Podium parade: Cruiser wrestlers finish year at state

Eatonville wrestlers Kasey Whitney, Carsen Pero and Ashlynn Kistenmacher pose for a photo following their successful day at the state wrestling tournament in Tacoma.

Eatonville wrestlers Kasey Whitney, Carsen Pero and Ashlynn Kistenmacher pose for a photo following their successful day at the state wrestling tournament in Tacoma.
Gayle Pero

The Eatonville Cruiser wrestlers who competed at Mat Classic XXXIV State Championships Feb. 18-19 at the Tacoma Dome all landed on the podium and finished within the top 10 in their weight classes.

Sophomore Ashlynn Kistenmacher battled her way through and took home a fourth-place finish in the 120-pound weight class.

Kistenmacher received a bye in the opening round due to her winning the regional championship the week before. In the quarterfinals, she wrestled Jayde Coleman from Naches Valley and lost by an 8-6 decision, which dropped her into the consolation rounds.

In her first match in the consolation bracket, she defeated Life Christian's Tebisi Wright in an ultimate tiebreaker, 6-5.

She then received a victory via a medical forfeit in her next match when Mary Walker's Serenna Swiger could not compete after dislocating her elbow in her previous match.

In the consolation semifinals, Kistenmacher faced Afton Wood from Okanogan High School. She defeated Wood by decision, 8-6, putting her in the third-place match.

In her last match, she again went up against Coleman, who defeated her for the second time, in a 12-6 finish.

Senior Carsen Pero wrestled in the 285-pound weight class and came away with a fourth-place finish.

In the opening round, Wapato’s Angel Leyva pinned Pero, dropping him into the consolation bracket.

In round 1 of the consolation bracket, Pero received a bye directly to the next round. He took on Gavin Chaffee of Medical Lake and pinned him to advance.

In his next match, Pero faced Tenino's Andres Capilla-Zamudio, who defeated Pero in the regional championship match the week prior. This time, Pero came out on the winning end, as he took down Capilla-Zamudio in a 4-3 decision and advanced to the consolation semifinals.

In that semifinal match, Pero pinned Omak High School's Noah Bigboy-Gribble to set himself up for a possible third-place finish.

In that last match, Pero fell to Toppenish High School's Miguel Camacho via a sudden victory in overtime, giving Pero a fourth-place finish.

In the 138-pound weight class, Eatonville's Kasey Whitney took home a sixth-place finish.

Whitney pinned Klahowya's Kano Clare in the opening round and advanced to the quarterfinals.

In his quarterfinal match, Whitney fell to eventual champion Marcos Torrez from Toppenish High School. The loss dropped him into the consolation rounds where he defeated Omak's Jesse Garcia. He then pinned Blaine High School's Cal Fitzgerald in the next round, before falling to another Toppenish wrestler, Ruben Rios.

That put Whitney in the match for fifth/sixth place where he lost to King's Way Christian's Ashton Baker by a 5-4 decision.

Both boys coach Mario Ragazzo and girls coach Trinity Potter were proud of their wrestlers who made it to state.

"Our wrestlers represented the community with pride,” Ragazzo said. “They left it all on the mat and overcame adversity all tournament long. I'm very proud of their finish and the amount of heart they wrestled with.”

Potter said Kistenmacher worked hard to get to state, and her perseverance paid off.

“Placing fourth as a sophomore only allows her to shine over the next two years of her wrestling career,” Potter said. “We all look forward to her growth and achievements that lie ahead. It is an honor to coach our kids at EHS, and these kids make it so worth it.”


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