Pushed to the brink, Auburn Riverside pushed back to stay within reach of a three-peat.
The Ravens took down in order Auburn 59-21, Enumclaw 48-29 and Auburn Mountainview 56-21 in a North Puget Sound League Olympic Division quad-dual meet showdown on the Auburn Riverside mats Wednesday night, Jan. 16.
In doing so, the Ravens improved to 6-0 in the division, 7-0 overall. Auburn Riverside, ranked seventh in the latest Washington Wrestling Report 4A state rankings, attempted to clinch a third straight unbeaten Olympic dual crown with a home win against once-beaten Decatur on Wednesday. Results were unavailable at press time.
The three-match sweep was sweet and difficult for the Ravens.
Just ask relieved coach Kyle Jones.
“We still have to beat Decatur next week, but this is a big step in that direction,” he said. “I have to commend our guys. They really battled. All week that’s what we talked about: ‘You’ve gotta battle. Every point matters.’ And they really rose to the occasion.”
After the Ravens pulled away from the Trojans in their opener, they ran into rugged Enumclaw. The Hornets, who entered the night unbeaten in the division, captured four of five middleweight bouts, three of which were by pin, to take a 29-21 lead.
Then, an unheralded, 182-pound sophomore stepped in for the Ravens.
Christian Pedro trailed 7-0 to Trevor Chase early in the second round before erupting for a takedown and five near-fall points to pull even after four minutes on the mat. Sick to his stomach early in the match, Chase grew tired, and Pedro picked up the pace, lowering the boom to win by fall at the 5:06 mark.
Pedro’s comeback ignited Auburn Riverside, which closed out the match with four straight victories, three by pin, and the dual decision.
“Huge,” Jones said of Pedro’s win. “We knew the Enumclaw kid starts fast, and he did against us, and we were in trouble. … As soon as (Pedro) put him on his back, the momentum changed. Probably the biggest match in the dual.”
Initially, Pedro didn’t realize the significance of his triumph.
“Not to the full extent, but I knew it was a big win for the team,” he said. “They were the No. 1 contender for us, and we put a stop to that real quick. … It’s a great feeling.
“I knew that if I just rode him out for the first round, he would gas out,” Pedro added. “I let him do whatever he wanted, and I knew in the second round I kinda had him. After he puked on me, I realized he was done. I did my thing.”
Pedro’s cousin Ethan Pedro, a junior, followed with a fall at 195 pounds. Will Russell (220 pounds) and Eyvar Robles (285) also pinned their foes. Cole Cross punctuated the dual by delivering a takedown in overtime to outlast Cole Bowen 8-6 at 106.
Jaden Cassel (120), Ismael Jimenez (126) and Yusef Nelson (132) opened the match with technical falls for Auburn Riverside. At 152, Peyton Scheschy posted a second-round pin.
Injury-beset Auburn rallied from 30-9 down to upend Auburn Mountainview 39-30, between losses to Auburn Riverside and Enumclaw 55-19.
Against the Lions, the Trojans (3-3) pulled it off behind a spree of pins from Mason Rowland (170), Ronnie Mairs (182), Chuck Hobbs (195), Uriel Parra (220) and George Padilla (285).
“It’s a big win for our program. It’s a kind of thing you can build on,” said coach Matt Hoover. “We talked about guts and toughness, and we showed that tonight.”
Auburn Mountainview (2-4) received strong performances from Kamana Nahaku (132), Mahlik Walker (138) and Brennen Hanson (152) – all determined to crash the state party in February.
Hanson cruised at the quad meet, improving to 30-0. He finished fourth at 138 pounds at state a year ago.
“I’m feeling good,” he said. “I had a little ankle injury early, but I think it was good timing. I got a little break in the season and have come back even stronger.”