The annual Tri-State Tournament held in Coeur d’Alene is an opportunity for wrestling teams in Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington to send their very best to compete for regional bragging rights.
For the Lake Stevens Vikings and Orting Cardinals, they have a few more things to be proud of this year.
Though the overall champion was Post Falls of Idaho, the Vikings were the top Washington team to come out of the tournament, placing third with a score of 162.0 points.
However, it was the Cardinals that really shined as six wrestlers placed, including Alex Cruz taking first in the 113-pound weight class and Hunter Mullins placing first in the 285-pound weight class.
“That was the highlight of this tournament,” said Orting head coach Jody Coleman. “We were the only team that was able to place in the same weight class, too. The kids wrestled their butts off, and I am really proud of them.”
Mullins in fact pinned every opponent he saw, never venturing past the second round in his matches. The Cardinals finished fifth overall with a score of 155.0 points.
Tahoma also turned in a great performance at the large meet, coming in 12th place with a score of 111.0 points. Four of the 15 wrestlers placed, and all 15 won at least one match during the tournament.
“The tournament went really well as other teams were really tough,” said Bears head coach Chris Feist. “This will prepare us for the postseason.”
Nick Whitehead, Justin Sipila and Ryden Fu all placed fourth in their respective weight classes, and Dagan Kremer placed eighth in his.
The Graham-Kapowsin Eagles tied for 29th with a score of 46.0 points and a realization of where they are as a team, according to head coach Scott Stirts.
“For us, it was a road sign telling us where we are in our season, where we need to be and what kind of adjustments we need to make,” he said. “[This tournament] gave us things to work on as a team.”
The Eagles placed third in the small schools division with a decent shot at winning that particular title.
Other local teams that competed were Bethel, which finished in 14th place with 106.0 points, and Kentridge, which ended in 26th place with 50.0 points.