The Tacoma Dome will be twice as full of Wolves this weekend at the Class 2A State Mat Classic.
Four Sequim wrestlers – Kevyn Ward, 152 pounds, and Kaylee Ditlefsen (140), Alma Mendoza (120) and Kiara Pierson (115) qualified at regionals on Feb. 14 for the state competition on Feb. 20-21.
This year, 11 Wolves shot for state at regionals with the boys placing 11th in Sedro-Woolley and the girls seventh in Yelm.
Ward, a junior and first time state competitor, swept his three matches with three pins over Lynden’s Cole Marlowe in 3:44, Anacortes’ Andrew Toth in 4:47 and Bellevue’s Alden Roberts in 2:18 in the finals.
The difference this year, Ward said, was that his teammates pushed him a lot harder and he came into the season with a different attitude.
“I have two years left in high school and I wanted to make the most of them,” he said.
“I’ve been making more throws this year (too). Being able to shoot and throw will help me a lot.
Sequim head coach Charles Drabek said he was pleased with all of the athlete’s efforts, especially Ward’s intensity and drive.
“Kevyn looked real good,” Drabek said.
Ward opens his state run against Andy Vargas of Quincy who took fourth in the 2A region IV.
Ditlefsen, a senior, returns to state for the third year after competing all four years in regionals.
“It feels bittersweet,” Ditlefsen said about going into her final school tournament.
“This is the big moment when I’m supposed to do my best.”
In Yelm, she took second with a 4:48 pin and a 9-second pin over Bethany Davis of Yelm and Nicole Clark of Sumner before losing 7-1 to Makayla Ramirez of South Kitsap. She’ll open the state tournament versus Natalie Hall of Pasco who won third in her region.
Ditlefsen is joined by Mendoza who will open against Region I winner Lynette Samano of Nook Sack after placing fourth at regionals.
Mendoza won her first matches with pins in 48 seconds and 1:16 pin before losing to Jasmine Pleasants of Thomas Jefferson 9-3. In the consolation she pinned Xochithl Suarez of Kent Meridian in 2:38 but lost to Erin Redford of White River 8-4 for fourth place.
Mendoza said not making it to state last year was tough.
“This year I’ve definitely put the time in,” she said.
Her confidence is there, she said, but she knows she has two more seasons after this and will feel good about the results regardless.
“Win or lose, as long as I give 100 percent, I’ll be OK,” she said.
While Ditlefsen and Mendoza have definite state matches, Pierson, a freshman, must earn her way in with a pigtail match against Anesia Ramirez of Lakes in order to enter the state bracket and face Tania Dominguez of Warden.
Pierson won her first match under the wire with a pin at 1:59 over Lynsie Lim of Franklin Pierce but lost 8-1 to Ramirez of Lakes 8-1. She went on to pin her next match in 1:41, win 5-2 and claim another pin in 1:46 to setup the third/fourth place matchup with Ramirez.
Sequim’s other wrestlers faced some tough competition and some hard luck in their matches.
Jamie Schroepfer, a freshman at 113 pounds, lost both of his matches with the first by pin in 3:13 and the second to Sehome’s Suan Tung in the consolation 14-3.
Drabek said Schroepfer came close to pinning both his opponents.
“I told him he belongs here and to put his time in prior to next season and he would be up on the podium and at state,” Drabek said.
Craig Baker (120) lost 6-1 in his first match, won his second 11-0 before falling in the setup match for third/fourth to Olympic’s Shane Santos 6-3, whom he had beaten at sub-regionals. He lost in the fifth/sixth place match to Riley Takemura of Bellevue in 4:58.
Michael Latimer (220), who sat out some of last week, tore his hamstring in the opening match to Anacortes’ James Swanson.
Sophia Cornell (110), who competed at state last year, lost her first match 8-4 to Nia Lawes of Bonney Lake but earned a pin in 4:56 over Carson Torres of Highline before losing to Jamayia Blackston of Lincoln by pin in 4:51.
Aylee Bennett (135) and Andrea Kienholtz (155) lost their matches by pins.
Savanna Fowler did not compete for Sequim due to commitments with the Sequim Irrigation Festival nor did sub-regionals alternates Kiera Phipps and Sven Wiker.