Eight Twin Harbors boys prep wrestlers earned individual championships at their respective regional meets on Saturday.
Montesano’s Ekerson, Sanchez; Elma’s Salazar win at regionals
Three of East County’s best wrestlers stood atop the podium as champions at the 1A Region 2 Championships on Saturday at Castle Rock High School.
Montesano Bulldogs Cole Ekerson and Mateo Sanchez, along with Elma’s Austin Salazar, each won their respective weight classes to take home regional championship hardware.
Ekerson, a state finalist last season, dominated Stevenson’s Solomon Mahoney to earn an 18-2 technical fall victory and successfully defend his 132-pound district title.
Sanchez — also a state finalist in 2022 — pinned King’s Way Christian’s Jasper Armstrong 37 seconds into the second round to win the 182-pound title.
In arguably one of the more tense matches of the championship round, Salazar defeated Hoquiam’s Anthony Burtenshaw 3-2 in the 195-pound championship.
Montesano placed second as a team with 179 points while Elma (125.5) and Hoquiam (107) placed third and fourth, respectively.
“Today was filled with ups and downs. Regionals is a pressure cooker,” Monte head coach Jeff Klinger said of his young team, referencing the loss of senior Sean Ryker to an injury late in a 145-pound semifinal match. “It really hurt losing Sean Ryker to an injury, especially with him being a senior and going out due to what our coaching staff thought was an injury caused by an illegal move. Our youth showed today. The best thing about having a bunch of freshman and sophomores is that they will be back next year.”
The top three from each weight class earned a spot in the the state tournament with fourth-place acting as an alternate.
The WIAA Mat Classic XXXIV is scheduled for Friday through Saturday at the Tacoma Dome.
Full meet results can be found at trackwrestling.com.
1, Castle Rock 241. 2, Montesano 179. 3, La Center 127. 4, Elma 125. 5, Hoquiam 107. 6, Tenino 103. 7, Columbia-White Salmon 77. 8, Stevenson 72. 9, Seton Catholic 64.5. 10, Eatonville 58. 11, King’s Way Christian 45.5.
106 pounds – 1, Skylar Ammons, Castle Rock. 2, Xavier Espinoza of Elma. 3, Aidyn Johnson, Elma.
113 – 1, Landon Fulto, Castle Rock. 2, Junior Soto, Hoquiam. 3, Ulises Morelia, Hoquiam.
120 – 1, Malachi Wallway, La Center. 2, Cooper Williams, Castle Rock. 3, Joshua Kutch, Seton Catholic.
126 – 1, Aidan Watson, La Center. 2, Landon Ramos, Castle Rock. 3, Blaize Salazar, Elma.
132 – 1, Cole Ekerson, Montesano. 2, Solomon Mahoney, Stevenson. 3, Nolen Nelson, Castle Rock.
138 – 1, Ashton Baker, King’s Way Christian. 2, Kasen Polzel, Stevenson. 3, Kasey Whitney, Eatonville.
145 – 1, Ian Burton, Castle Rock. 2, Braden Swihart, Castle Rock. 3, Taye Lessard, Elma.
152 – 1, Isaac Chromey, La Center. 2, Eli Shulke, Castle Rock. 3, Alan Ramirez, Hoquiam.
160 – 1, Stephen Ibsen, Castle Rock. 2, Oliver Bryson, Hoquiam. 3, Kaleb Ames, Montesano.
170 – 1, Sawyer Muehlbauer, Columbia-White Salmon. 2, Kysen Knox, Tenino. 3, Joshua Steele, Columbia-White Salmon.
182 – 1, Mateo Sanchez, Montesano. 2, Jasper Armstrong, King’s Way Christian. 3, Gavin Gantner, Stevenson.
195 — 1, Austin Salazar, Elma. 2, Anthony Burtenshaw, Hoquiam. 3, Brock Maurer, Tenino.
220 – 1, Lane Roberts, La Center. 2, Koy Knox, Tenino. 3, Jesse Cervantes, Montesano.
285 – 1, Andres Capilla-Zamudio, Tenino. 2, Carsen Pero, Eatonville. 3, Aaron Smiley, Castle Rock.
Aberdeen places third, sends 8 to state tourney
Seven Aberdeen Bobcats placed fourth or better in their respective weight classes to earn a state tournament berth and a third-place team finish at the 2A Region 3 Championships on Saturday in Aberdeen.
The Bobcats scored 131.5 points and were led by Talatheon Warness and Mikey Hatton, each of whom won their weight classes to earn regional titles.
Warness defeated Black Hills’ Roberto Rivera-Jesus via technical fall 19-3 in a convincing title-winning performance in the 106-pound title match.
Hatton was also impressive, defeating Shelton’s Cole Borden 13-9 to claim the 126-pound championship.
Aberdeen’s Tristan Walker (138 pounds) placed second with Tyler Caskey (113), Aidan Watkins (145) and Paul Baltazar (285) each taking third in the meet.
Bobcats 152-pounder Dre Brown placed fourth to claim the final state-qualifying spot in the weight class while Erick Silviera (160) placed fifth and will travel to the state meet as an alternate.
W.F. West placed first with 253.5 points followed by Washougal (139.5) and Aberdeen (131.5).
For full meet results, visit trackwrestling.com.
Three local grapplers win titles at 1B/2B regional championships
A pair of Willapa Harbor wrestlers and one Ocosta Wildcat earned individual titles at the 1B/2B Region 1 Championships on Saturday in Kalama.
Willapa Harbor’s Lucas Swogger and Tyson Portmann, as well as Ocosta Wildcat Gage Grigsby, took home regional championships at the meet.
Swogger defeated Forks’ Colton Hunt via pinfall 1:53 into the first round to win the 138-pound title.
Portmann — the state’s top-ranked 1B/2B wrestler at 145 — defeated Forks’ Walker Wheeler 12-5 to win the title.
Grigsby beat Adna’s Sean Hellem via pinfall with two seconds to go in the second round of the 195-pound championship to earn his spot atop the podium.
The top five finishers in each weight class advanced to the state tournament, which begins on Friday at the Tacoma Dome.
Other Twin Harbors student-athletes earning a spot in the state tournament are North Beach’s Wyeland Lomedico (126 pounds, 3rd), Dominik Jerome (152, 5th), Christian Lopez (160, 2nd), Adin Wollum (285, 2nd); Ocosta’s Ronin Rutzer (132, 3rd) and Andrew Martin (145, 3rd); Willapa Harbor’s Cody Strokyk (182, 3rd) and Carson Borden (145, 4th); and Wishkah Valley’s Alfredo Guzman-Gadwa (126, 5th).
Forks won the team title with 280.5 points with Rainier (119) and Darrington (97) rounding out the top three teams.
Willapa Harbor (86 points, 5th), North Beach (64, T-7th) and Ocosta (58, 9th) each placed in the top 10.
Full results are available at trackwrestling.com.