* MAT CLASSIC XXVI/WIAA STATE WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIPS
Friday-Saturday, Tacoma Dome, Tacoma
2013 state team champions: 4A – Lake Stevens. 3A – University. 2A – Othello. 1A – Granger. 1B/2B – Liberty Bell. Girls – Warden.
Returning local state champions: 4A – Matt Voss, Puyallup (220 pounds). 2A – Fred Green, Orting (113; now at 126); Monike Sarte, Fife (285). Girls – Arian Carpio, Beamer (112; now at 124); Jordyn Bartelson, Puyallup (118); KC Moulden, Enumclaw (235).
Schedule: Friday – Session I (first round) is from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Session II (quarterfinals/consolation round) is from 4 p.m.-9:30 p.m. Saturday – Session III (semifinals/state-placing round) is from 10 a.m.-2:15 p.m. Championship finals are scheduled for 5 p.m.
Scouting report: 4A – For the past three years, Lake Stevens (2011, 2013) and Tahoma (2012) have traded owning the state team title. Joining them in the lead group are Union (eight regional champions, 11 state participants) and Moses Lake (three regional champions, 10 state participants) – with Yelm (three regional champions, 10 state participants) lurking. Lake Stevens does have Noah Cuzzetto, a transfer from Edmonds-Woodway, gunning for his third 4A title, this time at 132 pounds … With former Mead three-time champion Chandler Rogers now in Oklahoma for his senior season, that leaves Woodinville’s Ryan Christensen as not only the best wrestler in 4A, but the entire state. He is the favorite to repeat at 182. … Voss is on a 76-match winning streak.
3A – If University ends up defending this weekend, it can thank two families – the Beards and Orrinos. Bryson and Blake Beard, and Braeden and Colton Orrino make up four of the Titans’ five regional champions. They bring seven wrestlers to state. … SPSL 3A champion Decatur advances 11 wrestlers to Mat Classic, including eight regional finalists. The Gators placed a school-best second last year in 3A behind the Titans. … Sunnyside certainly has the star power to challenge, led by returning state champions Homer Romero (113) and Jesse Barajas (120).
2A – Remember when nobody could dent Sedro-Woolley’s title run from 2002-07 in 3A? Well, this might be the start of that school’s run in a lower classification. The Cubs are deep, bringing 11 state participants who are all threats to earn medals. … Orting emerged from a battle-tested SPSL 2A to win the regional title last weekend. The Cardinals crowned five regional winners, including Green (126), a two-time state champion as a junior. … Colville edged defending state champion Othello for the regional title last weekend. Both have enough firepower to make a run. … For a fourth consecutive year at Mat Classic, a wrestler will be going for four state championships. This time it is Kingston’s Bobby Reece, who can become the 12th in state history (10 boys, one girl) to do so. He is in the 170 class.
1A – Looking for a favorite, just look east. Nine-time state champion Warden won the Region III champion, followed closely by Zillah and defending 1A champion Granger. All three schools are bringing a pair of regional champions. Blaine is the west side’s best hopeful, bringing four regional winners among 14 wrestlers who qualified for Mat Classic. 1B/2B – Can anyone stop Liberty Bell’s bid for a second consecutive state title? The Mountain Lions send five wrestlers ranked No. 1 in their respective weight class, led by defending state champions Trent Skelton and Justin McMillan. Girls – Seven defending champions return, including two-time winner Ryan Gibbons, of Centralia (190). Top-ranked Puyallup was upended last week in regionals by Lakes, but has a pair of standouts in Haley Franich (106) and Bartelson (118).
Tickets: Single day is $8 for adults, $6 for students/senior citizens. Tournament passes are $13 for adults, $10 for students/senior citizens.
* WIAA STATE BOYS SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS
Friday-Saturday, King County Aquatic Center, Federal Way
2013 state team champions: 4A – Kamiak. 3A – Lakeside of Seattle. 2A/1A – Archbishop Murphy.
Returning local state champions: 4A – Chase Bublitz, Kentridge (100 freestyle, 200 freestyle); Brian Woodbury, Curtis (100 backstroke). 2A/1A – Benjamin Scott, Steilacoom (100 freestyle, 100 backstroke).
Schedule: Friday – 4A preliminaries are from 9:45 a.m.- noon; 2A preliminaries are from 2:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m.; 3A preliminaries are from 6:15 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Saturday – 4A finals are from 10 a.m.-noon; 2A finals are from 2:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m.; 3A finals are from 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.
Scouting report: 4A – It has happened just once – 2011 – when a boy has won eight state individual swimming titles. But this weekend, Eastlake’s Edward Kim will try and match what Eastside Catholic’s Ethan Hallowell (2008-11) did. Kim, a Harvard signee, is the heavy favorite in the 200-yard freestyle (1:40.51) with the fastest time by more than four seconds. And if somebody is going to catch him in the 100 free (45.70), it likely would be Gig Harbor’s Erik Nielsen. … Kentridge’s Chase Bublitz was the defending 100 and 200 champion in 4A, but will instead try and win state titles in the 100 butterfly (No. 1 seed at 51.08) and 500 free (No. 2 seed at 21.48). The 50 free final between Bublitz, Federal Way’s Thomas Anderson (21.26), who captured the WCD title and Nielsen (21.69). … Georgia Tech-bound Brian Woodbury, of Curtis, is on pace to become a multiple state-title winner. He is the favorite to defending his 100 backstroke (WCD-record 49.69) and has the fastest 200 IM mark (WCD-record 1:52.84) by more than four seconds. … WCD champion Curtis, Gig Harbor and Issaquah head the list of co-favorites for the team crown.
3A – Who usually rules the roost? It is the Sea-King District champion, and in this case, five-time 3A champion Mercer Island (2007-11) leads the parade. The Islanders have nine entrants ranked in the top three in their respective events, including No. 1 seeds in the 200 free relay (1:28.09), 400 free relay (3:10.21) and senior Noah Deiparine in the 100 free (47.20). … If Mercer Island stumbles, Sea-King runner-up Bellevue and two-time defending 3A champion Lakeside of Seattle could benefit the most. … Kennedy Catholic’s Thomas Thach was 3A’s only multiple individual winner last season, and not only is the favorite to repeat in the 200 IM (1:53.48), he could threaten the meet record in the 100 butterfly (50.04; meet record is 49.48, set by Issaquah’s Evan Taylor in 1999). … Peninsula’s Caleb Riggs is vying to become the school’s first state swimming champion since Aki McFarlane (2010 backstroke winner). Riggs is the top seed in the 100 breaststroke (58.75).
2A – The team championship figures to be a three-school battle – defending state champion Archbishop Murphy, WCD winner Lindbergh and Steilacoom. The Sentinels hold the fastest marks in four events, led by siblings Benjamin (100 butterfly, 100 backstroke) and James Scott (100 breaststroke). Benjamin is the defending 2A champion in the 100 backstroke. And if the contenders are separated by mere points heading into the final event, Steilacoom has a clear advantage in the 400 freestyle relay, ranked No. 2 behind Anacortes). …. Archbishop Murphy boasts equal star power with Stephen Boden, the defending 500 freestyle champion, and Austin Barnard (No. 1 seed in 200 free).
Tickets: Single day is $9 for adults, $7 for students/senior citizens. Tournament passes are $15 for adults, $10 for students/senior citizens.
* WIAA STATE GIRLS GYMNASTICS CHAMPIONSHIPS
Friday-Saturday, Exhibition Hall, Tacoma
2013 state team champions: 4A – Emerald Ridge. 3A/2A/1A – Enumclaw.
Returning local state champions: 3A/2A/1A – Olivia Bannerot, Enumclaw (uneven bars).
Schedule: Friday – 3A/2A/1A rotations are from 1:30 p.m.-4:25 p.m. 4A rotations are from 6:35 p.m.-9:30 p.m. Saturday – Event finals are from 11:20 a.m.-2:15 p.m.
Scouting report: 4A – It is a swan-song season for longtime Woodinville coach Kim Smothermon, who has guided the Falcons to four state titles (2007-2010). Could they send her out with a fifth? Led by Marisa Savage (district all-around champion), Emily Paratore and a whole lot of depth, it will take something special to upend the KingCo powerhouse. If one school can, it likely would be Mead, which won the 4A title in 2012. The Panthers took a big step by winning the West Central District crown, outlasting Puyallup and helping eliminate defending state champion Emerald Ridge, which placed third. … Mead’s Jenna Schlossler won the district all-around title, and should be on the short list of favorites. … Last year, Emerald Ridge became the fourth SPSL school to win the 4A title, joining Kent-Meridian (1986), Kentwood (2001-02) and Rogers (2005). Can the Vikings add to that? They were nudged by Mead, 170.025-169.85, for the district title, and have a standout in sophomore Kate Jacobsen, the WCD all-around runner-up who is competing in her first season of high-school gymnastics.
3A/2A/1A- The team chase could very well come down to the same top three state finishers from last season – Enumclaw, Kamiakin and Mount Si. Each school captured a district team title last weekend. And the all-around title should be a real battle between Bannerot, a top-five finisher the past three seasons, and the girl who beat her for the 2012 3A title – Southridge’s Kiya Bjorge, a level-10 gymnast. Also watch out for Mount Si junior Jenn Rogers, the Sea-King District all-around winner, and runner-up Nykaela Dodson.
Tickets: Single day is $15 for adults, $11 for students/senior citizens. Tournament passes are $23 for adults, $17 for students/senior citizens.