HOQUIAM — Aberdeen wrestlers walked away with four individual titles to earn the team championship at the 40th Annual Grizzly Alumni Invitational at Hoquiam High School on Saturday.
Aberdeen’s Caleb Lock (106 pounds), Jeremy Roberts (113), Bodie Wharton (152) and Tyler Sherman (220) won their respective weight classes as the Bobcats earned 218.5 points to win the team title.
Hosting its long-running home event, the Hoquiam Grizzlies actually earned more singles titles than their Myrtle Street rivals. The Grizzlies earned five gold medals on wins by Xavier Garcia (120), Alex Houbregs (126), Antonio Garcia (145), Levi Sudderth (160) and Brady Cummings (170) to earn 183.5 points to finish second as a team.
“We’ve told the kids that Christmas break is kind of a make-or-break time for our team,” Hoquiam head coach Terry Helland said. “We had some good performances during that break and then we came out of it and I don’t think our guys felt great about their performances last week (in a duel meet split against Tenino and Elma). So as a coaching staff, we had one of those moments where we knew we had to do something to get things moving in the right direction.
“Our kids practiced as good as I’ve ever seen them practice this week. … Our kids are really figuring it out, what it takes on a day-to-day basis. Hopefully, they can ride this positivity to keep up those habits.”
Washougal was close behind the Grizzlies in third place with 183 points, highlighted by Bryce Williams’ pinfall victory over Clover Park’s Gianni Lafave in the 195-pound weight class.
With dozens of athletes representing 10 different schools, multiple Twin Harbors area athletes won their respective weight classes on Saturday.
North Beach’s Garrett Armbruster won by fall over Hoquiam’s Cosmo Palmgren to claim the 132-pound crown in a back-and-forth final where both wrestlers had chances to win.
Montesano’s Kai Olson was in dominant form in the 182-pound division, blanking Clover Park’s Ryan Nelson, 16-0.
In the quickest final of the day, Willapa Harbor’s Christian Anderson scored a pinfall victory over Aberdeen’s Enrique Ontiveros just 35 seconds into their heavyweight final.
Though he admitted the home tournament wasn’t the deepest that they would attend, Helland liked the quality of wrestling he saw from both the local and out-of-area teams on Saturday.
“When you bring in Washougal, you know they’re going to wrestle hard. Clover park always has a few tough kids and they’re fun to have in the building. Same with the kids from Foss. I like to bring those kids in from outside and it’s nice to have all the local teams here too,” he said. “It’s fun to get them all here in the same building because at the end of the month, when we go in to postseason, we don’t really see them anymore because we are all off in our own regions.”
Helland also spoke about maintaining a tradition that began in the event’s first year. Former Hoquiam head coach Ron Baze — who guided Hoquiam to its only team state championship in 1988 — started the Grizzly Alumni Invitational in 1979 and in the 40 years since, the meet has hosted multiple All-Americans and state champions.
“One of the things we’re doing as a school is trying to push tradition,” Helland said. “When you have things like this that you can draw upon and say we have this tradition that we can carry on, … We have a history here and we try to build some pride that we are a part of it. We’ve drilled that pretty heavy into our kids this year and they’re really starting to respond to it.”
Results for the top three wrestlers in each weight class are listed below.
Team Scores: 1. Aberdeen (218.5). 2. Hoquiam (183.5). 3. Washougal (183). 4. Montesano (117). 5. Clover Park (81). 6. Elma (72.5). 7. North Beach (47.5). 8. Foss (45). 9. Taholah (7). 10. Willapa Harbor (N/A).
Editor’s Note: Due to an issue with the scoring system, Willapa Harbor’s final score was not available at the time of this writing.
106 pounds — 1. Lock (Aberdeen), 2. Jacob Salstrom (Montesano), 3. Joel Nelson (ABER).
113 — 1. Roberts (ABER), 2. Eugene Cater (Foss), 3. Dylan Davis (Washoulgal).
120 — 1. X. Garcia (Hoquiam), 2. Gavin Sell (North Beach), 3. Cameron Harris (ABER).
126 — 1. Houbregs (HOQ), 2. Stephen Warren (WASH), 3. Hudson Barnum (Willapa Harbor).
132 — 1. Armbruster (NB), 2. C. Palmgren (HOQ), 3. Lucas Salstrom (MONTE).
138 — 1. JR Bunn (FOSS), 2. Tristan Hamlin (WH), 3. Patrick Hunt (ABER).
145 — 1. A. Garcia (HOQ), 2. Malaki Eaton (HOQ), 3. Skylar Boothby (WASH).
152 — 1. Wharton (ABER), 2. Duncan Palmgren (HOQ), 3. Isaac Pierce (MONTE), Logan Coffman (WASH) (tie).
160 — 1. Sudderth (HOQ), 2. Trenton Alderman (Elma), 3. Mason Lutz (MONTE).
170 — 1. Cummings (HOQ), 2. Luke Borden (WH), 3. Conrad Jones (WASH), Seth Brown (ABER) (tie).
182 — 1. Olson (MONTE), 2. Ryan Nelson (Clover Park), 3. Nikko Kautz (WASH), Nick Davis (ABER) (tie).
195 — 1. Williams (WASH), 2. Lafave (CLPK), 3. Chase Flynn (WH).
220 — 1. Sherman (ABER), 2. Ben Bridge (ELMA), 3. Jaden Hoseny (ABER).
285 — 1. Anderson (WH), 2. Ontiveros (ABER), 3. Carter Ayres (ELMA).
Elma’s Garcia, Carrell win titles at Fife tournament
Elma wrestlers Jacob Garcia and Jamison Carrell each won their respective weight classes as a contingent of Eagles boys and girls grapplers competed at the Fife Tournament on Saturday.
Garcia won by fall over Fife’s Gavin Knapp to claim the 220-pound title in the boys tournament.
Carrell pinned Kent Meridian’s Aurora Valdez to claim a 130-pound individual title in the girls tournament.
Other Eagles wrestlers to place at the Fife tourney were Carter Ayers (285, 3rd), Benjamin Bridge (220, 2nd), Trentin Alderman (160, 2nd) and Lennart Feldhoff (160, 5th).