TUMWATER - Daniel Page hopes this is his year at the Mat Classic state wrestling tournament.
It’s not another breakout year the Tumwater wrestler is looking for – he’s already had two of those. He was third at state each of the past two seasons, and he’s looking for more.
Although he’s a veteran at state, one thing he had never accomplished prior to Saturday’s Region III 2A wrestling meet was being a regional champion.
Wrestling error-free at Tumwater High School, Page captured the 112-pound regional title, defeating Renton’s Saugat Chhetri-Poudel, 9-0, in the championship match. He also pinned Black Hills’ Mason Adams and Mark Morris’ Jordan Stello to reach the finals.
“I’m trying to get ready for state and eliminate all errors,” Page said. “Errors are what will kill you when you get to the big stage. Next week is the one that really matters.”
Page was one of three regional champions and nine state qualifiers for the Thunderbirds, who were runners-up to regional champion Centralia.
The Tigers finished second to Tumwater at sub-regionals last week, but edged Tumwater, 219.5-187.5, at the regional. R.A. Long (166), Chehalis (152) and Washougal (84) rounded out the top five.
The top four individuals in each weight class advanced to Mat Classic Friday and Saturday at the Tacoma Dome.
Qualifying for Mat Classic seemed unlikely seven weeks ago for Tumwater senior Colton Weiks. The 130-pounder dislocated his elbow at the Pat Alexander Invitational in December, returning to the mats just two weeks ago.
He was third at last week’s sub-regional, and placed third again Saturday while pinning Tyee’s Abraham Torres in 1 minute, 38 seconds. Earlier, he pinned Weston Robinson of Mark Morris, but dropped an 8-7 dicision to eventual finalist Jesse Gonzalez.
“I never thought I’d wrestle again,” said Weiks, who was seventh at state last year at 125. “It’s nice to be back.”
Black Hills had two regional runners-up. Cody Carlton lost to Centralia’s Cole Riccardo, 8-4, at 145, and Garrison Stamp lost to Woodland’s William Davis, 7-3, at 171. Both were sub-regional champions.
Aberdeen’s Kyle Godfrey won the 135-pound title in overtime against Centralia’s Jesse Gonzalez after surviving stalling and unsportsmanlike calls in the third period.
Godfrey maneuvered Gonzalez for a late takedown to force overtime, then won on a takedown that took 8 seconds of overtime.
Tumwater’s Riley Prentice (160 pounds) and Easton Hargrave, the top-ranked 2A wrestler at 189, also won regional titles. Hargrave pinned Chehalis’ Logan Ferrier in 1:42 in the final.
The Bearcats had two regional champions: Cristian Orozco (135) and Andrew White (140).
Centralia and R.A. Long each qualified 11 wrestlers for state. The Tigers had four regional champs: Chris Lazo (125), Cole Riccando (145), Preston Churchill (152) and Justin Gillespie (215).
Meg Wochnick: 360-754-5473 firstname.lastname@example.org