The White River High girls wrestling team traveled to the Centralia Tiger Classic Saturday, entered just four scorers in the varsity side of the tournament and walked off with a fifth-place finish.
Taking her first tourney championship was senior Kendra Blue. After a first round bye, Blue made her way to the finals by outscoring her first opponent and pinning her second. The championship match against Centralia’s Maritza Bravo was hard fought, eventually decided when Blue reversed her opponent and won 4-2 as regulation time ran out.
“Kendra just wanted it badly, heard the countdown by the timer and kept after her opponent aggressively to bring home the win,” coach Rich Valdez said.
In the 190-pound division, two-time state placer Hannah Lewandowski also took home gold. She made it to the top by pinning opponents from Fife and Centralia.
Sophomore Erin Redford won her first match by fall in just 19 seconds. She dropped her second match to state placer Natalie Smith of Mount Baker 12-4 after reversing her opponent and barely missing out on a pin.
“The score doesn’t reflect how close this match was,” Valdez said. “A little adjustment or a few more seconds on the clock and Redford ends up in the finals… Erin keeps getting better, she is going to be a force to be reckoned with at the state tourney this year.”
Redford pinned her final opponent, Alex Wilson of Aberdeen, in 58 seconds to share third-place honors.
Madison Altamirano also wrestled in the 130 division as a nonscorer and took home a share of third place. She pinned three foes and dropped a 7-0 decision.
Brianne Wiens picked up team points at 140 pounds, pinning Myesha Moss of Lakes in 1 minute and 9 seconds before tangling with state champion Mariah Horton of Kelso who eventually won the weight class.
White River also had seven wrestlers in round-robin competitions: Rebekah Lockemy and Cassandra Altamirano, second; Kylie Riewe, Tessa Rhoades and Victoria Burton, third; and Summer Hanson and Katey Garner, fourth.
“Our entire team did exceptional with the veterans wrestling aggressive and smart and our rookies and JV level grapplers all improving upon their seasons,” Valdez said.