With how hard Dante Springsteen worked to get that 160-pound 3A Pierce County League wrestling title at the sub-district meet Saturday at Bonney Lake, he’s earned no judgment for what he would later order at McDonald’s.
Specifically, when the Bethel High School senior would order a double cheeseburger and two chicken sandwiches and combine them into one super burger.
“It will go chicken, bread, chicken, bread, meat and bread, and then I’ll eat it,” he said. “Oh, and I get a strawberry milkshake, too.”
But first, Springsteen pinned Wilson’s Andrew Martinez in 4 minutes, 40 seconds for the 160 title — with only a bloody nose seeming to slow his relentless attack.
Bethel won the sub-district team title with 285 points. Bonney Lake and Lincoln tied for second with 281.5 points each.
So Bethel wrestling coach Mario Ragazzo had to pay up on his promise — that he’d take his team to McDonald’s afterward if it won the team title.
“But I won’t be ordering what Dante gets,” Ragazzo said.
The match came down to the 220-pound weight class.
Lincoln’s Will Willsey (30-6) and Bonney Lake’s Sam Peterson (32-10) are both ranked in the top-three in the 220-pound class in Washington Wrestling Report’s 3A state rankings. Willsey beat Peterson in three overtimes, 7-5, for the title.
“I just had to try and ride him as hard as I could,” said Willsey, who lost to Peterson in overtime in a dual meet earlier in the season.
“This is a huge boost for me going into regionals and state because it shows I can hang with the best.”
A win for Peterson would have meant a team title for Bonney Lake.
The Panthers, the No. 1-ranked team in the 3A classification, were without three key wrestlers. But they almost stormed back on Saturday when Brenden Chaowanapibool (106), Brandon Kaylor (113) and Evan Tracy (120) pinned their opponents in the first three matches of the championships.
Chaowanapibool improved to 40-5 this season, and Kaylor, a junior who has won two state titles, to 41-0.
“I think I’m on top of my game so far,” said Kaylor, who was ranked as the No. 15 113-pound wrestler in the nation by FloWrestling. “I’m definitely ready to go for a third state title. I’m not overlooking regionals because anything can happen. But, yeah, I think I’m ready.”
“I think those two motivate everybody because they get it started and get everybody pumped up,” Bonney Lake coach Dan Pitsch said. “They definitely put everybody on their backs.”
Bonney Lake also got titles from Mason Sabin (145), Zach Koeller (152), Keegan Dorsey (170) and Jazz Sherrod (195). The Panthers will host the 3A regionals next Friday and Saturday before Mat Classic the following week.
Bethel qualified 12 wrestlers to the regionals, which is the most Ragazzo said he’s ever taken. Quincy Osterlund joined Springsteen as an individual champ, winning the 138-pound title.
Springsteen said that, like Kaylor, he’s wrestling his best at this point in the season as the senior hunts for his first state title. He finished as a runner-up in 4A last year.
The Boise State University signee said he got a message earlier in the day from his older brother, Phillip, who won a state title for Bethel last year.
“I’m at my best right now, definitely,” Dante said. “And I’m going to go prove it.”
Lincoln got titles from Willsey, Jeramias Sandoval (126), Elijah Duncombe (132) and JJ Dixon (182).
TJ Cotterill: 253-597-8677
Team scores: Bethel 285, Bonney Lake 281.5, Lincoln 281.5, Spanaway Lake 207.5, Lakes 159.5, Wilson 151, Stadium 50, Mt. Tahoma 25.
106: Brenden Chaowanapibool (BL) p. Coty Chabot (B) 2:36
113: Brandon Kaylor (BL) p. Ryan Brown (B) 3:06
120: Evan Tracy (BL) p. Alex Lovtsov (Lakes) 1:20
126: Jeramias Sandoval (Lincoln) dec. Devyn Sween (B) 5-4
132: Elijah Duncombe (Lincoln) dec. Mikay Ye (W) 5-2
138: Quincy Osterlund (B) dec. Trey Caldwell (S) 6-4
145: Mason Sabin (BL) dec. Ryan Shaffer (BL) 9-1
152: Zach Koeller (BL) dec. Josh Walker (B) 6-2
160: Dante Springsteen (B) p. Andrew Martinez (W) 4:40
170: Keegan Dorsey (BL) dec. Dominic Lieto-Mills (SL) 7-3
182: JJ Dixon (Lincoln) p. Tyson Zeutschel (B) 3:13
195: Jazz Sherrod (BL) dec. Tyrique Bell (W) 5-1
220: Will Willsey (Lincoln) dec. Sam Peterson (BL) 7-5
285: JD Jordan (S) dec. Josiah Vaiolo (W) 7-6