By Meg Wochnick
TUMWATER -- A frequent topic heard from fans during Saturdays 2A Region III wrestling tournament at Tumwater High School was how brutal the regional tournament was.
In previous years, teams from the 2A Evergreen Conference such as Black Hills, Centralia, Tumwater and W.F. West, have dominated the regional tournament. But with a new format, gone is the 2A Greater St. Helens League and enter the 2A South Puget Sound League, which features a team thats a small-school wrestling power: Orting.
The Cardinals, the four-time defending 1A state champions fresh up to Class 2A this school year, won the regional team title with 151 points and led by eight wrestlers who are bound for next weekends Mat Classic XXV.
Centralia, last years regional winner, finished runner-up at 144 points and Washington and Tumwater finished tied for third in the team race with 118 points in the 16-team field.
The 2A SPSL showed its strength, winning 10 of the 14 regional finals, including six all-SPSL finals in the 120, 126, 138, 145, 170 and 182 weight classes.
Tumwater had three of its six state-bound wrestlers, Cameron Nolan (132), Sam Richards (195) and Jose Jimenez (220), in regional finals and all finished second. Perhaps the top match of the day came from Nolan in his 132-pound final with White Rivers Trevor Kurtz, which was a four-overtime affair before Kurtzs escape seconds into the fourth overtime sealed his 4-3 victory. Nolan forced the overtime after getting a two-point reversal trailing 3-1 just 20 seconds remaining in the third round.
Thats the longest match Ive ever wrestled in my life, Nolan said. The most Ive ever gone is one overtime. Theres some stuff I can work on. I plan on winning state.
For Jimenez, he earned his first state berth as a senior. With a record of 27-5, Jimenez has earned some impressive victories this season, including winning the prestigious Sedro-Woolley tournament in December. It was a rematch from last weeks subregional final with W.F. Wests Gage Rife in Saturdays 220 final with Rife winning, 10-4.
Hes a tough opponent, Jimenez said. Hes very skilled and very athletic. In my mind, I kept saying, I cant let up. I have to keep attacking and attacking.
Two of the states top wrestlers at 113 squared off in the final between Black Hills Mason Adams and Ortings Fred Green, the defending 1A champion at 106 pounds with a 33-1 mark and 23 season pins. Green won by technical fall, 17-0, but Adams (34-4) is already looking ahead to a possible rematch next week.
He was a lot more technical than I thought, said Adams, who will join teammate Spencer Gurrad (160) at state. I look forward to see him in the final (next week).
Centralia took care of business in the middle weights with regional titles from Kellen Pelzel (152) and Cole Riccardo (160). A total of seven Tigers qualified for state. Heavyweight Alex Daarud also claimed a regional title with a pin over Washingtons Devonn Hatcher (1:16). One of the surprises continues to be freshman Bryce Bock at 106, who ultimately fell to Orting freshman Dean Utterback in the 106-pound final. He entered the regional tournament with a 16-11 mark, after last week having upset Tumwaters Jackson Mills, one of the states top-ranked 2A wrestlers at 106, for the subregional title. On Saturday, he pinned White Rivers Dylan Kohnler (39 seconds) and Mason Hamilton (3:05) to reach the finals.
Meg Wochnick: 360-754-5473
2A Region III wrestling tournament
At Tumwater High School
Team scores: 1. Orting 151, 2. Centralia 144, 3(t). Washington 118, 3(t). Tumwater 118, 5. White River 96, 6. WF West 94, 7. Fife 92, 8. Sumner 90, 9, Steilacoom 66.5, 10. Franklin Pierce 44, 11. River Ridge 42, 12. Aberdeen 34, Black Hills 29, 14. Clover Park 12, 15. Capital 4, Foster 0
Top four individuals qualify for Mat Classic XXV
106 Championship: Dean Utterback (Ort) p. Bryce Bock (Cent), 5:33
Third/fourth: Jackson Mills (Tum) p. Mason Hamilton (WR) p. 0:56
113 Championship: Fred Green (Ort) tech. fall Mason Adams (BH), 17-0
Third/fourth: Travis Filleau (Sum) p. Austin Chase (Tum), 2:42
120 Championship: Glenn Robertson (Fife) d. Justin Dodson (Ort), 2-1
Third/fourth: Denver Parker (WFW) d. Cody Schwab (WR), 14-4
126 Championship: Austin Alexander (Ort) d. Victor Toledo (FP), 6-
2 Third/fourth: Austin Olson (FP) forfeit over Chad Wise (Washington)
132 Championship: Trevor Kurtz (WR) d. Cameron Nolan (Tum), 4-3 4OT
Third/fourth: Riley Wolf (Tum) d. Rico Ybarra (Ort), 6-3
138 Championship: Maverick Reddaway (Fife) d. Mike Moniz (Ort), 12-4
Third/fourth: Jeremy Jackson (Sum), d. Luke Shell (Steila), 6-2
145 Championship: Brandon Short (WR) d. Jed Schleisman (Sum), 11-3
Third/fourth: Dylan Thomas (Ort) d. Michael Stuart (Cent), 9-4
152 Championship: Kellen Pelzel (Cent) d. AJ Atoigue (Sum), 11-9
Third/fourth: Beau Gore (Ort) d. Cordel Nelson (CP), 3-1
160 Championship: Cole Riccardo (Cent) p. Elijah Camacho (RR), 0:54
Third/fourth: Spencer Gurrad (BH) d. Jacob Nelson (Wash), 5-3
170 Championship: John Santos (Steila) p. Johnie Brown (Wash), 3:19
Third/fourth: Billy Tufts (WFW) d. Jose Duran (Ab), 5-2
182 Championship: Chris Skinner (WR) forfeit over Ramsey Davis (Wash)
Third/fourth: Jackson Leech (Steila) p. Kyzer Bailey (Cent), 3:32
195 Championship: Nick Corey (Wash) p. Sam Richards (Tum), 0:43
Third/fourth: Jordan Leech (Steila) d. Nick Lund (WFW), 8-6
220 Championship: Gage Rife (WFW) d. Jose Jimenez (Tum), 10-4
Third/fourth: Spencer Pedroni (Fife) d. Tyller Rosenkranz (Cent), 5-3
285 Championship: Alex Daarud (Cent), p. Devonn Hatcher (Wash), 1:16
Third/fourth: Monike Failauga (Fife) p. Jordon Logan (Ab), 2:57