Expect Mat Classic XXX to be an all-time historic state high school wrestling tournament.
Four wrestlers will have a chance to join the four-time state champion club next year in the Tacoma Dome.
Three of them — Bonney Lake’s Brandon Kaylor, Orting’s Alex Cruz and Wilson’s Jasmine Parker-Borrero — come from Pierce County.
On Saturday, Kaylor held off Mount Spokane’s Blake Haney, 3-2, in the 113-pound final in Class 3A. Cruz blanked Burlington-Edison’s Ty Peth, 3-0, in the 126 title match in 2A. And Parker-Borrero stopped Yelm’s Ariana Zemke in 1 minute, 56 seconds in the 145 girls final.
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“It has been my goal since the first day of high school to be that four-timer — just like the other great four-timers,” Cruz said.
If all goes well, Parker-Borrero could join Puyallup’s Jordyn Bartelson as the only girls from the South Sound to win four state titles.
“This is my hometown, and I have my people who support me,” Parker-Borrero said. “It’s amazing to hear everyone come and cheer what we’ve all accomplished.”
WHITE RIVER PRIMED FOR FUTURE RUN
Behind sophomore Nate Moore’s victory at 145, White River held off W.F. West for third place in Class 2A.
Better days may be ahead for the Hornets, who are built for a two-year state title run. All three of their state finalists Saturday — Moore, Max Wheeler at 120 and Ryan Redford at 170 — are underclassmen.
“We just don’t have the numbers that Orting has, or Toppenish has,” White River coach Joe Klein said. “But we have everybody back next season, and we’re excited about that.”
Klein said he expects two impact ninth-graders coming into the program next year.
“We’re very optimistic about the next couple of years,” Klein said.
FRANICH WINS STUNNER TO REPEAT
During the past two weeks, Puyallup’s Josh Franich admits he had a hard time figuring out how to counter the style of South Kitsap’s Mason Eaglin.
Twice, Franich lost to Eaglin, including by pin in the regionals.
But the reigning Class 4A state 132 champion returned the favor in the 138 finals Saturday, pinning Eaglin in 4:55.
“This is where I catch guys in the cradle,” Franich said. “I was waiting for state.”
Up 6-2 in the third period, Eaglin took a shot on the inside. Instead, the two got wrapped up, and suddenly Eaglin’s head was caught between Franich’s legs for the fall.
SPRINGSTEEN ADDS TO FAMILY HAUL
Bethel’s Dante Springsteen matched his brother Saturday night — a state title in the same weight class.
A year after his older sibling, Philip, won at 160 in the 4A ranks, Dante Springsteen won his own championship in 3A with an 18-5 decision over Yelm’s Chayton Miller.
In fact, Springsteen’s brother flew in from North Dakota to watch him win.
“It shows he actually cares,” Springsteen said.
The Bethel standout dominated the match, scoring the final takedown with two seconds to go.
“I’ll be honest, I was a little hesitant on my feet because he (Miller) has that head-and-arm,” Springsteen said. “That is how he got to the finals.”
DIXON WINS FOR LINCOLN
With a half-minute to go, Lincoln’s JJ Dixon had options while trailing 3-2 to Meadowdale’s Liam Ball in the 3A 182-pound final.
On the top position, he went for the kill.
Executing a crossface move to perfection, Dixon turned Ball for the winning near fall with 25 seconds remaining, earning the Abes their first state title in more than a decade.
“I just wanted it more,” Dixon said. “I had to pick it up.”
The last Lincoln wrestler to win at Mat Classic was K.C. Walsh in 2002.