If it’s a rebuilding year for White River High’s wrestling team no one would know it by the Hornets’ performance Saturday at the subdistrict tournament at Auburn Mountainview. The Hornets finished second to No. 1-ranked Enumclaw and put four wrestlers in the finals – two were champions.
The Hornets qualified eight wrestlers and will take two alternates to Saturday’s regional wrestling tournament at Bonney Lake. There the top four advance to Mat Classic, the state wrestling tournament, slated for Feb. 20 and 21 in the Tacoma Dome.
“I’m about as proud as I’ve ever been at how these guys wrestled this weekend,” coach Joe Klein said. “These kids keep amazing me every week.
“We’re young. We don’t have a lot of experienced kids but they keep improving.”
Paced by its four finalists, White River closed the night with 264.5 team points, well behind Enumclaw with 429.5, but a decent margin ahead of the host Lions with 259.5.
Gino Russell was the Hornets’ first champion of the night, winning the 171-pound weight class by pinning Luke Peterson of Auburn Mountainview in 2 minutes, 45 seconds.
Chase Myers earned the Hornets second title, meeting up with cross-river rival Brad McCutchen of Enumclaw for the second-straight week. Myers took the Hornet to his back in 1:27 for the 215-pound crown.
Two Hornets whose paths have crossed before – Connor Elder of Enumclaw and Michael Madden of White River – met again for the 160-pound championship. Elder claimed the victory with a 9-2 decision.
David Meagher also was a second-place finisher for White River, falling to Jared Dorsey of Bonney Lake in the heavyweight title bout, 5-3.
White River’s Richard Geddes earned his trip with a 17-14 victory for third place at 103 pounds. Jeremy Gurule also finished third. He scored a 3-0 decision over TJ Peretti of Auburn Mountainview for his 130-pound slot.
Alec Williams’ third-place finish at 140 pounds assures him a place Saturday. He won a 7-2 match with Josh Peart of Bonney Lake for his position.
Austin Bethel will represent White River at 160 pounds, after blanking the Lions’ Patric Peterson 5-0 for third.
Robert Kautzman, 130, and Anthony Moore, 140, will serve as alternates.