Some wrestlers and their coaches would maintain a conservative game plan – with an eye toward overtime – in the waning seconds of regulation.
This time, risk resulted in reward for Auburn junior Cole Washburn as he secured a two-point reversal as time expired in a 5-3 victory Saturday against Camas’ Sam Malychewski to claim third place in the Class 4A 182-pound weight class at Mat Classic XXIX at the Tacoma Dome.
Washburn said he noticed a signal from his coaches to put the “Granby Roll” into action with just 4 seconds left.
“I was looking over at my coach … and I was thinking that, but I didn’t know if I should,” Washburn said.
Any doubt soon was erased.
“It was sweet,” Washburn said.
Auburn coach Dennis Herren said he and his assistants felt there was an opportunity to use the move during the match, even though it is risky.
“At that point, it’s kind of like a Hail Mary in football,” he said. “Cole landed on top of the guy for the win.”
Herren said the move, when used sporadically, can be effective because wrestlers do not see it often.
“You usually have wrestlers trying to control the hands of their opponents so that the other person can’t lock their hands around, lift them up and slam them down every time they try and come up,” he said. “If you’ve done that over and over again, you can get the person to sort of push into you and reach. If they push you enough, then instead of coming up you can dive into a very dramatic forward roll that sends the person rolling with you and out of bounds.”
Washburn was just happy he could get to that point. With 1:45 left in the second round, Malychewski slammed him to the mat head first with an illegal move. After Washburn was tended to by trainers, he was awarded a penalty point. He later scored a takedown that gave him a 3-0 lead into the final round. But Malychewski was awarded a point when Washburn was cited for stalling, and he later tied the match with a takedown.
“It took a toll on me throughout the match,” said Washburn, referring to his injury in the second round. “Otherwise, I don’t think it would’ve been that close.”
Close could also describe Washburn’s proximity to a state championship. His lone loss of the tournament – and season – was an 8-7 setback to Mead’s Trevor Senn in their semifinal match. Senn later defeated Skyview’s Jackson McKinney 5-4 to earn the 4A title.
Washburn said he is looking forward to preparing for next season with the goal of winning a state championship. But after battling injuries to his left ankle and shoulder in the playoffs, he was happy to concentrate on something else first.
“I’m just glad the day is over,” Washburn said. “I get home, relax and start getting my body fixed.”
Other top performances
Washburn was among a pair of Trojans that placed at state. In the girls’ classification, senior Patricia DeLeon finished sixth at 130. Herren said he was “proud” of DeLeon, adding that she did not miss a practice during the last two seasons.
“She’s been marvelous,” he said.
On the boys’ side, all three Auburn School District programs placed in the team standings. Auburn Riverside was 25th with 19 points, followed by No. 28 Auburn (17.5) and Auburn Mountainview, which did not have an individual placer, finished tied for 47th with one point. Tahoma was first with 158 points.
The Ravens had a pair of placers. Freshman Jaden Cassel (106) and sophomore Yusef Nelson (113) finished seventh.
“They did a good job of finishing,” Auburn Riverside coach Kyle Jones said. “That’s what we wanted as they get ready for next year.”
Youth was not an issue for most of the season – the Ravens placed second in the regional tournament Feb. 11 – but Jones felt that inexperience caught up to his team at state.
“We had a lot of young kids,” he said. “I think some of the bright lights got to us. Once we got that under control, we wrestled really well.”