When the referee slammed his hand down on that mat at Bellarmine Prep High School, Bo Campbell stood up, signaled No. 1 with both index fingers, and yelled, “Boom!”
He’d been waiting all week for this.
“I had this mentality going into the match of, ‘I don’t want to lose,’ ” Campbell said. “What I’ve been saying all week is I just want to get to the finals and beat him — I wasn’t looking at anybody else.”
Campbell, a Yelm senior, lost to Gig Harbor’s Max Batanian in the finals in last week’s subregional tournament at Foss High School.
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He made up for it Saturday, pinning Batanian in one minute, 53 seconds for the 170-pound title at the Class 4A Region II wrestling championships.
But he had to battle to get to the final round. Campbell fell into a 13-4 hole to Bothell’s Osvaldo Gonzales in the semifinals before rallying to pin him in the final 30 seconds.
So, once Campbell reached Batanian, he was dialed in.
“In the moment, I locked up the throw, hit it, and stuck it,” Campbell said. “I didn’t want to give him a second chance.”
Campbell has something to celebrate before he treks to the Tacoma Dome next week. A place he’s been twice before as a 170-pounder — he took seventh at last year’s Mat Classic, and sixth as a sophomore.
He was one of only two wrestlers to pin opponents in Saturday’s finals. His teammate, Jeremy Smith — a 195-pound junior transfer from Bethel — was the other.
Smith locked up South Kitsap’s Kenny Close in 3:40. He took the title, and earned his first state berth after being an alternate last year.
“I made it this far,” Smith said. “Might as well go out and try to take it.”
As will the rest of his team. Yelm took the team title, besting second-place South Kitsap by 51 points. The Tornados seemingly edged the Wolves for the subregional title last weekend before a postmeet scoring change gave South Kitsap the crown.
This week, there were no questions as Yelm put up 255.5 points. South Kitsap had 204.5, while Olympia took third with 104.
The Tornados advanced 13 wrestlers to state. Four — Ryan Davis (106), Thomas Munoz (126), Campbell and Smith — won individual titles.
“It’s a really big accomplishment,” Campbell said. “This week, to come out here and dominate as well as we did getting into finals, winning (four) matches, getting 13 kids to state, with an alternate? It’s just like the best feeling ever.”
Olympia and Timberline crowned one winner apiece.
Olympia’s Logan Pine didn’t pin Yelm’s Jacob Nolan like he did last week at subregionals, but the senior still picked up a regional title at 145 pounds by a 18-8 decision. The Bears will send six on to state.
Adam Benson narrowly picked up a 160-pound title for Timberline, edging Yelm’s Derrick Platt by a 10-8 decision. Benson is one of two Timberline wrestlers to move on.
TAHOMA SENDS 10 TO STATE: Ryden Fu, Justin Sipila and Nick Whitehead won regional titles and lifted Tahoma to the regional team title at Camas High School.
Tahoma advanced 10 wrestlers to the state tournament a week after also winning the 4A SPSL North subregional title.
BONNEY LAKE DOMINATES: Brandon Kaylor, Mason Sabin, Avery Meyer and Zach Koeller won regional titles and were among 12 Bonney Lake wrestlers to advance to the state wrestling tournament. The Panthers captured the regional wrestling title with 203 points to second-place Lincoln’s 138.
Enumclaw had four wrestlers win regional titles — Kyle Opland, Jake Treece, Quinton Southcott and Kione Gill. The Hornets took home fifth place in the tournament, scoring 121.5 points. Auburn and Sumner tied for third with 134.5 points.
ORTING SENDS 14 TO STATE: Orting had six wrestlers win regional titles and 14 qualify for Mat Classic as it won a 2A regional title with 278 points.
Alex Cruz, Ben Gore, Brandon Rodarte, Dylan Amadeo, Erik Jacobson and Kenny Marll each won their weight classes for Orting.
W.F. WEST EDGES TUMWATER: W.F. West will send 11 wrestlers to the Tacoma Dome next weekend for Mat Classic and edged Tumwater for a regional title, 233.5 points to 122.5 points.
Tumwater’s Matthew Anfeldt (106) and Cy Hicks (285) both won regional titles. Mykka McAllister (120) and Joe Finch (182) took first for Centralia, and TJ Borden placed first for Black Hills at 195.
VASHON’S WICKMAN TAKES TITLE: Bryce Hoisington, Luke Larson, Logan Nelson and Chase Wickman all won 1A regional championships for Vashon Island as part of 12 wrestlers from the program to advance to state.
Wickman, the state’s reigning 113-pound 1A champion, won the 126-pound regional title on Saturday. He’ll be going for his third state title at Mat Classic next weekend (he won the 106-pound title two years ago).
Nelson had the quickest pin of any Pirates wrestler, defeating Sultan’s Tre Sargent 24 seconds into the second round to win the 170-pound class.
Cascade Christian’s Sean Hussey (138) and Teave Metzger-Magalei (182) also won regional titles.