Mead took home the 2018 edition of the prestigious Tri-State wrestling tournament championship, but lost one of its best individuals in the process.
Chase Randall dislocated his elbow in the 120-pound championship round at North Idaho College, dropping the match and missing the remainder of a promising junior season.
Randall and the Panthers return to NIC on Friday and Saturday for the 49th edition of one of the region’s biggest and most competitive tournaments, and plenty of returning champions are back.
More than 60 of the best high school wrestling programs from Washington, Idaho, Montana and Oregon will vie for team and individual titles, including back-back Idaho 5A State champion Post Falls and Washington State 3A champion Mt. Spokane.
Returning are Mead’s Ben Voigtlaender, who won a 220-pound title last year, and Central Valley heavyweight Braxton Mikesell, who won both a Tri-State title and 4A state title a year ago.
North Central sophomore Kenndyl Mobley is one of the tournament’s top young talents, winning a Tri-State title at 106 pounds as a freshman last season.
Post Falls features 2018 Idaho state champion and Tri-State champion Roddy Romero, who won at 98 pounds.
Coeur d’Alene, the Idaho 5A runner-up in 2019, added a defending Tri-State champion to its roster in the offseason in former University High standout Drew Roberts.
Roberts won the 126-pound Tri-State title last year for the Titans, a season after winning state as a freshman at Crescent Valley (Oregon).