Viking wrestlers win regionals, send 14 to State
Some Viking wrestlers might've had deja vu at Saturday's Region 1 Wrestling tournament, and you couldn't blame them.
A week after dominating the district tournament at Snohomish High School, the Vikings cruised through the regional tournament, also at Snohomish High School.
Of the Vikings' eight district champs, seven won at regionals, and seven other wrestlers placed in the top four for a total of fourteen state qualifiers.
The Vikings scored 284.5 team points, beating second-place Yelm by more than 100.
At 106 pounds, the final was a repeat of the district finals match between two Lake Stevens freshmen, A.J. Crew and Michael Soler.
Soler again came out on top, but the two wrestlers will be on opposite sides of the state bracket, leaving a chance for another all-Lake Stevens final.
No Viking wrestlers were in the finals at 113 pounds, but Alex Rodorigo and Reuben Crew placed third and fourth, respectively—not a bad finish, considering that the top two spots were taken by returning state champions Noah Cuzzetto and Darrin Harris.
At 120 pounds Viking wrestler Jake Douglas joined Michael Soler in being the only freshmen to win this year's regional tournament. Douglas defeated his Central Kitsap opponent 6-2.
One of the night's most anticipated matches was between Lake Stevens' Jesse Petersen and Yelm's Dillon Harris in the 138-pound finals.
Harris is a two-time state finalist and was ranked number-one in their weight class, making him a slight favorite over Petersen, who was ranked number two.
Shortly into the first round Petersen took Harris down and put him on his back, and he didn't let up from there, dominating the match to win 14-3.
At 145 pounds, Lake Stevens' Eric Soler faced the same Cascade wrestler he'd wrestled in the finals the weekend before. This time Soler pinned his opponent and secured a number-one seed for the state tournament.
Lake Stevens junior Logan Johnson, a district champion, took second at 160 pounds to Yelm's Anthony Allred, ranked second in state. Teammate Blake Sanders placed third at 160 after losing to Johnson in the semi-finals.
At 170 pounds, Lake Stevens sophomore Cody Vigoren, now ranked third in state at his weight class, controlled his finals match from start to finish to defeat South Kitsap's Bryce Broome 7-1.
At 220 pounds, the Vikings' Shaq Reed pinned the same Snohomish wrestler he pinned in the finals last weekend, again taking first after dominating his weight class.
The Vikings' heavyweight, senior Brandon Johnson, has had only one close match with a Washington wrestler this year, an overtime victory over South Kitsap's Damien Medeiros. Johnson faced Medeiros in the finals at regionals, and this time he secured his victory in regulation time, scoring a late takedown on Medeiros to win 6-3. Johnson is four state matches away from going undefeated for the season.
The Vikings are the top-ranked 4A Wrestling team and are slight favorites over Tahoma for the team state title, which will be decided next Friday and Saturday at the Tacoma Dome.
106lbs Michael Soler
120lbs Jake Douglas
138lbs Jesse Peterson
145lbs Eric Soler
170lbs Cody Vigoren
220lbs Shaq Reed
285lbs Brandon Johnson
2nd Place Finish:
106lbs AJ Crew
160lbs Logan Johnson
3rd Place Finish:
113lbs Alex Rodorigo
126lbs Wyatt Bell
160lbs Blake Sander
4th Place Finish:
113lbs Ruben Crew
195lbs Anthony Thees