The Puyallup High wrestling team had a strong home representation Saturday afternoon as five Vikings reached their respective weight-class finals at the 2016 Wilfong Classic inside the school’s gym.
Jace Coulter kicked off Puyallup’s finals streak, where the Vikings had five wrestlers in six matches reach the finals, and four walked away with championships.
Coulter picked up the championship in the 138-pound bracket with an 8-4 decision over Federal Way’s Bo Madera.
Seconds before Coulter picked up his championship, Puyallup senior Josh Franich defended his Wilfong Classic title with a pin in the 145-pound division over Bethel’s Quincy Osterlund at 3 minutes, 22 seconds.
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“We have a lot of guys the finals, and we’re all trying to support each other,” Franich said.
Puyallup finished in third in the team standings with 181.5 points. Bethel (231) won the team title and Orting (195) finishing second.
“There are going to be guys reaching the finals today that have never wrestled in a finals match at a tournament,” Puyallup coach Aaron Lee said earlier in the day. “I don’t know if that’s from some of the teams not making it or what, but it’s a good thing for the guys to experience those kind of matches.”
Puyallup’s Casey Cramer capped off the Vikings championships by capturing his first tournament title after winning the 182-bracket with a dominant 14-6 decision over Sultan’s Kaleb Dennis.
“I started out aggressive early and was able to take a lead on him that I held,” Cramer said. “I wanted to start out with the same effort we’re putting into our practices.”
Cascade Christian’s Sean Hussey left his final Wilfong Classic with a championship (152) after picking up an 8-2 decision over Puyallup sophomore Kyle Cramer, one year after the Cougar senior finished in eighth place.
“It feels good to come here to my last Wilfong Classic and take the championship,” Hussey said.
In the arguably the best match of the tournament, Bethel’s Dante Springsteen survived Sultan’s Jamell Carrol to win the 152-championship with a 3-2 decision.
Hanging on to his lead in the third round, Springsteen was surprised by a last-second shot by Carrol that nearly turned the match against the Braves’ top wrestler as time ran out before Carrol could pick up a pin.
“He surprised me with his last shot. I was trying to hold out with the time running down, and I didn’t think he had enough time to do anything,” Springsteen said.