Sequim takes third at Belfair tourney

Not bad for a warm-up.

Sequim wrestlers grappled their way to a third-place finish out of 10 teams at the North Mason Classic in Belfair Dec. 27, earning three individual titles.

The tourney comes just one weekend before Sequim's own Rainshadow Tournament and the first action for wrestlers since Dec. 13, thanks to poor weather conditions throughout Western Washington.

Few of Sequim's three weight class championships in Belfair came particularly easy.

At 135 pounds, Sequim's Joe Hutchison scored the most decisive victory, an 11-4 win against Jared Hendon of North Mason. With a pair of pins and his final win, Hutchison received the tourney's Outstanding Wrestler Award. Hutchison is 8-1 on the season.

Ethan Hinton added a 7-1 win against Steilacoom's James Watkins in the 189-pound class finale, pushing his season mark to 12-2.

Taylor Gowdy was Sequim's third champ, edging Brandon Martin of Eatonville 9-6 in the 125-pound weight class. He's 11-2 on the season heading into this week's Rainshadow tourney.

Anthony Drabek, a Sequim senior making his first appearance of the season, battled all the way to the 140-pound class finals before falling 4-1 in the championship to highly-touted Adam Raemer (sixth in 3A classification, according to

Austin Middleton had a strong showing at 112 pounds, getting to the finals before being pinned by North Mason's Roderick Joaquin to finish in second place.

At the 285-pound heavyweight class, Sequim's Thomas Gallagher pinned Shelton's Wade Wyatt in the consolation finals to take third overall; Port Angeles' John Camp, ranked No. 1 in the 3A classification, took the tourney title. Gallagher is 10-3 for the 2008-2009 season.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Sequim 103-pounder Zak Huisman finished third, pinning Kingston's Kyle Lachelt in the second round.

The host North Mason Bulldogs won the overall title with 216.5 team points, followed by Eatonville (173.5 points) and Sequim (151.5); Port Angeles (151 points) finished fourth.

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