Mat Classic boys: Auburn 5, others get ready to rumble
By SHAWN SKAGER
Auburn Reporter Sports Reporter
February 16, 2011 · Updated 5:17 PM
The Auburn boys wrestling squad completed its march to Mat Classic XXIII, qualifying five grapplers for the state meet out of the Region III tournament at Shelton High School last weekend.
The Trojans got first-place finishes from seniors Nick Conlan and Dylan Rutledge at 285 and 215 pounds, respectively, as well as a 103-pound division title from junior Brian Alonzo.
Auburn also moves on junior Tilden Sansom, who finished third at 145 pounds, and senior Tarin MacDonald, who took fourth at 160 pounds.
“There were some great efforts from qualifiers and non-qualifiers alike,” coach John Aiken said. “Tarin MacDonald qualified for the state tournament in his first year of high school wrestling. We convinced him to turn out and wrestle with us this year, and he really has come on strong this past month.”
MacDonald went 2-2 at the tournament, pinning Olympia’s Tanner Wright in 1 minute, eight seconds in the first round, before losing to Tahoma’s Matt Hopkins in the second round. MacDonald rebounded with another pin in the consolation bracket, taking down South Kitsap’s Sam Skinner in the second round. MacDonald was pinned by Shelton’s Colby Barber in the third-place match.
Sansom defeated Central Kitsap’s Kurt Koemmpel 11-0 in his opening-round match. After falling 7-1 to South Kitsap's Cody Barich, Sansom found himself in the consolation bracket. Sansom rebounded with two wins to take third, defeating South Kitsap’s Bryce Broome 8-2 and Mount Tahoma’s Alex Pieris 8-5.
Rutledge – who finished first in the state at 171 last year – had no trouble with his competition at the regional tourney. Rutledge defeated Shelton’s Ben Anderson with a 33-second pin in the first round and earned a 13-1 major decision over South Kitsap’s Eddie Meisner in round two. In the championship match, Rutledge pinned Olympia’s Joel Anthony in 4:43.
Conlan, who was second in state at 285 last year, also had no trouble at regionals, pinning his first two opponents – Mount Tahoma’s Fatu Tuupu and Gig Harbor’s Jake Baket – in the first round. In the championship match, Conlan pinned Central Kitsap’s Kyle Lanou at the 2:44 mark.
For Alonzo, the win at regionals was just another step in a breakout year that started at the Tri-State Classic, where he finished second.
Alonzo’s path through regionals was a familiar one, fraught with familiar faces, such as Mount Rainier's Alex Davidson, whom Alonzo defeated 8-1, and Tahoma's Tim Whitehead, whom Alonzo beat 8-3 to snag the regional title.
“I knew it would be tough with the Tahoma kid (Whitehead),” Alonzo said. “Wrestling people over and over, they start to know what to expect. But I just do what I do and try to do my best.”
Also competing at the Region III meet for Auburn was senior Kyle Fingarson, who was 0-2 at 130.
In the team competition, Auburn finished fourth with 98 points. Tahoma was first with 229 team points.
Mat Classic XXIII gets under way at 10 a.m. Friday and continues Saturday at the Tacoma Dome.
For more information and brackets visit www.wiaa.com.
Auburn Riverside senior Jason Greely earned an alternate spot with a fifth-place finish in the 171-pound division. Raven junior Eduard Yakimchuck was 2-1 in the 135-pound division. … Auburn Mountainview senior Lucas Huyber punched his ticket to Mat Classic with a first-place finish at the Region III 3A championships. Huyber pinned Decatur’s Rowland Graydosh at the 5:11 mark in the 171-pound championship.Contact Auburn Reporter Sports Reporter Shawn Skager at firstname.lastname@example.org or (253) 833-0218, ext. 5054.