Timberline sends Stevens, 5 others to Mat Classic

mwochnick@theolympian.comFebruary 16, 2014 


FILE - Wrestlers from across the state compete in the quarterfinals at the Washington State MAT Classic at the Tacoma Dome, in Tacoma, Friday February 18, 2011. (The News Tribune file, 2011)

BONNEY LAKE — Tournaments can sometimes feel like they’re moving at a snail’s pace for wrestlers.

At the 3A Region II tournament at Bonney Lake High School on Saturday, some wrestlers kill time between matches by munching on snacks, catching up on homework, or purchasing a souvenir shirt.

Timberline senior heavyweight Cole Stevens prefers to read a good book.

“It’s too much sitting around,” he said.

With all the time between Stevens’ three bouts — on his way to winning a regional heavyweight title — he likely got a lot of reading done.

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, and 1 minute 19 seconds, respectively, in the final against Auburn Mountainview’s Dakota Weir to win his first regional crown and earn a berth at next weekend’s Mat Classic in the Tacoma Dome.

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 will send six wrestlers — Stevens, Parker Risk (106 pounds), Miles Hart (113), Nico Laiuppa and Gage George (both at 120) and Dan Coulter (220) to the Mat Classic. Hart and George joined Stevens as regional finalists, but unlike Stevens fell in each of their title matches.

All in all, it was a good day for Blazers coach Jeff Birbeck.

“That’s what I was hoping for,” he said.

Decatur, which featured eight wrestlers in the finals, easily won the team title with 222 points. Bonney Lake was second with 157, followed by a tie for third at 150 by Lincoln and Enumclaw. Timberline (124) was fifth and North Thurston was seventh (60).

North Thurston’s Jake Grantham’s success was similar to Stevens’. At 220 pounds, Grantham breezed through the competition, pinning all three of his opponents in 49 seconds, 1:10 and 1:29 in the final against Auburn Mountainview’s Antonio Corea.

With a 33-1 record and the No. 2 ranking in Class 3A in his first year competing in the 220-pound weight class, Grantham says he’s the most confident he’s been before he makes his third appearance at the Mat Classic. His only loss this season was to reigning 4A 220-pound state champion, Matt Voss of Puyallup High School.

“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.”

Decatur had 8 of their 11 Mat Classic-bound wrestlers take part in regional finals, in which four won titles: Trysten Dawson at 120 pounds, Leviticus Arizpe at 126, Isaiah Diggs at 138 and Brandon Zimmerman at 160.

Not to be outdone was host Bonney Lake, which was a perfect five-for-five in regional title matches with winners Carson Corbaley (106 pounds), Colton Tracy (132), Caid Caveness (145), Cayle Williams (152) and Chili Sabin (182). Sabin had the second-fastest pin of the finals, beating Enumclaw’s Wyley Stewart in 57 seconds.

Meg Wochnick: 360-754-5473 mwochnick@theolympian.com @MegWochnick theolympian.com/southsoundsports

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