It was business as usual for traditional Greater Spokane League wrestling powers.
Mead and Central Valley outdistanced the District 8 4A field, with Mead’s Panthers piling up 395 points to the Bears’ 306. Both earned the lion’s share of the individual berths to next week’s regional meet at CV.
On the other side of the gymnasium at University Saturday, the host Titans scored 356.5 points, 100.5 more than runner-up Sunnyside at the 3A subregional. The top six per weight class qualified to next week’s regional in Sunnyside.
The top two finishers in the 4A district automatically qualified for next week’s eight-wrestler brackets and the third wrestles a “pigtail” match for inclusion against schools from the Mid Columbia and Big Nine conferences.
The 3A wrestlers join with the Wesco Conference. Five are seeded into the eight-man brackets, the sixth wrestling a pigtail match for a chance to fill the field.
The top four wrestlers per weight from each regional advance to state.
Mead is sending 16 to the regional, including 12 finalists, seven of them champions. The Bears have 12 regional qualifiers, eight of them finalists with five champions.
But not lost during their night was the effort of Gonzaga Prep freshman 285-pound Ty Brooking.
In only his second year wrestling, Brooking beat fellow freshman Noah Buckley from Lewis and Clark 7-1 for the title.
It was, said Bullpups coach Danny Pearson their first district champion in at least five years.
“I started wrestling last year in a camp my school put on,” Brooking said. He credited his rapid improvement to several sources – “All those who picked on me to make me better.”
Prep had two other finalists in Casey Hornbeck and Cole Sebert, small, if encouraging, steps for the program when compared to the Panthers and Bears. The two schools hogged the district titles winning 12 out of 14 weight classes.
CV got the upper hand early winning head-to-head over Panthers in four of the first five matches: Carson Graham at 106 pounds, the Beard brothers, Bryson (113) and Blake (126), and Colton Orrino (132).
Mead broke up the run with Max Peterson at 120, then ran off five straight following Orrino’s victory, capped by Chandler Rogers’ tougher-than-expected win at 170. It took until the third round to pin LC’s Dakota Numbers.
“He’s so aggressive he keeps improving every time,” Rogers said. “He’s really strong and I couldn’t really muscle him, so started working on my feet.”
Five other Panthers titlists put them in good shape for regionals.
“CV has some high-end kids,” Panthers coach Phil McLean allowed. “I think our kids had a pretty good week. I think our league is going to be fine.”
Mt. Spokane wrestler Richie Bondurant had a middling season while wrestling at 132 pounds. In the sub-regional, however, he first shocked University’s top-seeded Rieley Smith 7-6, then held off North Central’s Jacob Clute 5-4 for the title.
“Before I just didn’t have confidence,” Bondurant said of his break-even regular season. “My coaches kept telling me all year they believed in me.”
Despite that loss, the Titans send 16 wrestlers, qualifying in all but two weight classes, to next week’s regional. Only one finished sixth. The rest are assured spots in the eight-wrestler fields.
Four Titans won titles. Qwest Osborn at 106 pounds edged Sunnyside’s Homer Romero 8-6. Austin Stannard at 170 eked out a 3-2 victory over Sisto Pina of Kamiakin. Tanner (195) and Tate Orndorff (285) were the other Titans champs.
“In the semifinals we didn’t have the greatest round in the world,” U-Hi coach Don Owen said. “But our kids rallied back. If we take a few lumps right now and learn from it, I can live with it.”
Overall, the GSL won 10 of the 14 finals, and in six instances the champion faced another league foe.
Mt. Spokane had three champions, with Kiegan Schauer beating teammate Alec Hoover at 120 pounds.
North Central standout Izaec Quintanilla was one of two Indians titlists. Defending Shadle Park state champion Terrence McKinney also moves on.
Quintanilla, a wrestler since age 5, was wearing a harness to protect a shoulder he injured last year and tweaked in practice. He stormed through 152 either by pin or technical fall.
“I just had to keep my shots in tight (to protect the shoulder) and don’t get extended out,” Quintanilla said.
A wrestling tournament can’t get much closer than the Great Northern League’s district meet befitting a season in which three tied for the regular season title.
Just eight points separated Colville, East Valley and Deer Park. The Indians scored 298 points, the Knights 291 and the Stags 290.
“It was super close,” Deer Park coach Matt Jorgensen said. “The intensity level was a regional-type atmosphere.”
Colville had four champions and four second places and Deer Park had four champions among six finalists. The Knights only had one winner in five title matches, but depth carried them.
They advance 15 to regional next weekend against the CWAC league. Colville will have 14 entrants, Deer Park 13 and Clarkston, with nary a finalist, 12.
Depth carried Freeman to the district title. The Scotties scored 285 points to top the field.
Individual titles were divided fairly evenly among five Northeast A League schools.
Runnerup Chewelah had four winners for its second-place total 205 points. Freeman and Riverside added three each and Medical Lake and Lakeside two.
The difference was 17 top-six placers by the meet winners. The Scotties’ Billy Sims edged the Cardinals’ Ricky Peterson 4-2 at 132 pounds. Wyatt Smith (160) and Teigan Glidewell (220) were Freeman’s other champs.