White River’s Claire DiCugno returns for another season on the mat. In this photo from last year’s state meet, she handles an opponent on the way to a second-place finish. File photo by Kevin Hanson

White River’s Claire DiCugno returns for another season on the mat. In this photo from last year’s state meet, she handles an opponent on the way to a second-place finish. File photo by Kevin Hanson

WR preview: bowling and boys, girls wrestling

Last year, girls wrestling took second in state. Will they rise to the top this season?


A successful swarm of Hornets have returned to the mat, looking for continued team and individual success.

The White River boys placed second in the Class 2A state meet a season ago, having taken more wrestlers to the Tacoma Dome than any team in the state. Many of those are back in the fold including returning state champions Nate Belcourt, Gabe Hawthorne and Weston Lyver; all are seniors.

Among the top returning state veterans are senior Ethan Barr; juniors Cyrus Wheeler, Ben Milligan, Andrew Onjang and Klein Carter; and sophomores Brendan McBride, Gage Sabin and Julian Sandoval. Among that group, Wheeler was a sixth-place finisher at last season’s state meet and Milligan was seventh.

The Hornets, under coach Ruben Navejas, kicked off the 2019-20 season by hosting the White River Class on Saturday. Things turn up a notch tonight (Wednesday) when the Hornets host Foss and Fife in South Puget Sound League 2A action. The coming weekend brings a trip south for the Friday/Saturday Rose City Championships in Portland.


The White River girls wrestling program will look to keep the momentum building, coming off a season in which the Rivergirls placed second at the state tournament.

In Washington, girls teams compete in a single field, meaning athletes from the state’s smallest schools take the mat against competitors from the largest programs.

White River had quite a presence at last year’s Mat Classic, most notably in the form of state champion Payton Stroud. She was lost to graduation and the collegiate ranks, but coach Jason Jackson still has plenty of returning talent.

The No. 1 returnee is junior Claire DiCugno who battled her way to the state finals last year and claimed second-place honors.

Other state tourney veterans are Alex Hernandez, a fifth-place finisher last season, and Jalia Williams, who took seventh. Also returning with state experience are sophomores Maria Hawthorne and Allaina Cox.

The White River squad opened the season last weekend by traveling to the Jump On In tournament. The team begins in earnest Thursday night, hosting its only South Puget Sound League meet at 5:30 p.m.


It’s year three for the bowling program at White River High and coach Peggy Jacobsen is working with a mostly-new roster.

The Hornet program is headed by sophomore Morgan Smith. A part of the varsity five a season ago, she advanced to the state tournament. Other returnees from last year are fellow sophomores Madeline Firle and Mallory Whipple. The rest of the squad includes junior Wendy Jo LaTurner; sophomores Hailee Bennett, Isabelle Bucci, Abbey Goetz, Brianna Horner and Lily Phillips; and freshmen Elizabeth Fisher and Kaelyn LaLonde.

The bowling program took a big hit due to graduation, losing Dakota Farrer, Peyton Wallen and Rylee Goetz. Farrer was a two-time qualifier for the state tourney and placed 31st in the large field to conclude her Hornet career.

Bowlers get rolling earlier than other winter sports and the Hornet squad already logged a pair of double-dual competitions. Next, the Hornets challenge Washington and Steilacoom at 3 p.m. tomorrow (Thursday) at Pacific Lanes in Tacoma.

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@courierherald.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.courierherald.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 500 words or less.

More in Sports

Twice the fun: local men complete second Beaverhead Endurance Run

Despite living in neighboring towns, the Plateau men had not met until the run

During the All-State baseball series, Enumclaw High coach Eric Fiedler is flanked by his former players Cole Kaschmitter and Kaden Loop.
Enumclaw pair contribute during all-state baseball

Cole Kaschmitter and Kaden Loop cap prep baseball careers with appearance at all-state series.

Screenshot of video obtained by Redmond police shows Richard Sherman trying to break into the Redmond home of his in-laws.
Former Seattle Seahawks player Richard Sherman charged with five misdemeanors in King County

Charges were filed following an incident at home of Sherman’s in-laws in Redmond.

Redmond Police arrest former Seattle Seahawk Richard Sherman

Redmond Police allege former Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman crashed into a… Continue reading

WIAA and Wilson sign football pact

Wilson Sporting Goods will be official football of the WIAA, starting with the 2021-22 school year

Following standout careers at Enumclaw High, Hunter Storm (left) and Sam Lingwall headed south to compete for the Portland State Vikings.
Enumclaw High alums running strong at Portland State

Sam Lingwall and Hunter Storm starred in EHS track & cross country and earned praise at Portland State

Washington State University
Cougar wrestling club planning Aug. 7 fundraiser at city golf course

Fundraising event will support the wrestling program at Washington State University

Enumclaw Hornets
Loop is named to all-state baseball roster

He’ll join another Hornet in Yakima for Team Rainier for the upcoming all-state baseball series

Margaret Petellin, a 2020 Enumclaw High graduate, earned her first varsity letter as a member of the Luther College swim and dive team.
Petellin earns varsity letter at Luther College

EHS grad helped lead Luther to a 3-0 dual meet record and its 14th liberal arts championship

PHOTOS BY KEVIN HANSON Boys’ basketball teams from White River and Enumclaw battled in the opening round of the SPSL 2A tournament, with the winner advancing to the tourney championship the following night. Playing on their home floor, the White River crew emerged victorious. At left, Wyatt Glissmeyer (3) heads upcourt, trailed by Enumclaw’s Carson Firnkoess (11). At right, Enumclaw’s John Leonard looks to get past the defense of White River’s Will Schroeder.
Most Season 3 athletes play their final games

Plateau athletes took wins in basketball, swimming, wrestling and tennis

Snoqualmie Casino unveiled the first immersive Seahawks-branded table game experience Sept. 18, 2020, in a ribbon cutting dedication with Snoqualmie Tribe Council members and Snoqualmie Casino executives. Courtesy photo
Gambling Commission OKs pacts with tribes for sports betting

Agreements with 15 tribes await approval by the governor and the feds.

White River's Yulisa Martinez-Ponce dead lifts 245 pounds on the way to a state powerlifting championship. Photo courtesy Ella Moyer
White River girls second, boys take fourth at state powerlifting

J’Kira Wolbrecht and Yulisa Martinez-Ponce took titles with 655 and 500 pound totals, respectively