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Wrestling: Mooney shines in Battle for the Axe tourney
At 138 pounds, Luke Mooney is never the biggest wrestler on the mat in any tournament or meet.
But one-on-one, Mooney is proving to be as tough a match as any in the Olympic League.
The Sequim High senior took top honors as Outstanding Wrestler in Pool No. 1 at the Battle for the Axe tourney in Port Angeles on Dec. 22.
Mooney went 4-0 in his matches but the Wolves went 0-4 as a team, finishing eighth in the eight-team tourney, including a 59-18 defeat at the hands of the host Roughriders.
Port Angeles defended their own Battle for the Axe title for a third consecutive crown, crushing Eatonville 58-18 in the championship.
Forks, the other Olympic Peninsula team, took third.
Port Angeles (6-0) had eight competitors earn wins in all four matches — Tyler Gale (106 pounds), Brady Anderson (113), Josh Basden (120), Ozzy Swagerty (126), No. 1-ranked Brian Cristion (170), Roberto Coronel (220) and Michael Myers (285) — plus 220-pounder Kyle La Fritz, who competed as a member of the Junior Varsity Dream Team.
At 145 pounds, Luke McNeley of Eatonville was named Pool No. 2's outstanding wrestler.
Last year, Port Angeles topped Sequim 50-24 for the Battle title.
Trojans on top
Olympic proved to be a tough matchup for a shorthanded Sequim squad on Dec. 20.
The Trojans won all but two matches in a decisive, 66-10 decision in Sequim, taking advantage of five Sequim weight-class forfeits and earning five pins.
Mooney, now ranked No. 11 in the state at 138 pounds (according to washingtonwrestlingreport.com), competed at 145 pounds and won a major decision against Kyle Knuk, 12-1, while Wolf Michael Latimer earned Sequim's lone pin, a 13-second victory against Kevin Knapp.
Sequim's Royhon Agostine, ranked No. 13 in the state at 126 pounds, dropped an 8-7 match to Ryan Martin at that same weight.
Rainshadow on tap
The Wolves host their annual Rainshadow Tournament in a one-day affair set for Saturday, Jan. 5.
Competing teams include Port Townsend, North Mason, Bremerton, two undetermined teams and the host Wolves.
Last season, Sequim placed third in the six-team tourney while the Port Angeles took the team title.
Sequim hasn't won its own Rainshadow tourney since 2000.