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Post Falls wrestling claims Inland Empire Tournament

It was a landmark weekend for Post Falls wrestlers during the Inland Empire Tournament at Central Valley High.

The Trojans, second in the tournament (and at state) the previous two years, rode titles by three defending Idaho 5A state champions to win the tourney with 246 points, 45 more than runner-up Moses Lake.

One of those, three-time I.E. and two-time state champion Drake Foster, reached a landmark 100th win with a 7-5 triumph at 120 pounds over CV sophomore Bryson Beard.

“I’m trying to set the school record for Post Falls,” the junior said, adding he’s not sure if the win was his 100th as announced, or 99th.

It’s academic. With most of this season and all of next remaining and only a couple wins left to reach the school record, it will be obliterated before he is done.

Normally a 126-pounder, Foster swapped weight classes with fellow state champion Alius Delarosa, who pinned Central Valley’s Braedon Orrino. He was trailing when the end came with 19 seconds left in the match.

“This is my third year winning this one,” Foster said. “I’ve won every tournament I’ve gone to except Tri-State. That’s one of my goals this year.”

It only took the third Post Falls state champion, Seth McLeod, 42 seconds to end his match at 170 pounds.

They were among five Post Falls finalists and a total of nine top-six finishers.

“We came in expecting if we wrestled our best we could win,” said coach Pete Reardon, adding that early tournaments are a measuring stick to see what wrestlers need to fix. “We definitely feel good about our performance. What was so exciting is we wrestled really well and still have things to work on.”

Moses Lake and Central Valley also had five finalists, with two champions apiece. Defending state champions Blake Beard and Colton Orrino were CV’s winners.

The Chiefs scored 201 points, edging surprising University by a point for second place.

The new-look Titans had two finalists and one champion, 285-pound Tate Orndorff in the evening’s last match. He pinned in under a minute as U-Hi placed six others in the top four.

Mead’s Tate LeClaire and Mason Ju and Lewis and Clark’s Dakota Numbers were other Greater Spokane League champions. Sandpoint’s Casey Randles won at 152, three of his matches ending in pins.

All told there were seven pins in the 14 title matches, including Colville freshman 106-pounder TJ Baun. Sophomore teammate Ryley Smith beat U-Hi state veteran John Fairbanks 9-4 at 160.