Ki-Be's McDonald makes girls state history

TACOMA -- Interviews and TV commitments.

Announcers calling out her achievements and fans pointing and asking, "Is that her?"

For one weekend at least, the Tacoma Dome became Sheridan McDonald's personal version of Cheers

And now everybody knows her name. History has a way of doing that.

The Kiona-Benton senior stamped her image on Washington wrestling Saturday night, becoming the first girl in the state to win four championships at Mat Classic.

Her historic win came at 135 pounds -- like all her titles -- on a 7-1 decision over Stanwood's Whitney Weinert.

"I feel really good right now," she said following a flurry of picture taking and an on-camera interview.

McDonald wasn't the area's lone titlist in the girls bracket.

Kennewick's Hannah Moon claimed the 130 title with a 7-2 win over Jessie Kaech of Sedro-Woolley.

"Amazing -- so amazing. I can't describe it," Moon said of joining her father, Tim Moon, as a state champion.

"Daughter has a state title," said the proud papa, who claimed the first two championships for Kamiakin in 1972 and '73.

Moon scored most of her points in the third period, but she earned them early on. Pushing the pace from the start, she had Kaech on her heels all match, backing up and fending off shot after shot.

It eventually caught up with Kaech as Moon was awarded four points on stall penalties. A takedown at the end cemented the win.

"Normally when you push," she said, "their conditioning wears out and they can't last."

McDonald didn't have to worry about her stamina much this weekend, pinning her way to the final. But Weinert kept the score close, trailing McDonald just 2-1 heading into the final period.

After riding out the entire second period, McDonald didn't waste any time getting the action going in the third. She reversed quickly and eventually levered Weinert over with 40 seconds left, riding out the match with a nearfall and easy win.

"I worked this hard, I was not going to throw this away," she said, adding that she noticed the increased attention this weekend but didn't let it affect her on the mat.

"I wouldn't let it get to me," she said. "I was going to go out there and wrestle my own match, and wrestle the way I do every match."

It was a big weekend altogether for the Mid-Columbia girls. Warden finished third in the team standings and placed six of its seven wrestlers, with Bianca Hernandez (125), Taylor Edson (135) and Carter Marks (152) all finishing fourth.

Ki-Be's Amy Campbell capped her career by taking sixth at 140.

Bears coach Ben Hill said he thinks McDonald's feat will further boost girls wrestling, which topped 1,000 participants this season, third in the nation.

"It does," he said. "People will recognize her. There's Sheridan McDonald. They might want to introduce their daughter to her. This is a role model."

Actually, that's been happening for years, Hill said.

"Whenever we go to the Rainier tournament (for boys), the stat girls and the moms all watch her wrestle. 'Hey, you forgot to start the clock.' 'What? Oh, sorry. Sheridan is wrestling over there.' "