Hornet-Hornet battle at 7 tonight in Buckley
Boosted by two champions and a runner-up finisher, Enumclaw High started off the new year with a fourth-place finish at the prestigious Pacific Coast Wrestling Championships Friday and Saturday in Vancouver, Wash.
“We’re right where we thought we were,” coach Lee Reichert said of the competition with the Class 4A and 3A schools from Washington and Oregon. “We’re right on track. We needed a good test.
“Overall I’m pleased with the way the kids wrestled. We have some things to work out. It’s the great competition we were looking for. We know where we need to go. We’re a better team for going down there.”
The No. 1-ranked Hornets watched defending state champions Sam Bauer and Jason Gray waltz to Pac Coast titles. It was Bauer’s second-straight Pac Coast crown. He won the 125-pound title with a 3-minute, 16-second pin over Drew Dacey of Auburn Mountainview while Gray won the 140-pound crown with an equally impressive 1:35-pin over Billy Rhoads of Deer Park.
Connor Elder was in the hunt for the 160-pound championship, but got caught in the opening seconds by Tyler Story of Graham-Kapowsin, who was a state 4A runner-up last year.
“He just continues to improve each time he goes out,” Reichert said of Elder. “He’s won three tournaments and he was hoping to get this one. He got to the finals and just got caught.”
The Hornets finished fourth with 171.5 points, a half-point behind Tahoma, seven behind Deer Park and 30 points behind champion Graham-Kapowsin.
EHS scored points with Kario Wallin’s fourth-place finish at 152 pounds. Brad McCutchen came down a weight class and was also fourth for Enumclaw at 215 pounds, but as the Hornets’ second entry his points did not count. Fellow 215-pounder Mike Staples’ points did, however, and he finished seventh.
Wayne Horton finished fifth at 130 pounds.
Jacob Jokela, 145 pounds, and Hunter File, 119 pounds, both finished, but File’s points did not count since he is wrestling the season at the junior varsity level. Jokela knocked out teammate Josh Musick, who was one match from placing.
The Hornets return to South Puget Sound League 3A dual meet action at 7 tonight, Wednesday, against White River in Buckley. SPSL 3A competition continues Thursday when the Hornets host Auburn Mountainview, which finished 11th at Pac-Coast, also at 7 p.m.
Reach Brenda Sexton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-802-8206.