Yelm's Harris brothers dominate at Mat Classic

Dillon, Darren Harris of Yelm bounce back from regional disappointment, advance to 4A semifinals

todd.milles@thenewstribune.comFebruary 16, 2013 

TACOMA — First, the disappointment was replayed over and over in the heads of Dillon and Darren Harris during the 90-minute drive home.

And as soon as the Yelm High School brothers arrived home from last week’s Class 4A Region I tournament, they watched the videotape of their regional finals defeats.

Neither could recall the last time the two of them lost on the same night.

And they don’t want it to happen again at Mat Classic XXV in the Tacoma Dome.

Somewhat embarrassed and extremely energized, sophomore Darren and senior Dillon rolled through their first two matches at the state wrestling championships Friday.

In the afternoon quarterfinals, both had to get through regional champions to advance – and did in dominating fashion.

Darren Harris pinned Union’s Daniel Rice in 52 seconds in the 113-pound weight class, and Dillon Harris won a 13-2 decision over Battle Ground’s Adam Peterson at 138.

Both kept exchanging the words “disappointment” for “motivation” as they talked about their renewed approach this week.

“Today I wanted to go out and set the tone,” Darren said.

“It just hit me that this was my senior year,” Dillon said. “I don’t want to regret it.”

Joining the Yelm duo in today’s semifinals is Tornados senior Anthony Allred, who registered a pair of pins in his matches at 160. The last was a pin of Tahoma’s Chris McElroy in 3:50.

Olympia’s Josh Newbill also advanced through the 4A championship bracket. After his 9-4 victory over Auburn’s James West, he is in the 182 semifinals.

Then there is Timberline High’s Stone Hart, the defending 3A champion at 220. After two wins Friday, including an 9-4 quarterfinal triumph over Sunnyside’s Austin Carman, he is 32-0 this season.

Right after Hart defeated Carman, Timberline coach Jeff Birbeck motioned for his senior to exit the ring so the teenager could get a glimpse of today’s semifinal opponent – heralded ninth-grader Dallas Goodpaster of Prairie High School, who is reportedly the next great wrestler to come out of Southwest Washington.

Hart watched Goodpaster for a cursory few seconds before he started getting dressed, ready to go do his own thing.

And the normally talkative Blazers standout was really in no mood to talk about his next match – or opponent – either.

“I am here at state,” Hart said. “It’s my job to win, so I am trying to do that.”

Hart won’t be alone. Teammate Joshua Beam is in the 132 semifinals for the Blazers. And North Thurston’s Jake Grantham made it a trio of Lacey wrestlers still bidding for 3A titles by throttling Kelso’s Keoni Garcia in 2:10 at 195.

Lucas Eastman’s dream of joining his brothers’ state-title legacy at Rochester High School is still alive. He won both of his 1A matches at 145 by pin, including a quarterfinal victory over Warden’s Emilio Pruneda in 1:46.

Eastman is joined by teammate Bobby Brien, who is in the 120 semifinals.

In 2A, the Tumwater duo of Cameron Nolan (defeated Grandview’s Joesiah Saunders, 6-3) at 132 and Jose Jimenez (3-2 win over Toppenish’s Raul Pech) at 220 got through their quarterfinals.

River Ridge’s Elijah Camacho advanced as well by injury default over Deer Park’s Trevor Eicher at 160.

Timberline’s Isis Wadleigh (106) and Tumwater’s Megan Johnson (124) are still alive in the girls championship draw.

Todd Milles: 253-597-8442 @ManyHatsMilles

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