Peninsula High senior wrestlers Michael Campigotto and Seth Wahto look like the team’s strongest best to make the Class 3A state meet.
Campigotto has earned a trip to the Tacoma Dome’s Mat Classic all three years of his high school career, while Wahto is dominating the competition in his senior season. But whole else might join them at the state meet?
Riley Wynn, 120 pounds, could be a dark horse candidate after being a state alternate last season as a junior in the 113-pound weight class. Wynn has posted an 18-9 record this season and has a long wrestling background, starting the sport in around second grade.
“It’s pretty fun this year,” Wynn said. “I’m finally a senior so I get to beat up a bit on the younger guys. I’m finally past that curve. Freshman and sophomore year, you kind of get beat up on. I have a lot more matches under my belt than I have in the past.”
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Peninsula assistant coach Gary Griffin said Wynn is a hard worker and has been a good presence in the wrestling room during his high school career.
“He’s a senior so he’s been around a while,” Griffin said. “He comes from a family that loves wrestling and really wants him to be successful. He knows our routine. He’s a great kid. You can’t go wrong with that.”
Wynn has the unenviable task of going up against Campigotto in practice every day — something that, by all accounts, has made him a stronger wrestler.
It helps me grow; you know what to expect when you really hit those competitions. I know how people wrestle at state because Michael has done it for three years straight. It’s a really good learning experience.
Riley Wynn, Peninsula senior wrestler
“It helps me grow; you know what to expect when you really hit those competitions,” Wynn said. “I know how people wrestle at state because Michael has done it for three years straight. It’s a really good learning experience.”
But the familiarity the two have with each other may be the downside to that equation.
“It should make him a lot better over time,” Griffin said. “Not every room has a three-time state placer going into their senior year that they get to practice with every day. The bad part is that they’re familiar with each other. So Michael has been familiar with everything Riley has done since they’ve been kids together, as is Riley with Michael. It kind of cancels each other out at times.”
Still, it’s probably safe to say it’s better than practicing a beginner every day. Wynn said he’s enjoyed being part of the strong Peninsula program in high school.
“I really like being a part of it,” he said. “We’ve been leading the team through this year and we’re hoping to get a lot more kids in the Dome this year. My goal is to get into the top eight in state this year.”
They key to getting wrestlers into state? Catching fire right about now, according to Griffin.
“Just peaking at the right time,” Griffin said. “I think we’ve made some great adjustments and guys are doing well right now.”