Through a frenetic day of wrestling Saturday at Tumwater High School, with continuous action on four mats in the main gym, one point of clarity emerged well before the end of the 14th annual Pat Alexander Invite:
No team was going to catch Sumner.
The Spartans of the 4A South Puget Sound League placed five wrestlers in the finals, and all five won tournament titles.
Sumner compiled 182.5 points, ahead of second-place Olympia (163 points) and host Tumwater, third with 138.
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Tumwater coach and tournament director Tony Prentice said the tournament in its current form was inaugurated in 2003, when he renamed Tumwater’s invitational for Pat Alexander — Tumwater’s longtime wrestling coach — before his 1994 retirement. Alexander, who came to Tumwater in 1976, just this fall retired as an assistant football coach for Sid Otton.
Olympia, with champions in both of the finals it gained, wrestles in the same 4A SPSL for the first time this year with not only Sumner, but several other schools — including Curtis, South Kitsap and Rogers — that have statewide pedigrees on the mat.
“They’re all wrestling schools,” Olympia coach Greg Hargrave said. “It’s exciting — it ups our game a little.”
Saturday, Olympia won titles on neighboring mats in neighboring weight classes, with senior Layn Pannkuk at 152 pounds taking down Gideon Malychewski of Camas by fall at 1:20 of the second round and Gabe Peterson outpointing Matthew Hitchner of Elma at 160 pounds, 10-5.
Hargrave noted the tournament title was a career first for Peterson, a Bear senior.
In the big-guy region of the brackets, junior Cy Hicks of Tumwater claimed the title at 285 pounds with a 5-1 victory over Dalton Yoder of Toledo-Winlock. Hicks, third at the Class 2A state tournament last year, progressed to the final with a pair of three straight wins by fall, including an opening second-round pin of Darrell Carlson of Timberline.
Tumwater’s other finalist was Mason Burbidge at 145 pounds, who fell to Sumner’s Nathan James by fall in the second round.
Kai Burgman at 220 pounds was North Thurston’s only finalist, and made the most of it with a second-round fall against Tumwater sophomore Caden Hicks. Burgman got to the final with two wins by fall and a 7-0 semifinal victory over Lucas Leonhard of Sumner.
Timberline, fifth overall in team scoring, had three finalists. Andrew Bartoldo at 106 pounds got to the title match with a semifinal pin of Tumwater’s Kaden Latchaw before losing by fall in the final to Javar Crockett of Washington.
Blazer Parker Risk at 132 pounds topped Cody Miller of Stevenson, 12-1, in the semifinals before losing in the final by second-round fall to Austin Cleland of Sumner.
Adam Benson of Timberline racked up a 21-3 semifinal win over Kobe Andrews, wrestling unattached, before dropping a close 6-4 decision to DeAndre Williams of Washington.
Timberline’s Carlson recovered from his early loss to Hicks to win three straight matches to claim co-third place for the Blazers.
Sumner’s other champions were Kalel Salcedo at 113 pounds, Jonathon Williams at 120 and Charles Richmond at 126.
After Sumner, Olympia and Tumwater, team scores were Camas 131.5, Timberline 103.5, Aberdeen 101.5, Washington 92.5, Centralia 89, Hoquiam 73, Elma 72.5, Stevenson 66, North Thurston 64, Black Hills 42, Hudson Bay 31.5 and Toledo-Winlock 29.