The Gut Check Challenge was global.
With select teams from both Canada and Japan competing in the annual wrestling tournament at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds, as well as a tough Hermiston High School team from Oregon, South Sound teams found the going a bit tough Saturday.
Nonetheless, the Yelm Tornados, with third-place finisher Jeremy Smith setting the pace, totaled 126 points to finish fourth. The Japanese team was the clear winner with 228 points, 65 ahead of runner-up Hermiston.
Tumwater’s Cy Hicks reached the 285-pound finals but was pinned by Orting’s Hunter Mullins. Smith grabbed Yelm’s highest finish with a decision against Colville’s Tele Seemann at 195 pounds.
Four other Yelm wrestlers reached the quarterfinals: Mason Harrison placed fifth at 113 after being pinned by Alec Acfalle of Olympic; Bo Campbell earned seventh at 170 over Kyle Schon of Lewis and Clark; Tyler Losch was eighth at 182 after losing by decision to Jonathan Carpenter of Palo Verde, Nevada; and Holden Miller was sixth at 285 after being pinned by Orting’s Kenny Marll.
Tumwater finished 18th of the 44 teams in the final standings with 65.5 points, just ahead of 19th place Olympia, which had 62 points.
In addition to Hicks advancing to the final, two other Thunderbirds got as far as the quarterfinals: Matthew Anfeldt was fourth at 106, losing via pin to Dalton Port of Clarkston and Brin Hanson was sixth, losing by decision to Japan’s Takashi Ishiguro at 220.
Olympia’s highest individual finish came at 145 pounds, where Logan Pine claimed sixth.