Wrestling: Cowan wrestles to regional tourney berth

Isaiah Cowan, a first-year wrestler, is one step away from the state prep finals.

The first-year Sequim High junior won three out of four matches and placed third at 182 pounds at a sub-regional tournament at North Mason High School in Belfair on Feb. 8.

He’ll compete at the regional tournament at Orting High School on Feb. 15, vying for a spot at the MatClassic state tourney in Tacoma the following weekend.

Teammate Petra Bernsten placed fifth at 140 pounds at a girls sub-regional tourney held Feb. 7-8 in Spanaway and will be an alternate to regionals in Federal Way next week.

After a first round bye, Cowan pinned Firas Kalthoum of Sammamish in 1:34. Cache Holmes of North Kitsap topped Cowan 9-2 in a 182-pound semifinal. Cowan rebounded with back-to-back wins in the consolation bracket. He pinned Kamamao Ruis of Olympic in 4:46 to second a regional berth, then edged Jassiah Smith of North Kitsap 5-4 for third place.

Sequim freshman Brandon Linson placed sixth at 113 pounds. Also competing were SHS freshman Sam Fitzgerald and sophomore Aaron Tolberd, both at 145 pounds.

Bernsten, a sophomore, went 4-2 at the sub-regional tourney. After an opening loss to Nathalie Singh of Fife, Bersten reeled off three consecutive wins in the consolation bracket, pinning Alejandra Acuchi-Balsom of Washington in 1:03 and Natalia Dominguez of Washington in 4:49 and Nevaeh Arthun of Bethel by injury default. After getting pinned by Jalia Williams of White River in the consolation semifinals, Bernsten pinned Alessia Arpetti of Olympic in 4:57 for fifth.

SHS senior Alexi Rampp-Taft went 2-2 at 130 pounds, falling to two of the top three grapplers in her weight class. After a first round win by injury default over Klahowya Alanna Armstrong, North Kitsap freshman Makaya Heymann pinned Rampp-Taft in the first period. Rampp-Taft rebounded with a pin of River Ridge’s Naya Rogers (in 3:16), but was bounced from the tourney in a loss by pin to Jessalyn Murphy of Lincoln (3:16). Heymann placed second overall and Murphy took third.

Sequim’s Aleah Chen, a junior, went 1-2 at 135 pounds. She opened with a 29-second pin of Nyasia Saetern of Renton. Elise Scrafford of North Kitsap pinned Chen in the quarterfinals in 3:34, and Mercedes Mcvea of White River eliminated Chen in the consolation bracket with an 11-0 decision.

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