State titles within reach

MAT CLASSIC XXIII: Tumwater's Page, Prentice and Hargrave advance to state semifinals; Yelm boys also have three of South Sound's 14 semifinalists

February 19, 2011 

TACOMA - Tumwater's Riley Prentice got the rematch he wanted.

And Easton Hargrave, Tumwater’s pinning machine, got two more pins.

Hargrave pinned his first- and second-round opponents in the 2A state wrestling championships Friday and advanced to the semifinals for the second straight year.

Prentice, Hargrave and teammate Daniel Page were among 14 South Sound wrestlers, including two girls, who were still in contention for state titles after the first day of the two-day tournament in the Tacoma Dome.

Hargrave, a 189-pound senior, now has 106 career pins.

“That’s what I do,” Hargrave said. “I go for the pins. We need the team points.”

Prentice hopes to avenge last year’s semifinal loss to Othello’s Amando Deleon.

“I thought I’d be facing him,” said Prentice, a junior 160-pounder who is 35-2 this season. “I lost to him by (five points). I’ve improved. We’ll see how it goes.”

Page reached the semifinals at 112 pounds after winning by a pin and a 7-0 decision. He trailed White River’s Trevor Kurtz, 6-4, in his first match after nearly getting pinned.

“It was close,” said Page, who placed third at 112 pounds last year. “I got a reversal and then the pin.”

Page had an explanation for his sluggish start.

“I drank too much Gatorade,” Page said. “I was so full.”

Tumwater coach Tony Prentice was pleased but not satisfied with the opening day. Tumwater was in sixth place in 2A with 42 points.

Deer Park, winner of three straight state titles, was in first with 73.5 points. Centralia, which qualified 11 for state and had four advance to the semifinals, was in second with 59.5 points.

“You’re never completely happy,” Prentice said. “You always hope you do better.”

Prentice thought Deer Park had a lock on the state title.

“The rest of us will be shooting for second,” the Tumwater coach said. “They’re that good.”

Hargrave, now 35-1, will face Centralia’s Kole Braaten in the semifinals. Hargrave beat Braaten, 5-0, in their championship match at the subregional tournament Feb. 5.

“You don’t try to change things,” said Hargrave, who is 124-24 in his high school career. “You just stay aggressive. You can’t be thinking about making mistakes.”

Joining Braaten in the semifinals for Centralia were Chris Lazo at 125 pounds, Justin Gillaspie at 215 and Garret Pankuk at 285.

In the 3A meet, Yelm coach Gaylord Strand watched three of the Tornados’ eight qualifiers advance to the semifinals – Dylan Hyder (125), Marcus Crone (130) and James Bradley (135).

“It went pretty much as we expected,” Strand said. “We didn’t have the numbers here that we had hoped for.”

Yelm, which won last year’s state championship after having nine of 11 qualifiers place in the top eight, is hoping for a top-five finish this year. Enumclaw, last year’s runner-up, was in first place with 66 points and Yelm was in fifth with 46.

“We’ll have to pick up some wins through the back door,” Strand said.

Hyder, last year’s state champ at 119 pounds, won his first two matches with second-round pins and advanced to the semifinals for the fourth time. He improved to 30-1 this season and 122-11 for his career.

“You have to go out there with everything you have every time,” Hyder said. “You can’t take it easy. You have to set your goals and go for it.”

Crone, who was the 119-pound state champion two years ago, dominated his first two opponents, winning by a second-round pin and by an 11-2 decision. Bradley won by a pin and a 3-1 decision.

South Sound’s other semifinalists in the boys tournaments were Chehalis’ Andrew White (140 in 2A) and Elma’s Brad Watson (130 in 1A). Watson, a senior, won the 2A 103-pound title two years ago.

Three of Timberline’s four state qualifiers won their first-round matches. Tyler Saichompoo won his opening match, 7-0, then his next two by pins and was eliminated.

“Tyler does a good job on top with leg rides,” Timberline coach Jeff Birbeck said. “He’s gotten better on switches and reverses.”

Black Hills’ Cody Carlson was among the other South Sound wrestlers who were alive in the consolation brackets and guaranteed to place in the top eight. Carlson lost his opening match at 145 pounds in 2A but pinned his next two opponents.

In the 4A meet, Olympia’s Joel Anthony is alive in the consolations. He won first match, 5-3, then lost by a pin and bounced back to win, 11-4, to clinch a spot in the top eight.

Other South Sound wrestlers who are guaranteed state placers include Yelm’s Dillon Harris (125) and Anthony Allred (152) and Timberline’s Dean Reginio (103) and Stone Hart (215) in 3A. In 2A, North Thurston’s Caleb Richards (215) and Tumwater’s James Nolan (119) and Cameron Nolan (119) are guaranteed placers.

In the girls tournament, Yelm’s Monica McMonigle reached the semifinals in the over-171 weight class by pinning her first two opponents – the second one in 42 seconds. Yelm was sixth in the girls team standings with 33 points.

Rochester’s Liezl Mondoc also won her first two matches by pins to advance to the semifinals at 130 pounds.

Gail Wood: 360-754-5443 gwood@theolympian.com

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