One step closer to the opportunity to defend its state championship, that’s how things looked Saturday night as the No. 1-ranked Enumclaw High wrestling team dominated the subregional tournament with eight champions and four runners-up.
The Hornets will send 16 wrestlers total and three alternates to Satuday’s regional tournament at Bonney Lake High where the top four advance to Mat Classic, the state tournament, Feb. 20 and 21 in the Tacoma Dome.
The Hornets walked away with 429.5 points. The most a Reichert-run team has scored. White River was a distant second with 264.5 and host Auburn Mountainview came in third with 259.5.
“It’s another stepping stone to where we want to go and it’s a great way to start,” coach Lee Reichert said, offering the Hornets would like to take a dozen or more wrestlers to the state tournament.
“I’m more pleased than anything with the kids’ progression,” he said.
Enumclaw kicked off the championship round with freshman Travis Reano’s 103-pound title. Reano took Brandon Perry of Auburn Mountainview to task with an 11-2 victory.
Hot on his heels was Hornet sophomore Marcus Nickols, who lost a one-point decision to Matt Anderson of Auburn Mountainview at 112 pounds.
Defending state champion Sam Bauer kept his record clean at 125 pounds as he put down Sumner’s Tyler Wooding, 10-7 for the crown.
Wayne Horton kept up the pace with a 4-2 decision over David Kuich of Franklin Pierce for the 130-pound title.
Defending state champion Jason Gray matched up against teammate Josh Musick for the 140-pound title bout. Gray took the victory, 7-5.
In the 145-pound championship match, Jacob Jokela ran into Bonney Lake’s Addison Tracy and suffered a 9-1 defeat.
Waiting in the wings was Hornet Kario Wallin who scored a 9-3 decision over Isaac Tadeo of Auburn Mountainview for the 152-pound championship.
The Hornets weren’t done yet. Conner Elder and White River’s Michael Madden met up again this time with the 160-pound crown on the line. Elder got the upper hand, besting his cross-river foe 9-2.
It was another Hornet-Hornet battle for the 189-pound title, but this time it was EHS teammates Mike Staples and Tyler Rewoldt going head-to-head with Staples squeaking out a 9-8 win.
Enumclaw was still not finished, putting Brad McCutchen on the mat for the 215-pound championship. The junior ran into White River’s Chase Myers, again, and fell this time in 1 minute, 27 seconds.
The top four wrestlers in each weight division advance to the regional tournament. The Hornets’ Cole Snider finished fourth at 119 pounds. Kyle Young was also a fourth-place finisher at 135 pounds. Joey VanWinkle earned a spot with his fourth-place finish at 171 pounds, as did Jeff Wiltse at heavyweight.
Fifth-place finishers Jonny Avila, 112 pounds, Chance Mitchell, 135, and Colton Sambrano, 215, will serve as alternates.