By Pat Jenkins
Fifteen competitors from south Pierce County will put their championship dreams on the line this week in the state high school wrestling tournaments in Tacoma.
Mat Classic XXIX will span two days, starting Friday and concluding with the crowning of individual and team champions Saturday at the Tacoma Dome. In the boys’ competition, Eatonville has contenders (including the school’s first-ever female entrant) in the 2A tourney, Bethel has eight in 3A show, and Graham-Kapowsin has three in the 4A event. On the girls’ side, Eatonville has one entrant and Graham-Kapowsin has two.
Eatonville is sending two competitors to the boys’ 2A meet. At 170 pounds, Derek Brown, a senior, will open against North Kitsap’s Adam Hammou, also a senior, in the first round. Brown was a runnerup in last weekend’s regionals. And Zach Trujillo, a 220-pounder, will get started against Brayden Bostwick of W.F. West. Both are seniors.
In the 3A tourney, Bethel’s entrants are headed by 160-pound Dante Springsteen, a second-place finisher in last year’s state tourney. The senior is a leading favorite to take it all this year in the 160-pound grouping, starting with his first-round match against Brett Allred of Everett. Springsteen took his weight-class title in the regionals last week.
Bethel’s seven other competitors this week in Tacoma, and their first-round opposition, include sophomore Cody Chabot in the 106-pound category (Elazar Bacus of Rainier Beach) junior Devyn Sween, a 126-pound junior (Zachariah Gomez of Bishop Blanchet), senior Quincy Osterlund at 138 (Rece Quintana of Kamiakim), sophomore David Shaulis at 145 (Jaden Schwartz of Ferndale), sophomore Tyson Zeutschel at 172 (Tre Phillips of Rogers-Spokane), junior Ethan Clapp at 220 (Dustyn Camacho of O’Dea).
The field in the 4A tournament includes three competitors from Graham-Kapowsin. They include Noah Cortez, a 106-pound sophomore, whose first-round foe will be Markus Johnson of Lake Stevens, junior Chad Simonson at 145 (Bradeon Orrino of Central Valley), and sophomore Chris Sparks at 220 (Manny Homen of Ferris). Sparks emerged from last week’s regional tournament as a champion, while Cortez and Simonson finished second.
In addition to Bethel and Graham-Kapowsin, Spanaway Lake’s Nathan Scanlan, a senior, will represent the Bethel School District as he vies in the 285-pound division of the 3A tournament.
In the girls’ state tournament, Eatonville’s Kayla Trujillo – the first Cruiser to reach that level – is in the 105-pound class and will face Molly Williams of Redmond in the first round. Both are freshmen.
From Graham-Kapowsin, Galiela Valencia, a junior at 125 pounds, will open against Kaylee Moore of Naches Valley, and freshman Stephanie Thacker will compete at 235 pounds. Her opening foe is Shallon Crossley of Mary Walker.