White River wrestling coach Joe Klein was beaming Saturday night. Not only did his boys team put five wrestlers into the state tournament, but so did the Hornets’ girls team. Plus, the Lady Hornets carried home a fourth-place finish from the regional tournament Saturday at Emerald Ridge, finishing one point behind Enumclaw with host Emerald Ridge and Rogers tying for the title.
“You’ve gotta be happy with that,” Klein said. “We ended the year with six girls and five are going to state.”
Klein said he doesn’t know how the ladies will do at state, but just having them there builds success for the program and helps it grow in the future.
Mat Classic, the state 3A wrestling tournament, kicks off Friday morning and continues through Saturday night at the Tacoma Dome and the Lady Hornets are ready to go.
Samantha Lovelace will lead the Hornets’ charge after a third-place finish at 112 pounds. She beat Dallas Welker of Emerald Ridge 5-3 at the regional meet, where the top six place finishers earned a spot at state. Lovelace meets Lupita Mendez of Connell in the state’s opening round at 10:16 a.m. Friday.
Ashley Orr and Kandie Kujawa earned fourth-place regional finishes for the Hornets. Orr, at 119 pounds, finished fourth after falling to Electra Duclos of Steilacoom. Kujawa also suffered a fall, to Dee Fegurgur of Emerald Ridge, to finish fourth.
Orr takes the state mat at 10:40 a.m. against Casey Mather of Stanwood. Kuwaja faces Cyndi Monroe of Motessano at 11:44 a.m.
Jesslyn Blue and Danielle Garner finished sixth for the Hornets. Blue earned her spot at state at 130 pounds with an 18-4 defeat to Kaylene Young of Lincoln. Garner suffered a quick-pin at the hands of Rebekah Crus of Rogers-Puyallup for her sixth-place finish.
Keeping the ball rolling for WRHS at state, Blue meets Cassi Curtis of Spanaway at 11:12 a.m. and Garner squares off against Anna Stauffer of Skyview at 11:20 a.m.
Klein said it would likely have been a Hornet sweep, but Mikaela Kilcup pulled out of the tournament with an injury.
Wrestling fans can follow the action at www.wiaa.com where the brackets will be posted and updated regularly.