What was projected to be the Class 2A heavyweight title match turned into a first-day quarterfinal at Mat Classic XXVIII.
And Tumwater High School sophomore Cy Hicks wasn’t pleased.
“Emotionally, I’m just trying to forget because I need to move on to the next one,” he said. “I just need to move on.”
Hicks was pinned by Orting’s Hunter Mullins — the defending champion at 285 pounds, and Hicks’ cousin — before the first round expired on Friday at the Tacoma Dome.
The two crashed into each other from the first whistle. Mullins picked up two points for a takedown in the first 30 seconds, and three more for a near fall 20 seconds later.
And he locked his right arm around Hicks’ neck and planted him on his back to pin him in one minute, 53 seconds.
“That was the state championship match,” Hicks said. “I guess I wasn’t ready, I wasn’t prepared.”
At least, it was expected to be a championship match.
Hicks found himself on the same side of the bracket as Mullins after the Orting senior defaulted his regional title match last weekend.
“Deep down in my mind, I thought I could beat Hunter, so I brushed it off,” Hicks said. “I didn’t talk to him (all week) because I didn’t want to get all buddy-buddy with him before the match. But he’s going to be my cousin forever.”
Mullins’ default was intended to help his teammate, Kenny Marll, get a better seed at the state tournament. Which did work, as Marll won his first-round match by 13-7.
“I got (criticism) from my family,” Mullins said. “It would have been nicer to have him in the state finals. I made the decision last week to put my team in front of my family, so hopefully we can win that team title.”
Orting is currently second in the 2A tournament with 65.5 points — 27.5 points back from first-place Toppenish. Tumwater sits distantly in 19th with 18 points, and advanced one wrestler to the semifinals in Matthew Anfeldt at 106 pounds.
Hicks won shut out W.F. West’s Cole Miller, 5-0, in his consolation match, and will wrestle into Saturday.
Three more wins would get him third place.
“I’m just going to stop and regain my focus,” Hicks said. “Yeah, it sucks I can’t take first, but third place is pretty good. I’m going to be optimistic about it.”
Yelm in contention for team title
At the end of the first round, Yelm — which advanced 13 wrestlers to the 4A tournament — was in first place.
By the end of Friday, it sat squarely in sixth. Yelm’s last team title was in 2010 in the 3A tournament.
“I was hoping to be in the top 10,” Yelm coach Gaylord Strand said. “We’ve got a young team. Let’s see if we can hang on to that. There’s a lot of wrestling left. We’ll see.”
Two of Yelm’s wrestlers, James Page (120 pounds) and Jeremy Smith (195) advanced to the semifinals. Tyler Losch (182), who is in the consolation bracket, is the only other Yelm wrestler still competing.
Page built an 8-4 lead on Kentwood’s Andy Sandhu before the match was stalled for four blood timeouts in the final 1:05.
“That happens most matches,” Page said. “I’ve always been a bleeder. It gives me time to get a little breath, think a bit.”
There wasn’t too much to think about. Page closed out an 8-6 decision to advance to Saturday’s semifinals.
Smith overturned an early deficit within a matter of seconds to pin Tahoma’s Dagen Kramer in 1:05.
“He’s got some real long reach on him, he’s a real strong kid,” Smith said. “He kept coming in and tossing me around, but he made the mistake of trying to bear-hug me and I got a nice little throw that I’ve learned over the years.”
And followed through to render Kramer motionless on his back.
Pannkuk advances, Pine upset
Olympia’s Layn Pannkuk held off Tahoma’s Ryden Fu, 6-4, to advance to the 4A 138-pound semifinals.
“He was pretty strong, and it was hard to move him,” Pannkuk said. “Once I finally started to move him is when I was able to get my angles. I got my angles, and it was a smart match.”
Logan Pine’s was less so. The 145-pound senior was upset in the quarterfinals by Graham-Kapowsin’s Gavin Eaglin by 3-2 decision.
Neither wrestler scored points in the first period, but Pine got two on a reversal midway through the second. Eaglin eventually escaped.
Pine carried the 2-1 lead deep into the final period before Eaglin forced a reversal with 34 seconds to go. Pine would not recover and dropped to the consolation bracket.
He bested Wenatchee’s Eric Briley, 14-4, to make it to Saturday.
W.F. West sends four into semifinals
The Bearcats sent the most wrestlers of any area school into Saturday’s 2A semifinal round.
Damon Thomas (138), Michael Matagi (145), Michael Anderson (152) and Hunter Arrendondo (285) all advanced.
W.F. West is currently third in the team competition with 50 points.
Joe Finch (182) also advanced to the semifinals for Centralia with a 9-4 decision over Washington’s Kitrell Willingham.
“I just knew I had to stay in good position and really just dominate and do what I do,” Finch said. “He was strong, I just had to handle it the right way.”
In the 1A competition, Elma’s Jeremiah Leonard (145) and Tenino’s Riley Noonan (285) also advanced to the semifinals. Rainier’s Curtis Lenz (106) advanced in the 2B/1B bracket.