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James West's league title lifts Auburn
Auburn senior James West captured the South Puget Sound League North 4A 182-pound title at last weekend’s sub-regional tournament at Kent-Meridian High School.
West swept through the competition in his weight class, winning all three of his matches by pin, including the title match against Kentridge’s Zach Seibel.
West moved into fifth place all-time in pins in the 50-year history of Auburn wrestling, according to Trojans coach Dennis Herren. He has 24 pins with regionals and state matches remaining this season.
West’s performance helped Auburn grab fifth place in the team competition with 196.5 points.
Tahoma easily won the team title with 411 points. Kentwood was second with 291.5.
The Trojans also got second-place finishes from freshman Drew Aplin at 106 and senior Josh Tate at 152.
Also moving on to the regional competition for Auburn are sophomore Balteer Rana (fourth at 106), junior Tyson Gaillac (third at 132), senior Seth Mizoguchi (third at 160), sophomore Mario Luevana (third at 220) and sophomore Sam Lindsay (third at 170).
“It’s exciting that a freshman, Drew Aplin, made the finals and two sophomores also placed in the top three,” Herren said. “That was a big help from the underclassmen for the seniors. Almost every guy placed higher than he was seeded coming into the meet, and we’re moving on six placers and two alternates.”
Sophomore Bailey Minnar was fifth at 145 and junior Cameron Hiller was sixth at 120. Both are alternates and will wrestle if someone in their division doesn’t make weight or cannot compete.
The West Central District III Regional competition begins Friday at Auburn High School. For more information and brackets, visit www.wcd3.org/b_wrestling.htm
ALSO: Auburn Riverside qualified two wrestlers and two alternates to the district tourney. Junior Larkin Williams punched his ticket with a pin at 3 minutes, 34 seconds, against Kentridge’s Heamasi Vi in the battle for third at 285 pounds at the sub-regional meet. Teammate Keaton Dalfrey, a senior 145 pounder, also moved on to regionals. Senior Michael Ajeto was sixth at 132 and Michael Robinson was fifth at 160. Both are alternates. Auburn Riverside finished the competition seventh with 106 team points. ...In 3A action, Auburn Mountainview pushes on five wrestlers to to this weekend’s Region III 3A Wrestling Tournament at Bonney Lake High School. The Lions originally qualified three wrestlers out of last Saturday’s sub-regional meet, with senior Nick Helms coming in fourth at 145 pounds, freshman Antonio Corea snagging fourth at 195 and junior Dakota Weir grabbing third at 285. Two more Auburn Mountainview wrestlers, 220-pound senior Ray Azevado and 195-pound junior Kalvin Saxby, had originally been slated as an alternate in their divisions with a fifth-place finishes. They will now wrestle at regionals. Alternates earn a berth if another wrestler in their division is not eligible or unable to compete. Also earning alternate spots for the Lions were freshman Joey Santos at 132, sophomore Zach Jones at 170 and senior Alex Harris at 182. Auburn Mountainview finished fifth in the team competition with 138 points. Enumclaw was first with 363 points. The top four finishers in each weight class move out of regionals to the Mat Classic XXV state championships, Feb. 22-23 at the Tacoma Dome. The 3A regionals begin at 10 a.m. Saturday at Bonney Lake High School. ... Also moving on to regional competitions are five Auburn girl wrestlers: Auburn freshmen Maritza Parra (106) and Makayla Barnett (235); Auburn Riverside sopomore Kassondra Knapp (190); and Auburn Mountainview juniors Tiffany Chung (118) and Jasmine Sele (190). The girls regional competition is Saturday at Auburn.