Sports

Wolves get 16 to regionals

One more big step.

Sequim wrestlers advanced 15 boys and one girl from the 2008-2009 roster to the West Central District regionals this weekend after a strong showing at the Olympic League district sub-regional tournaments.

The Wolves saw five grapplers win weight division titles and finished second in the team standings behind North Mason at the Olympic League sub-regional in Silverdale on Feb. 7.

Sequim also had three wrestlers finish second, two take third and another four wrestlers place fourth. Only the top four wrestlers advanced to the regional tourney, set for Feb. 14 at Washington High School in Tacoma.

"We had a pretty good day (but) some of the weight classes were not that deep,"

Sequim coach Len Borchers said. "It'll be a different game next week."

At Washington High, the top Olympic League wrestlers from Sequim, Klahowya, North Mason and Kingston challenge top grapplers from Washington, Interlake, Steilacoom, Eatonville and sub-regional champion Fife.

Only the top three wrestlers in each weight class move on to state.

"That's what makes it

tough," Borchers said.

Seeking his third trip to the state tournament is Sequim 125-pound senior Taylor Gowdy, who dominated Kingston's Daniel Talmadge 11-2 in the sub-regional final.

Nick Grinnell seeks his first trip to state since 2007. He heads to the regional tourney with a No. 1 seed after edging Jared Henden of North Mason 2-1 in the 130-pound sub-regional championship match.

Ethan Hinton continued his strong push toward another state berth with a sub-region championship at 189 pounds, pinning Kingston's Travis Schuman in 3:43.

Alex O'Donnell outscored Klahowya's Nehemiah Salo 8-4 in the 152-pound finals for a No. 1 seed to regionals, and Sequim heavyweight Thomas Gallagher did the same after pinning North Mason's John North in the second round.

Joe Hutchison (135 pounds) and Anthony Drabek (140) nearly gave Sequim their sixth and seventh titles Saturday but lost in the waning moments of their weight class finals.

Hutchison had a 10-9 lead late against Klahowya's Ammon Jensen before the Eagle reversed and got a near pin for a 14-10 win. Despite that loss, Hutchison heads to regionals with a No. 2 seed and chance to repeat as a state placer. Drabek, seeking a return to state after qualifying in 2006 and 2007, had Klahowya's Joe Sawyers down and the score tied 4-4 before Sawyers escaped with 20 seconds remaining; Sawyers won 5-4.

Sequim's Mike Bereiter took second at 160 pounds, getting a key overtime win to advance to the finals before falling to Klahowya's Donny McCarty.

Sequim's Austin Middleton (112 pounds) and David Copeland (171) each placed third while a host of Wolves - Zak Huisman (103), Mustang Riggins (135), Anthony Sturgell (140), Kenny Henning (145) and Dalton Ackley (160) - each placed fourth.

Despite just three berths in each weight class at regionals, Borchers said he likes Sequim's chances of more than a half-dozen Wolves getting to MatClassic.

"I think, in all honesty, seven is a realistic number (to go to state)," Borchers said.

Sequim's lone competing female wrestler, Sarah Keltonic, advanced from a sub-regional at Emerald Ridge last weekend to a Feb. 14 regional competition at Fife High School. The 140-pounder needs to place in the top six to advance to state.

MatClassic, Washington state's prep wrestling championships, is at the Tacoma Dome Feb. 20-21.

Last season, Sequim advanced four grapplers to the state tourney - three of them placed - and the Wolves finished 35th overall among 2A teams.



Sequim placers

(advancing to regionals):

103 - Zak Huisman

112 - Austin Middleton

125 - Taylor Gowdy

130 - Nick Grinnell

135 - Joe Hutchison

Mustang Riggins

140 - Anthony Drabek

Anthony Sturgell

145 - Kenny Henning

152 - Alex O'Donnell

160 - Mike Bereiter

Dalton Ackley

171 - David Copeland

189 - Ethan Hinton

285 - Thomas Gallagher



Reach Michael Dashiell at miked@sequimgazette.com.





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