The comeback fell just short.
Damon Thomas, a W.F. West junior, recorded four takedowns in the third period against East Valley of Spokane’s Logan Sundheim — but it was one point too few.
Thomas ran out of time, and Sundheim eked by to win 12-11 and claim the Class 2A state title at 138 pounds at the Tacoma Dome on Saturday night.
Competing in his third Mat Classic, Thomas couldn’t climb out of an 8-3 hole he sat in at the end of the second period.
Never miss a local story.
“I just went in thinking, ‘I’ve got to do something, I’ve got to move,’” Thomas said. “I put myself down five points in the very beginning, which is something you don’t want to do in a state championship final. It’s hard to come back.”
Though he nearly did.
Thomas evaded a pin late in the second period to keep the match going.
Each of his four takedowns came within 1 minute, 19 seconds in the final period. He forced Sundheim to the ground for the final time with one second remaining.
“I had to take those shots to try to get him down and get the points back together, but came up a little short,” Thomas said.
Thomas entered the match ranked No. 1 in Washington state in 2A at 138 pounds. Sundheim — who Thomas beat earlier this season, 5-4 in overtime, at the Pac Coast Championships — was No. 2.
“I love facing that kind of match,” Thomas said. “Not always going to come up with the ‘W,’ but you’ve just got to fight through it. That’s what wrestling’s for. That’s why you’re here — to face top-ranked kids.”
Which Thomas is no stranger to. A first-year transfer from Mountain View, he has competed at Mat Classic in three different classifications — he participated in 3A as a freshman, and took sixth in the 4A bracket at 132 pounds last year as a sophomore after Mountain View reclassified.
“Being able to go from 3A to 4A back down to 2A, it’s really cool to see the different environments,” Thomas said. “But 2A is where I’m staying.”
He competed against wrestlers like Lake Stevens’ Michael Soler — now a four-time state champion — and Timmy Martinez, a two-time state titlist at Pasco, as a 4A athlete, but said the 2A classification is on pace as far as competition goes.
“2A I have to say was equivalent to 4A,” Thomas said. “I had Michael Soler and Timmy Martinez (in 4A). ... I had the experience to be able to wrestle with those top-ranked kids who are making history, which is pretty cool.
“People told me walking into 2A was going to be easy. No. Not a chance.”
W.F. West also had a runner-up in heavyweight Hunter Arredondo. Orting’s Hunter Mullins, the defending state champion, pinned Arredondo in 1:15. Michael Anderson took third for the Bearcats at 152 pounds.
Centralia’s Joe Finch also finished second in the 182-pound weight class, losing a 3-1 decision to Lindbergh’s Diego Gallegos.
Pine finishes career with best state finish
A third-place finish at 145 pounds — though it was the best of his career — was bittersweet for Logan Pine.
“It never hit me that I’m not wrestling in high school again until after the match,” the Olympia senior said.
In the final match of his career, Pine cruised to an 11-5 decision over Todd Beamer’s Van Earwage in the 4A tournament.
Pine was knocked out of the winner’s bracket in Friday’s semifinals by Graham-Kapowsin’s Gavin Eaglin — the same wrestler that sent Pine to the hospital with a head injury at last year’s tournament.
“I was just wrestling dumb,” Pine said. “I didn’t finish my moves. I should have finished it, had him on his back, but I didn’t.
“I just wrestled smart today. I left everything on the mat.”
But he didn’t quite leave the mat the way he’d hoped.
“I’m disappointed, definitely not where I’d like to end up, but that’s the way she goes,” Pine said. “I’ve beat two-time state champions, I’ve beat four-time state champions. It’s not satisfying. Hopefully I’ll go on and wrestle in college and win something big there.”
Yelm’s Jeremy Smith also took third in his first Mat Classic appearance at 195 pounds. He narrowly lost a 3-1 decision in overtime to Davis’ Christian Reyes in the semifinals to fall out of championship contention. He posted a major decision over Tahoma’s Dagen Kramer in the third-place match — he wrestled and beat Kramer twice over the course of the tournament.
Hicks pins three to claim third
Friday’s woes were in the rearview mirror.
After losing a semifinal matchup to his cousin, Orting’s Hunter Mullins — now a two-time heavyweight champion — Cy Hicks rallied to take third place in 2A at 285 pounds.
“It’s hard to come out and take third the way he did,” Tumwater coach Tony Prentice said. “I think he wanted to prove a point — ‘Yeah, I lost to Hunter, but I’m still better than everyone else out here.’”
Hicks more than proved it.
He pinned his final three opponents on Saturday — and did it faster each time. He got Sehome’s Briley Funk in 1:36. Sedro Woolley’s Erik Lunker went down in 46 seconds.
And in the final match, Hicks swarmed Toppenish’s Johnathon Cuevas in 18 seconds.
“I knew he liked to throw, so I was just waiting to defend it,” Hicks said. “I knew he was off balance because I was lower than him. So I just kind of grabbed him and squeezed him.”
And the brisk win left Hicks with a smile.
“It is the Tacoma Dome — it’s huge,” Hicks said. “It’s kind of sinking in now.”
Tenino’s Riley Noonan also took third at heavyweight in the 1A tournament. He pinned Castle Rock’s Jon Eslick in 2:15.
Thirty athletes in the Olympia area placed at Mat Classic. Six placed in the 4A division, two in the 3A, 11 in 2A, two in 1A, one in 2B/1B and eight in the girls division.
2016 WIAA STATE WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIPS – AREA PLACERS
4A – 120: 6. James Page, Yelm, sr. 138: 5. Layn Pannkuk, Olympia, jr. 145: 3. Logan Pine, Olympia, sr. 160: 8. Adam Benson, Timberline, jr. 182: 7. Tyler Losch, Yelm, jr. 195: 3. Jeremy Smith, Yelm, jr.
3A – 145: 6. Alec Manke, Shelton, sr. 195: 4. Colton Paller, Shelton, sr.
2A – 106: 4. Matthew Anfeldt, Tumwater, jr.; 6. Roehre Cunningham, W.F. West, soph. 120: 8. Mykka McAllister, Centralia, soph. 138: 2. Damon Thomas, W.F. West, jr. 145: 6. Michael Matagi, W.F. West, sr. 152: 3. Michael Anderson, W.F. West, jr. 182: 2. Joe Finch, Centralia, sr. 195: 8. TJ Borden, Black Hills, sr. 220: 4. Blayne Haderman, River Ridge, jr. 285: 2. Hunter Arredondo, W.F. West, jr.; 3. Cy Hicks, Tumwater, soph.
1A – 145: 6. Jeremiah Leonard, Elma, sr. 285: 3. Riley Noonan, Tenino, sr.
2B/1B – 106: 4. Curtis Lenz, Rainier, jr.
Girls – 105: 6. Phoenix Dubose, Yelm, fr.; 7. Bree Hyder, Yelm, jr.; 8. Kayln Filby, Tenino, sr. 145: 6. Matlyne Mecham, Shelton, jr.; 7. Bailey Fullerton, Yelm, sr.; 8. Sidnee Arcury, Centralia, jr. 155: 8. Jordan Christin, Centralia, sr. 235: 8. Julia Sylstad, Yelm, sr.