mark his second straight appearance at state.

Now that he’s able to close out his prep career at Mat Classic, his goals are loftier – to place third or higher.

“That means I have to work extra hard because I’m behind everyone else,” Weiks said. “It’s just another thing to challenge me. It’s something I want.”

Meg Wochnick: 360-754-5473

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