On a day when host W.F. West rolled to the team championship at the Chehalis Invitational, Timberline High School’s Parker Risk continued his remarkable wrestling comeback with a title in the 132-pound division.
Risk defeated Black Hills’ Nolan Keesee, his club teammate for years with Victory Athletic in Olympia, by a 17-2 technical decision, upping his season record to 15-2 a year after sitting out the entire season with a broken back.
“I thought it was a pretty fantastic day,” said Risk, who no longer feels limited by the aftereffects of his injury. “I had a hard bracket.”
He shut out W.F. West’s Mason Morones, 8-0, to start the day, then pinned Centralia’s Andrew Anderson late in the first round to reach the finals.
“I feel really confident going into the postseason,” Risk said. “If I keep on working on the things I do well, I have a chance to finish high at state.”
W.F. West piled up 216.5 team points to prevail over second-place White River (190.5) and third-place Tillamook (177). Coach Jamie Rakevich was happy with the result but a little disappointed by the turnout which saw several teams cancel late because of predicted snow — no flakes wound up falling in Chehalis until just as the finals were ending.
“I’m not a meteorologist,” Rakevich said. “But it’s hard to understand how Tillamook could get here from all the way down in Oregon, but teams from closer by couldn’t. The nice thing about the field being a little thin, though, is we were able to get some younger kids on the mat and get them match experience.”
Five Bearcats won individual titles: Levi Walters (113), Damon Thomas (138), Michael Anderson (152), Brenden Spahr (182) and Brayden Bostwick (220). Bostwick handed River Ridge’s Blayne Haderman his first loss of the season, 5-2.
Rakevich was also happy with the performance of 126-pounder Kyle Gray, who finished second, winning a pair of matches before falling to White River’s Max Wheeler in the final.
“It was great to see Kyle break through and get into the finals, get past being a sophomore,” he said.
Rakevich’s final goal is a simple one.
“It would be great if we could get the whole team at weight and healthy at the same time,” he said. “We haven’t had that yet this season.”
Five other South Sound wrestlers reached the finals.
River Ridge’s 106-pounder Sergio Hernandez won two matches before being pinned by Tillamook’s Quintin Metcalfe. At 113, Centralia’s Tristan Hicks-Avron lost to Walters. Centralia’s Mykka McAllister won at 120. Black Hills’ Patrick Alvarado lost the 160-pound title match to Tillamook’s Eli McCrae. Timberline’s 170-pounder, Adam Benson, won two matches before being outpointed by White River’s Ryan Redford.