SNOHOMISH — After earning the program’s first-ever sub-regional title a week ago, the Stanwood High School boys wrestling team followed its milestone weekend with another strong showing at the Class 3A Regional 1 Tournament at Snohomish High School.
The Spartans finished second in the team standings behind a loaded Yelm squad and had an area-high 10 athletes qualify for next week’s Mat Classic XXXIII in Tacoma.
Saturday’s event featured 3A squads from the Northwest Conference, Wesco 3A North, South Sound Conference and Olympic League. The top five from each weight class qualified for Mat Classic.
“All in all, I think we did pretty well” said Stanwood coach Ray Mather, who noted the Spartans expected to send about 10 wrestlers to the Tacoma Dome. “… I’m more than happy about it.”
Stanwood was led by its strong junior class, which included a trio of individual title winners.
Tyler Rhue gave Stanwood its first top finish when he won a tight 7-5 decision over Mount Vernon’s Ryan Wilson for the 126-pound title in a rematch of last week’s sub-regional final — also won by Rhue.
It’s the second time the junior has qualified for Mat Classic. He placed third at 106 pounds as a freshman in 2020.
Keaton Mayernik followed Rhue’s title with one of his own shortly after. Mayernik, the 132-pound champion, picked up his title with a 5-0 decision over touted Yelm freshman Lake Harris.
“He’s a stud, but my goal was to go out there and dominate the match, work my moves and not worry about his style,” Mayernik said. “I’ve been working in the room hard and was ready to take this. It was a great match.”
Mayernik is heading to state for the second time. He placed fifth at 120 pounds as a freshman.
Mason Ferguson’s 3-0 decision over North Thurston’s Bruce Price in the 182-pound title match helped put the stamp on a strong day for the Spartans. Ferguson is making his first trip to the state tournament.
Stanwood finished with a team score of 197 points and placed ahead of three teams ranked in the top 20 of 3A by Washington Wrestling Report.
Aven Anderson (fourth at 113 pounds), Bryan Roodzandt (third at 120 pounds), Lane Ovenell (third at 132 pounds), Cameron O’Neill (fourth at 138 pounds), Ryder Bumgarner (third at 170 pounds), Carter Kinney (fifth at 182 pounds) and Elijah Fleck (fourth at 195 pounds) rounded out Stanwood’s state qualifiers.
“The South (Sound) Conference is tough,” Mather said of the competition at the regional meet. “I told our kids if you can’t make it out of this, you can place at state.”
Arlington’s Latta, Baxter win titles
After qualifying for state as a sophomore at 138 pounds in 2020, Arlington’s Trevor Latta decided it was time to put on some size and strength.
Latta started eating over 10,000 calories and 500 grams of protein a day in an effort to put become bigger and stronger.
Nearly two years later the senior’s decision has proven to be a fruitful one after he cruised to a 160-pound title with three straight pins.
Latta needed just 99 seconds to get through his first two matches and scored a pinfall at the 2:55 mark of his championship bout with Monroe’s Brian Zebley Jr.
“I knew I had the technique, which I was sharpening over time, but I also wanted the strength,” Latta said about his body transformation. “I was really skinny at the time. … I feel a lot better now. I’ve got the technique of a smaller wrestler, but now I’ve also go the strength to go with it. It feels amazing.”
Teammate Dustin Baxter joined Latta as individual title winners from Arlington after he knocked off fellow Eagle Eric Vogel in a 6-2 decision at 138 pounds, marking the only one-two finish for Snohomish County teams at the meet. It was Baxter’s second straight week edging Vogel for a title after a 3-1 overtime win at sub-regionals last Saturday.
Baxter, a sophomore, is heading to state for the first time and Vogel is making his second trip after qualifying as a freshman in 2020.
Junior AJ Dorchak will join the trio in Tacoma next week after a fifth-place finish at 106 pounds.
MG’s Steele takes second at 113 pounds
Senior Jacob Steele punched his first ticket to Mat Classic with a runner-up finish at 113 pounds, falling to Ferndale’s Austin Merwin by an 11-4 decision in a sub-regional title rematch.
Steele opened the tournament by pinning Mount Vernon’s Nathan Soule in 50 seconds and followed that up with an 11-2 major decision over Stanwood’s Aven Anderson in the semifinals.
The 113-pounder was the Chargers’ lone state qualifier.
Yelm wins team title
The Tornados came into Saturday’s event as the favorite to take home a team title and didn’t disappoint. Yelm finished with 257 points — 60 points in front of second-place Stanwood.
A whopping 12 Yelm wrestlers qualified for the state tournament, including three individual title winners and three second-place finishers.
Other local state qualifiers
145—3. Joseph Davis, fr., Marysville Pilchuck. 152—4. Talon Creswell, jr., Monroe; 5. Ryan Carlson, sr., Snohomish. 160—5. Milo Jones-Street, soph., Marysville Pilchuck; 170—3. Ryder Bumgarner, jr., Stanwood; 4. Jack Kelly, jr., Snohomish; 5. Juan Ramirez, jr., Cascade. 195—. Ethan Frati, sr., Snohomish. 220—4. Connor King, jr., Snohomish. 285—5. Jaelin Pirone, sr., Marysville Pilchuck.
1. Yelm 257 , 2. Stanwood 197, 3. Ferndale 154, 4. North Thurston 143, 5. Capital 117, 6. Arlington 100.5, 7. Peninsula 70.5, 8. Central Kitsap 66, 9. Oak Harbor 65, 10. Snohomish 64, 11. Monroe 50.5, 12. Marysville Getchell 48, 13. River Ridge 47.5, 14. Mount Vernon 45, 15. Marysville Pilchuck 43, 16. Gig Harbor 42, 17. Everett 40, 18. Bainbridge 35, 19. Cascade 15, 20. Timberline 12