A pair of Wolves are headed to the Mat Classic prep state finals this week after earning berths at their regional tournaments this past weekend.
Senior Petra Bernsten earned trip to state after placing fifth at 140 pounds at the 2A Region 2 tourney at White River High School in Buckley on Feb. 12.
She’ll be joined at state by sophomore Cayden Beauregard, who earned a state berth for the Sequim boys after placing fourth at 106 pounds at the 2A Region 2 tourney at Orting High School on Feb. 12.
Teammate Aaron Tolberd placed fifth at 145 pounds at Orting High and is a state alternate.
Bernsten, the Olympic League MVP in her weight class in 2019-2020, pinned Ashley Kurth of Kennedy in 1:09 to open regionals, but fell in a 3-1 decision to Trinitee Robertson of Timberline in quarterfinals.
Bernsten rebounded to pin Irina Parkhomey of Todd Beamer in 1:54 and beat Sarrell Lee of Mount Tahoma 13-7. Bainbridge’s Aubrie Ackland pinned Bernsten in 2:53, dropping the Sequim grappler into a fifth/sixth place match against a familiar foe: Bailey Anderson of Port Angeles.
As she did at sub-districts a week prior, Bernsten pinned the Anderson, with Roughrider having to settle for a state alternate berth.
Sequim coach Chad Cate said Bernsten is continuing to recover from her ankle injury and had a better Regional tournament than last week’s sub-regional, where she placed sixth.
“We made some adjustments to her neutral attack which paid in dividends,” Cate said. “Even though she will be facing a first-seeded wrestler from another region, I wouldn’t bet against her as she appears to be peaking at the right time.”
Beauregard opened with a 10-3 win over Devlyn Bradshaw of Enumclaw before getting pinned by Alan Salguero Jr. of Orting in semifinals, in 1:29.
The Sequim wrestler rebounded to edge Clayton Lim of Fife 6-3 in the consolation semifinals before getting pinned by Bremerton’s Tanner Urrutia in the third/fourth place match.
“We’re making adjustments to his takedowns going into this weekend and I think he’s going to see good results,” Cate said.
Tolberd finished 2-2 at 145 pounds. He rebounded from a first round loss to open regionals — to eventual regional champ Caleb Dale of White River — with a 10-4 decision over Dustin Wallace of Franklin Pierce in consolation round. Sub-district champ Danny Wakonabo of Bremerton knocked Tolberd out of state consideration, but the Sequim grappler finished regionals with a pin of Muelu Salanoa of Clover Park for fifth place and a state alternate berth.
Tolberd, a team captain, came back from a 5-0 deficit int hat final match.
“Aaron … consistently demonstrates the physical and mental toughness required to pull off victories late in matches,” Cate said. “I hope that he has a chance to wrestle at the Tacoma Dome because he certainly belongs there.”
The Sequim coach said Tolberd’s 145-pound weight class at Regionals was one of the toughest in the tourney.
Sequim’s Sam Fitzgerald went 1-2 at 132 pounds. After a loss to White River’s Cooper Reeves to open regionals, Fitzgerald pinned Blake Evans of North Mason in consolation round in 2:07. Justice Lopez of Orting knocked Fitzgerald out in consolation semifinals in a 9-3 decision.