Following a weather cancellation of their match against Tyee on Wednesday, the Cruiser boys wrestling team headed to Rainer High School to compete in the Sgt. Norton Memorial tournament on Saturday.

Sgt. Justin Norton enlisted in the Army in 2003 right out of high school and deployed to Iraq in November of 2005. Sadly, he was tragically killed in action by an improvised explosive device while on patrol in Baghdad, Iraq on June 24, 2006. 

One of his requests he had if he did not return from the war was to have a scholarship fund established in his name. Since 2006, his scholarship fund has awarded 145 scholarship totaling $60, 800 to graduating seniors from Rainier and Yelm high schools.

This tournament was created in 1987 and was named the Rainier Mountaineer Classic. Upon Sgt. Norton’s passing it was proudly renamed to the Sgt. Norton Memorial tournament. Since this tournament’s beginnings in 1987, no Cruiser wrestler has ever won the championship at this event……until now.

Austin Frink, Ty Whitney, and Hunter Sonnenburg changed that this year by winning their weight classes.

Frink would pick up three pins in his four matches in the 106 pound division to take 1st place. This would be his third week in a row taking the top spot in wrestling tournaments he has compete in.

Whitney would receive a bye in the first round and then go on to pin two of his three opponents to take the top spot in the 126 pound division.

Sonnenburg would also pick up three pins in his four matches in the 152 pound division on his way to the top spot.

CJ Caeton would pick up a 2nd place finish after falling to Montesano’s Ty Ekerson in the championship match at the 145 pound class.

The Cruisers as a team would also take the overall championships out of 18 teams with a score of 167 points. Vashon Island would take 2nd with 118 points, followed by Forks with 113.