Lions move 10 wrestlers on to state

The Auburn Mountainview High wrestling team came as close to perfection as a team could come Saturday afternoon at the Class 3A Region II tournament.

The Lions advanced a school-record 11 wrestlers to the regional tournament at Bonney Lake High and pushed through 10 of those to this Friday and Saturday’s state tournament at the Tacoma Dome.

Enumclaw ran away with the team title, registering an astounding 283.5 points. But the Lions proved impressive as well, coming in second with 170 points.

“I think we were right around where we expected to be,” said Auburn Mountainview coach Adam France. “It was a good tournament.”

Good is putting it mildly.

The Lions crowned a pair of champions — Matt Anderson (112 pounds) and Tyler King (135). In addition, three Lions brought home second-place finishes: Brandon Perry (103), Isaac Tadeo (152) and Kristian Agemotu (215).

The top four wrestlers in each weight class punched tickets to the state tournament.

With 10 wrestlers in fold for the season finale, the Lions go in having an outside shot at bringing home some team hardware. The top four teams earn trophies.

“I’m just trying to keep it in perspective,” France said. “There will be some teams with less people, but with more experience. Our goal right now is just to go out there and perform the way we’re capable of performing.”

• ALSO: Matt Anderson and Tyler King weren’t Auburn Mountainview’s only champions on Saturday. Junior Lilia Gudzyuk, competing in the girls Region II tournament at Emerald Ridge, also brought home a golden performance. Gudzyuk collected three wins, culminating in a 1-0 victory over Enumclaw’s Jenny Paterson in the 160-pound finale. Gudzyuk will be making her second-straight state tournament appearance.

According to Gudzyuk – who picked up wrestling just two-years ago after watching her older brothers compete – she is looking forward to bettering her performance from last year, when she went two-and-out.

“The first thing everybody does when they come in (to Mat Classic) is look up,” Gudzyuk said of her experience last year. “You’re overwhelmed by the dome because it’s so big, and you’re overwhelmed by all the people. I was pretty much wrestling the dome instead of my opponents last year.

“I feel so much more confident this year,” she continued. “I know what to expect now and I’ll be able to use that against my opponents.”

Joining Gudzyuk will be teammate Alanna Alegria, who was second at 171 pounds.