Mix of varsity experience, newcomers dot winter rosters at Enumclaw, White River

White River’s boys wrestling is now full of experienced seniors, and an Enumclaw swimmer is looking to make another splash this year.

WHITE RIVER

• Boys Wrestling

The news is two-fold in the world of White River wrestling.

First, there’s a new head coach leading the squad. And second, it’s quite a team he has inherited.

New to the program is Ruben Navajas, who takes over a program that rolled to a Class 2A state championship a season ago. The best news for Navajas is that most of the Hornets’ state tournament veterans have returned for another season on the mat.

Of the dozen grapplers the Hornets sent to last year’s Mat Classic, only two were seniors.

Leading the charge this time around are defending state champions Nate Moore, now a senior, and Gabe Hawthorne, a junior. Also back in action with state experience are seniors Max Wheeler, Jack Ervien, Johnny McBride and Eric Campbell; juniors Weston Lyver and Nate Belcourt; and sophomore Klein Carter.

A season ago, Moore and Ervien shared South Puget Sound League 2A Athlete of the Year honors.

• Girls Wrestling

The White River girls wrestling program is looking to carry over the momentum built a year ago when the Hornets took four competitors to the state tournament and eventually claimed eighth-place honors.

Individually, Payton Stroud advanced to last year’s finals as a junior, placing second. Claire Dicugno, now a sophomore, was fourth at last season’s Mat Classic.

Stroud was last year’s SPSL 2A Athlete of the Year and a first-team, all-league selection. Others returning to the program include first-team selections Mercedes McVea and Taylor Lynch, now sophomores; second team honorees included Rachel Poussier, now a senior, and Dicugno.

• Girls Bowling

Eight girls are on the roster for this second-year program.

Heading the list are Dakota Farrer, who was a first team, all-league selection a season ago, and Peyton Wallen, who received honorable mention.

Also on this year’s roster are senior Rylee Goetz; junior Marissa Dolson; and freshmen Madeline Firle, Morgan Smith, Taylor Tjossem and Mallory Whipple.

Back as coach is Peggy Jacobsen. She and her squad were in action this week, squaring off against Renton and Franklin Pierce Tuesday afternoon at Skyway Park Bowl. Thursday, the team will face Foss and Lindbergh at Narrows Plaza Bowl in University Place.

• Gymnastics

White River doesn’t offer gymnastics as a varsity sport, but Hornet girls are free to turn out with their peers at Enumclaw High.

That arrangement was successful a year ago when all four White River competitors advanced to the Tacoma Dome and the Class 2A state meet.

Two state veterans return: Erin McGinness is back after qualifying for three events at state, placing 10th in the all-around competition, second on the beam, 10th in the floor exercise and 13th in bars; also returning is Annelyse Anderson.

ENUMCLAW

• Boys swim and dive

Coach Jesse Nitz has welcomed a roster 20 swimmers and divers – some with experience and some newcomers – for the winter season.

Leading the way is Ben Hauswirth, a force both in swimming events and on the board. During this season’s first meet he shattered the EHS dive record. A year ago he placed fourth at state in diving and also was a member of the school’s state-qualifying 500 freestyle relay team.

Also making a strong early-season showing during the victory over Auburn Riverside were sophomore Luke Perlot, who won both the 200 and 500 freestyle races; sophomore Ben Jazbutis, who won the 50 freestyle and 100 butterfly; sophomore Jacob Hauswirth, who won the 100 backstroke; and freshman Tanner Harms, who won the 200 individual medley and 100 breaststroke.

Also on the roster are seniors Brent Peters, James Roddy and Justin Evans; juniors Austin Williams and Ethan Blanco; sophomores Elijah Escobar, Kellen Murray, Kelton Shearer, Kody Moore, Logan McNabb, Michael Arensdorf, Nolan Clark and Solomon Breece; and freshmen Jordan Simon and Josh Hughes-Kuruganti.

Ben Hauswirth and Roddy have been chosen as team captains. Simon and Evans attend White River High but, because their school does not include a swim program, turn out with EHS.

• Boys Wrestling

Enumclaw High’s wrestling team features a deep roster but it’s a trio of state veterans who lead the way.

Back for another year, after qualifying for Mat Classic to cap last season, are senior Matthew Dion and juniors Brandon Cormier and Aidan Carroll. The team took a hit with the loss of Quinton Southcott and Austin Rewoldt, who graduated after battling to seventh-place finishes at the state championships.

Coach Adam Eilers and his Hornet squad opened the season with Saturday’s White River Invitational and kick off dual meet action Thursday with a trip to Federal Way High.

• Gymnastics

Coach Regina Chynoweth has welcomed a group that includes many familiar faces but lost some crucial pieces to graduation.

Returning to competition are seniors Gracelyn Boren and Payton Roberson; junior Keely Schroeder; and sophomores Katie Hardman and Tayler Anderson. The group is bolstered by White River gymnasts who join EHS for the season.

Newcomers to the squad include Abigayle Clark, Mackenzie Hale, Kaylee Hehr, McKenzie Kent, Payton Mapes, and Lesley Rodriguez-Lopez.

The team took a roster hit with the losses of state veterans Macie Bosik, Leah Perry and Journi Salomon.

• Girls Wrestling

The Enumclaw High squad is highlighted by junior Kenzie Cormier, who placed fourth at last season’s state championships.

She is joined on this year’s team by Jade Caldwell, Trinity Carmel, Mariah Garcia, Madison Goss, Kate Hayett, Natalie Lessard and Natasha Puzon.

The team jumped into the season with a tournament last weekend and continues this Saturday with the annual Judy Emry Invitational at Foss High School in Tacoma.

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