White River High wrestlers were the cream of the Mat Classic crop this year, as the Hornets girls battled their way to a state championships and the boys team claimed third-place honors.
Mat Classic XXXII played out Feb. 22-23 at the traditional home of the prep wrestling finale, the Tacoma Dome.
The event brings together schools from all corners of the state, from every classification, for two full days of top-notch prep wrestling.
The team victory for the White River girls is particularly noteworthy because all girls’ programs compete in a single field. Grapplers from the state’s smallest schools take to the mat against girls from the state’s largest.
After two full days of matches, Class 2A White River topped the leaderboard with 95 team points. Placing second was Class 4A Kennewick, followed by North Kitsap, Federal Way and Othello.
The White River boys were part of a trio that has remained among the state’s elite. The 2A field was topped by Toppenish and Orting finished second.
WHITE RIVER GIRLS
The Rivergirls were headed by the championship effort of Claire DiCugno, a junior who topped the field at 125 pounds.
In all, eight White River girls had qualified for Mat Classic and six landed individual honors. Claiming third place were Anna DiCugno, 105 pounds, and Shelby Moore, 115; Jalia Williams was fifth at 140, Maria Hawthorne was sixth at 145 and Jenna Beddow finished seventh at 115.
Also qualifying for the state meet were Nicole Poussier, 125 pounds, and Alaina Cox, 190.
WHITE RIVER BOYS
Gabe Hawthorne and Weston Lyver claimed individual championships to pace the Hornets’ third-place finish in the team standings. Hawthorne’s victory came at 152 pounds and Lyver topped the field at 160.
Also placing were Benjamin Milligan, third place at 106 pounds; Jared Rodarte fifth at 170; Cyrus Wheeler, sixth at 220; and Gage Sabin, eighth at 126.
Others appearing at Mat Classic were Brendan McBride, 113 pounds; Nate Belcourt, 126; Julian Sandoval, 145; and Jay Selander, 195.
Six EHS wrestlers headed to the Tacoma Dome for the Class 4A state tournament.
When the curtain fell on the grappling extravaganza, the Hornets had a pair of sixth-place finishers leading the Hornet charge. Taking sixth were Brandon Cormier at 113 pounds, and Cade Carter at 126.
A pair of Hornets took seventh-place honors: Aidan Carrol, 136 pounds, and Drew Krehbiel, 152. Tyson Russell won one of his three state matches at 113. Noah Cormier also had qualified for the season-ending state tourney.
Representing the Enumclaw girls’ program was Natasha Puzon, who competed at 115 pounds.
Winning four of six matches over the two days of Mat Classic, Puzon placed fifth.