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WRHS WRESTLING: White River aiming for Top 10 finish
With nine wrestlers making the trip to Mat Classic, the state wrestling tournament Friday and Saturday, White River High has a good chance of returning to the Top 10.
“Our goal is to be in the top 10,” coach Joe Klein said. “We’re in a position to be there. Win two on Friday and you’re a state place winner.”
Currently ranked 13th, the Hornets finished second at Saturday’s Region II tournament with three champions. Cross-river and league rival Enumclaw, the defending two-time state champion, won it with 235 points. The Hornets were right behind at 186.5. Auburn Mountainview, 128.5, and Bonney Lake, 84.5, were third and fourth.
“Six extra strength Excedrin, three Mountain Dews, nine guys to state, that’s good stuff,” Klein laughed. “What else would I be doing on a Saturday.”
Despite the headaches, getting nine out of 12 wrestlers through to state is an accomplishment.
“Regional is brutal,” Klein said. “You win some. You lose some. You’re one or two points from having a couple more guys in the tournament. That’s the heartbreak of the tournament.”
Freshman Brandon Short was the Hornets’ first champion of the night, winning the 119-pound title with a third-straight pin. It took just 54-seconds to win the crown. He kicks off the state tournament with Jake Crawford of Columbia River.
Alec Williams scored the Hornets’ second title of the night, defeating Bonney Lake nemesis Nick Bendon 6-4 at 140 pounds. Williams begins his 2010 state quest with Trey Botten of Mount Si.
White River’s final champion of the night was Chase Myer. The 215-pound Myer pinned Enumclaw’s Steven Knapp in 2:53 for the crown. Myers meets Charles Johnson of West Seattle in the first-round of state competition.
The Hornets got third-place finishes from Richard Geddes, Robert Kautzman, Austin Shirey and David Meagher.
Geddes faces Connor Gullstad of Mercer Island in the 103-pound opener at 10:10 a.m. Friday.
Kautzman begins his state tournament with Jun Pork of Bellevue at 130 pounds, while Shrley starts off at 135 pounds with Kyle Wiley of Prairie.
Heavyweight Meagher topped teammate Kyle Rodarte 2-1 for his third-place regional finish. Both advance to state with Meagher facing Steven Taylor of North Central to open and Rodarte squaring off against Sunnyside’s Jose Barajas.
Caden Pugmire also earned a fourth-place regional finish. He begins the 145-pound bracket Friday with Brenden Tarr of Shadle Park.
Hornet Austin Bethel finished fifth and will serve as an alternate.
Noah Geehan and Jacob Short added team points with sixth-place finishes and Chris Skinner helped the Hornets out as well. He was able to enter the regional tournament as an alternate.