TACOMA – Jake Konzal awoke with flu-like symptoms Friday morning.
Then with 25 seconds remaining in his State 2A first-round wrestling match, the two-time state champ from Deer Park saw his stellar career pass before his very eyes.
Konzal was leading James Mackenzie of Sultan 10-5 when he slammed him to the mat with 25 seconds to go. Mackenzie was awarded a point while trainers attended to him.
Mackenzie got up and finished the match, a relief to Konzal who thought he might be disqualified.
“He stuck up for me by finishing,” the grateful Stag said. “I’ve got to thank him for it.”
Konzal said he didn’t mean to be so forceful, but was reacting instinctively.
“That was a wakeup call for me,” Konzal said. “I slammed him and I feel bad.”
Deer Park coach Matt Jorgensen paced back and forth as he awaited the outcome of Konzal’s opener.
“We dodged a bullet there,” Jorgensen said.
Konzal cruised in his quarterfinal, winning 8-1.
As far as the team race is concerned, Jorgensen said a sixth straight title will be challenging.
Othello leads after the first day with 59.5 points, nine ahead of Orting. Deer Park is third (45) and Colville sixth (34.5).
“If we wrestle well and Othello wrestles well, then Othello will probably win,” said Jorgensen, whose team lost to Othello at regionals.
The Stags advanced two others to the semifinals – Cole Harris (132) and Joe Grable (145).
Konzal thought he worked through his illness.
“I think I sweat it all out during the (quarterfinal),” Konzal said.
Konzal believes the Stags can still challenge for the title today.
“We’re wrestling our hardest,” he said. “We don’t need to worry about the team and worry about ourselves. That will take care of itself.”
Six other Great Northern League wrestlers will be seeking berths in finals this morning. They are Trey Meyer of East Valley (126), Trenton Welton of Colville (138), Tanner Smith of Colville (152), Eli Mason of Cheney (182), Cameron Schlotter of Cheney (195) and Jace Malek of West Valley (285).
No Northeast A teams are in the trophy hunt, but nine individuals moved into the semifinals. They are Ivan Love of Riverside (120), Darius Judd of Lakeside (120), Klint Brown of Lakeside (126), Anton King of Medical Lake (138), Brayden Proctor of Riverside (145), Russell Smith of Chewelah (152), Adam Collins of Chewelah (170), Markus Goldbach of Freeman (182) and Dustin Crabtree of Riverside (182).
Liberty Bell practically lapped the field the first day. Liberty Bell has 100.5 points. Reardan is a distant third with 49. Nine area wrestlers advanced to the semifinals. They are Kain Feltwell of Liberty (113), Tyler Osborn of Springdale (120), Nathan Sorci of Reardan (132), Emery Maupin of Selkirk (138), Charlie Eldred of Reardan (152), Kevin Knauff of Garfield-Palouse (160), Ike Martinez of Reardan (195), Levi Seylor of Almira/Coulee-Hartline (195) and Damon Dixon of Wilbur-Creston (285).