The host Bobcats made off with most of the spoils, but there was something for everyone at the Aberdeen Kick-Off Classic wrestling invitational on Dec. 2.
Combining first-place punch with depth, Aberdeen easily captured the championship in the 16-team tournament. With 231 points, the Bobcats outdistanced runner-up Klahowya by 80 points.
Third-place Montesano, fifth-place Hoquiam and sixth-place Elma, however, also had cause for celebration. All four Grays Harbor teams produced multiple champions.
Aberdeen’s Angel Cisneros outdueled Elma’s Colton French in one of the most exciting of the title matches. Trailing by only two points in the final minute, French took a shot at a tying takedown. But Cisneros countered the move and registered a takedown and near-fall of his own for an eventual 10-3 victory.
Daustin Estrada pinned Montesano’s Agustin Arreguin in the second round of their 195-pound final.
Considering that his team suffered heavy graduation losses and has several regulars (including state veteran Tony Williams) still a few turnouts shy of eligibility, Montesano coach Jeff Klinger was delighted with his team’s showing.
“I thought our young kids really stepped up today,” Klinger said. “We had two seniors here today.”
Monte’s Kai Olson pinned Aberdeen’s Thomas Williams early in the second round of the 182-pound final. Bulldog 106-pounder Andy Fry decisioned teammate Cooper Johansson, 9-1, for the other Montesano title.
Among the Bulldogs who surprised Saturday was Ty Ekerson at 120 pounds. Listed as a junior varsity performer, Ekerson advanced to the title round and took a slight lead over North Mason’s Miguel Jesus-Miguel into the final minute of the championship match. Miguel, however, used a late escape and takedown for a 13-11 triumph.
Elma prevailed in two of the more interesting title bouts.
State placewinner Justin Sample had all he could handle from North Mason’s Anton Baur before rallying in the final minute for a 6-3 win in an action-packed 152-pound final.
Elma’s Jacob Garcia, technically listed as a member of the multi-school “all-star” team, used a final-round near-fall to edge his varsity teammate Ben Bridge, 5-4, in the 220-pound title bout.
Although saying there isn’t much to choose between the teammates, Elma coach Adam Catterlin conceded Saturday’s outcome ranked as at least a mild upset.
“Benjamin’s had his number in practice,” Catterlin said. “But it was (Jacob’s) day.”
Catterlin is overjoyed with his team’s turnout numbers, which has approximately doubled last year’s roster size.
106: Championship — Andy Fry (Montesano) dec. Cooper Johansson (Monte JV), 9-1. Co-thirds — Michael Hubble (Klahowya) and Reese Cohron (Rochester). 113: Championship — Lutra Felten (Hoquiam) dec. Payton Hlebechuk (Klahowya), 8-4. Co-thirds — Collin Clinton-Smith (Monte) and Tyler Bristow (Elma). 120: Championship — Miguel Jesus-Miguel (North Mason) dec. Ty Ekerson (Monte JV), 13-11. Co-thirds — Aaron Lano (Monte) and Jeremy Roberts (Aberdeen). 126: Championship — Alex Houbregs (Hoq) won inj. default from Edgar Salazar (Aber). Co-thirds — Jake McKeel (Klahowya) and Gabe Navarro (NM). 132: Championship — Hayden Steele (Klahowya) won inj. default from Tyler Souphommanichanh (Aberdeen). Co-thirds — Pedro Gaspar (NM) and Dallin Schlecht (Roch). 138: Championship — Angel Cisneros (Aber) dec. Colton French (Elma), 10-3. Co-thirds — Joel Pine (Monte JV) and Dallin Stafford (Klahowya). 145: Championship — Antonio Garcia (Hoq) dec. Jayden Lancaster (Roch), 7-3. Co-thirds — Bodie Wharton (Aber) and Josiah Sorensen (Klahowya JV).
152: Championship — Justin Sample (E) dec. Anton Baur (North Mason), 6-3. Co-thirds — Brody Trader (Aber) and Karsten Jensen (Klahowya). 160: Championship — Daniel Pulley (NM) pinned Mason Lutz (Monte), 3:22.Co-thirds — Seth Brown (Aber) and Asai Villarreal (Hoq). 170: Championship — Hunter Wallis (Klahowya) pinned Austin Stahl (Klahowya JV), 4:31. Co-thirds — Brady Cummings (Hoq) and Jakxen Wherry (Roch). 182:Championship — Kai Olson (Monte) pinned Thomas Williams (Aber), 2:36. Co-thirds — Skyler Pickard (Monte JV) and Eulises Tinoco (Roch JV). 195: Championship — Daustin Estrada (Aber) pinned Agustin Arreguin (Monte), 2:36. Co-thirds — Anthony Crombie (Muckleshoot) and Garrett Glazer (Roch). 220: Championship — Jacob Garcia (All-Stars, Elma) dec. Ben Bridge (E), 5-4. Co-thirds — Tyler Sherman (Aber) and Taitum Brumfield (Elma JV). 285: Championship — Skyler Murray (Aber) pinned Favian Rojero (Aberdeen JV), 3:19. Co-thirds — A.J.Hernandez (E) and Wiley Rice (NM).