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Auburn Mountainview's Huyber savors dramatic Mat Classic title
Auburn Mountainview senior Lucas Huyber must have seen his entire wrestling career flash before his eyes in a second.
After leading for most of his 171-pound 3A Mat Classic championship final with University’s Jacob Fry, Huyber suddenly found himself trailing by two points with eight seconds left in the match at the Tacoma Dome.
“I was so scared, but I just had to keep going. I couldn’t give up at the end,” Huyber said.
Even coach Adam France admitted that it looked like it was all over for Huyber.
“You could see that Lucas had never been in a situation before like that,” he said. “He just got a little tight because that’s what the finals will do to you sometimes. But he’s a better wrestler than that and at the end, he did what he’s trained to do, which is keep wrestling, and those last few seconds that’s how he pulled it out.”
Digging deep, Huyber scored on a near fall in the final seconds of the match to win the state title with a 7-6 decision.
“I was getting tired, but you just have to keep pushing yourself through that pain,” Huyber said. “Because when you think it’s over, it’s not really over, even when you just have 10 seconds left.”
The win marked a stellar season for Huyber, who competed but did not place at last year's Mat Classic.
France said he knew this year was going to be special for Huyber.
“He’s one of the most talented wrestlers I’ve had with the least amount of wrestling experience,” France said.
Huyber first took to the mat as a seventh-grader, putting in time on the junior varsity squad as a freshman and sophomore before winning a spot on varsity as a junior.
“The combination of the hard work we put in the wrestling room and the work he put it on his own probably makes him one of the most improved wrestlers in my 17 years (of coaching),” France said. “We could see the potential.”
Huyber, who came into the tournament as the regional and league champion, swept through the 171-pound bracket, defeating West Seattle’s Jacob Young with a 33-second pin in round one and edging Lake Washington’s Yaroslav Petrechko 7-6 in the second round.
Huyber earned his shot at the title with a 1:46 pin of Juanita’s Logan McCallum in the quarterfinals.