At the start of the championship round of the 4A Region I wrestling tournament Saturday at Snohomish High School, Lake Stevens coach Brent Barnes was a relaxed man.
Not only did he have both wrestlers in the 106-pound final, but the Vikings also had already amassed enough points to win the team crown — their 239.5 points entering the finals was more than second-place Yelm (182.5).
The Vikings (284.5) used seven individual championships to further distance themselves from the Tornados, who moved up from 3A a year ago, and league-rival Snohomish (117 points) in third place.
Yelm was paced by nine state-bound wrestlers, led by Anthony Allred’s 160-pound regional title.
Allred pinned Logan Johnson of Lake Stevens in 2 minutes, 39 seconds.
Four other Tornados – Darren Harris (113), Brian Rochester (126) and Dillon Harris (138) — advanced to the regional finals and took second place.
Also advancing for Yelm were Victor Munoz (120), Brandon Rochester (152), James Rodeman (152), Jeff Leuth (195) and Tristan Glaser (285).
The seven Lake Stevens champs came from nine finalists, and Barnes — whose teams have won four out of the past six 4A state championships — emphasized the value of earning No. 1 seeds heading into the Mat Classic XXV next Friday and Saturday at the Tacoma Dome. By finishing in the top four in the region Saturday, 14 Vikings will wrestle next week.
“You want to come out of here with No. 1s going into next week because No. 1s wrestle (No.) 4s and that’s huge,” Barnes said. “We took care of our business this weekend.”
Wrestlers from Wesco collected the first seven weight classes Saturday night, including defending state champ Noah Cuzzetto of Edmonds-Woodway at 113 pounds.
Earlier in the day he was voted the region’s wrestler of the year. During the final he barely outlasted Yelm’s Darren Harris, bridging out of a potential pin in the final seconds to preserve a 6-5 decision.
“It definitely was an extra,” Cuzzetto said. “Having a little more pressure to win that one because, I mean, you can’t be the Wrestler of the Year and lose your finals match.”
Harris looked up at the scoreboard when the whistle blew and just shrugged.
Host Castle Rock slams Vashon, Eatonville: With eight finalists, and four champions, Castle Rock ran away with the Class 1A Region II wrestling championship.
Castle Rock scored 289 points. Vashon Island was second at 1561/2, followed by Eatonville at 146.
Vashon did win four titles with Chase Wickman (106), Shane Armstrong (170), Preston Morris (195) and Louie Jovanovich (285).
Two-time defending 1A state champion Josh Crager, of Cascade Christian, won his 126 regional weight class. He stopped Nathan Carroll, 9-2.
Steilacoom wins WCD 2A meet: Led by seven event wins, Steilacoom totaled 242 points, and easily captured the Class 2A West Central District boys’ title at Hazen High School.
And the Scott siblings cleaned up for the Sentinels. James, a freshman, won the 200-yard Individual Medley (2 minutes, 6.74 seconds) and 100 breaststroke (1:04.58) while Benjamin, a junior, claimed victories in the 100 free (50.51) and 100 backstroke (54.52)
Washington High’s Jaycob Davies was a double winner, too Saturday – in the 200-yard freestyle (1 minute, 52.01 seconds) and 500 free (5:07.44).
Kennedy Catholic dominated the 3A meet with 246 points. North Thurston placed third, and got a win in the 400 free relay (3:22.37).Staff writers Meg Wochnick and Todd Milles contributed to this report.