BONNEY LAKE – Wrestling tournaments can sometimes feel like they’re moving at a snail’s pace for wrestlers.
Some kill time between matches, like during Saturday’s 3A Region II tournament at Bonney Lake High School, by munching on snacks, catching up on homework, or purchasing a souvenir shirt.
Timberline senior Cole Stevens prefers to read a good book.
“It’s too much sitting around,” he said.
The time it took Stevens to get through each of his three bouts – on his way to winning a regional title at heavyweight – he likely got a lot of reading done, too.
He was that fast on the mat.
It was that kind of day for Stevens, pinning all three of his opponents in 47 seconds, 52 seconds, then 1:19 in the regional final against Auburn Mountainview’s Dakota Weir to win his first regional crown and earn a berth at next weekend’s Mat Classic.
The 285-pound title match was the final one of the day, and Stevens was ready for a nap.
“I’m just tired,” he said, noting the end of a long season is near. “I’m being honest. … Going home, that’s the first thing I’m doing.”
In all, Timberline sends six wrestlers – Stevens, Parker Risk (106 pounds), Miles Hart (113), Nico Laiuppa and Gage George (both at 120) and Dan Coulter (220) to next week’s Mat Classic at the Tacoma Dome; Stevens was one of three regional finalists, joining Hart and George, who each fell in their title matches.
All in all, it was a good day for the Blazers, coach Jeff Birbeck said.
“That’s what I was hoping for,” Birbeck said.
Decatur, which featured eight wrestlers in the finals, easily won the team title with 222 points. Bonney Lake was second with 157 points, followed by a tie for third at 150 points by Lincoln and Enumclaw. Timberline, at 124 points, was fifth. North Thurston was seventh (60).
North Thurston’s Jake Grantham had similar success as Stevens. At 220 pounds, Grantham breezed through the competition, pinning all three of his opponents (49 seconds, 1:10 and 1:29 in the finals against Auburn Mountainview’s Antonio Corea).
At 33-1 overall and the second-ranked 220-pound wrestler at Class 3A, and his first year competing at 220 pounds, Grantham says he’s the most confident he’s been as he makes his third Mat Classic appearance next week. His only loss this season was to the reigning 4A 220-pound state champion, Puyallup’s Matt Voss.
“I have a lot of momentum coming in,” Grantham said, “I’ve been getting good results so far. I feel like the only thing that can stand in my way is myself. I just have to keep pushing through.”
Eight of Decatur’s 11 Mat Classic-bound wrestlers took part in regional finals, winning four (Trysten Dawson at 120), Levitious Arzipe (126), Isaiah Diggs (138) and Brandon Zimmerman (160).
Not to be outdone was host Bonney Lake, which was a perfect 5-for-5 in regional title matches, getting regional titles from Carson Corbaley (106 pounds), Colton Tracy (132), Caid Caveness (145), Cayle Williams (152) and Chili Sabin (182). Sabin had one of the second-fastest pin of the finals, pinning Enumclaw’s Wyley Stewart in 57 seconds.