Local wrestlers qualify for Mat Classic XXIX semifinals
The Smith household is headed to the Mat Classic XXIX semifinals.
Early on in the quarterfinal session on Friday afternoon at the Tacoma Dome, Yelm High School freshman Carly Smith pinned her opponent.
Exactly two hours later, her older brother Jeremy, a senior, won his quarterfinal by major decision.
“It’s pretty exciting,” Carly said. “I’m rooting for him for sure. I go to his matches and watch his matches. I’m wishing the best for him.”
He wishes the same for her.
“I like having my little sister as a badass like that,” Jeremy said.
Jeremy — who almost effortlessly beat Redmond’s Nick Kaneko, 13-2, in a Class 3A 195-pound quarterfinal — said all of the Smith siblings roughhouse at home.
“Cutting weight — it gets a little heated in the house,” he joked.
Carly said she couldn’t hear her brother cheering from the stands over the booming crowd, but still managed to pick up a win.
She and Nooksack Valley’s Lynette Samano entered the third period tied, 3-3, in a girls 125-pound quarterfinal.
Carly tripped up Samano early in the final period, forced her to her back and pinned her in four minutes, 33 seconds.
“I pinned her, that’s what I was hoping for,” Carly said. “I’m pretty happy with that.”
This is Carly’s first Mat Classic, but she’s seasoned in the sport.
“Because I’ve wrestled since I was young, I’ve had a lot of experience, a lot of different coaches,” Carly said. “I have great practice partners in my room, so that definitely helps.”
She’s also got a Mat Classic veteran at home. Jeremy finished third at 195 pounds in 4A last season as a junior.
“My dad signed me up when I was 5, and I just kind of stuck to it,” Jeremy Smith said. “Carly wanted to try it when she was 5, and she became a natural at it.
“It kind of just turned into a family thing. We’ve got a treadmill in the living room.”
Both Smith siblings — who also both won regional championships last weekend — are now eyeing state titles.
“Hopefully, we’ll both bring home gold tomorrow,” Jeremy said. “It’s pretty awesome.”
Caden and Cy Hicks from Tumwater have a similar story — Caden is a first-time Mat Classic participant, and Cy is a two-time placer.
Both brothers are in the 2A semifinals — Caden at 220 pounds, and Cy at 285.
“It’s so exciting,” Caden Hicks said. “I get more nervous watching his matches than I do in my matches. … I can’t even describe the relationship we have, but when it comes to mat time, (we) get even closer.”
Cy, a junior, won a bloody brawl, 12-4, over Toppenish’s Jonathan Cuevas to advance to the heavyweight semifinals.
Caden’s match had its own drama. The sophomore was trailing in his match with Othello’s Isaiah Perez, but threw Perez onto his back and pinned him in 5:48.
Caden pinned Franklin Pierce’s Jonathan Gonzales in his opening match in 2:42.
“We practice every day,” Cy said. “We fight everyday. We do catty little fighting to straight on wrestling. I’m just so excited. We’ve worked together. We’re in this together.”
Caden said he told Cy earlier this week if the two wrestle this weekend the way they wrestles upstairs at home, he doesn’t think they can lose.
“I told him, ‘Win or lose, I’ve still got your back at the end of the day, and I know you can go out there and do anything,’ ” Caden said.
“He told me the same thing and we’ve accomplished the same so far.”
FIVE LOCAL GIRLS ADVANCE TO SEMIS
Shelton sophomore Quinn Lacy has her own family ties at Mat Classic.
Her father, Chris, is her coach and was there as his daughter won two matches on Friday.
“I’m glad that he can be down here with me celebrating my matches,” Lacy said. “It’s really fun. I love it more than anything to have him down here. It’s great to have his support.”
Lacy, who was a participant last year as a freshman but didn’t place, pinned Oak Harbor’s Caitlin Woodworth in 5:38 to advance to the girls 170-pound semifinals.
“It’s been my goal this year to be able to place in this tournament,” Lacy said. “This makes me so happy.”
Lacy is one of five locals to advance in the girls bracket.
Phoenix DuBose (115), Carly Smith (125) and Ariana Zemke (145) all advanced to the semifinals for Yelm. Centralia’s Sidnee Arcury (145) also advanced.
TOP WRESTLERS REMAIN CONTENDERS
Two locals that have spent their senior seasons as top-ranked wrestlers — Rainier’s Curtis Lenz and River Ridge’s Blayne Haderman — easily advanced to the semifinals.
Lenz, who wrestles at 106 pounds, had a first-round bye.
“There aren’t that many people, especially because we’re a 2B school,” Lenz said. “The bracket isn’t always full. That was my first match of the day, so it’s hard to stay focused until 4 o’clock in the afternoon.”
But it was no problem. He built an early lead on Cory Perryman before he pinned the Rearden freshman in 2:48.
“I’m going to try to do better than I did last year,” said Lenz, who took fourth as a junior.
“It’s my last year, so if this isn’t the year, there’s no other year. It’s the make-it-or-break-it year.”
Haderman, who took fourth in 2A at 220 pounds as a junior, cruised to a 13-1 decision over Cheney’s Josh Baker.
South Sound semifinalists
3A — Steven Reyes, Yelm, soph. (126); Chayton Miller, Yelm, soph. (160); Derrick Platt, Yelm, soph. (182); Jeremy Smith, Yelm, sr. (195).
2A — Mykka McAllister, Centralia, jr. (120); Damon Thomas, W.F. West, sr. (138); Michael Anderson, W.F. West, sr. (152); Brendenn Spahr, W.F. West, sr. (182); Blayne Haderman, River Ridge, sr. (220); Caden Hicks, Tumwater, soph. (220); Hunter Arredondo, W.F. West, sr. (285); Cy Hicks, Tumwater, jr. (285).
1A — Justin Sample, Elma, jr. (138).
2B/1B — Curtis Lenz, Rainier, sr. (106).
GIRLS — Phoenix DuBose, Yelm, soph. (115); Carly Smith, Yelm, fr. (125); Ariana Zemke, Yelm, sr. (145); Sidnee Arcury, Centralia, sr. (145); Quinn Lacy, Shelton, soph. (170).