Raider wrestling travelled with 12 wrestlers to Rainier on Friday for the Sergeant Justin Norton Invitational on Saturday at the Rainier High School gym.
The tourney featured several state placers and the top 1A competition from Castle Rock, Chelan, Montesano, Kalama, Tenino, Bellevue Christian, and Rainier itself.
The tournament was a brutally tough one for the Raiders.
“We got good competition,” stated Raider Head Coach Steve Hood, “we got what we came for.”
LR fought through tough opposition to finish the day sixth out of 14 teams, placing ahead of 2A Washington High School from Parkland.
Five Raiders placed at the tournament: Oscar Pakootas, Kodie Horn, Skye Gooler, Orrin Gross, and Levi Seylor.
Pakootas, wrestling at 106 pounds, finished third after defeating Jamie Mendez of Pateros in a second-round pin. In the previous match Pakootas lost in the third round by pin to eventual champion Brandon Koening of Kalama.
Horn (126) finished third, defeating Julio Vera of Chelan and Rudy Tracey of Cascade Christian, both by pins. Gooler ended up fifth at 138. Gooler defeated Zeb Chamberlain of Tenino and Ben Wittenberg by first-round pins before succumbing to eventual champion Kris Erdelbrock of Castle Rock.
Gross placed third at 145. He started the day with two pins over Ginter Wyatt of Pateros and Seth Matarazzo of Kiona Benton. In his third match, Gross lost to eventual champion Pacer Said of Castle Rock, but shook that loss off as he turned around and pinned Jacob Nelson of 2A Washington to take home third.
Levi Seylor’s path on Saturday was similar to Gross’ as he too won his first two matches by pin over Nick Harriman of Castle Rock and Ryan Kreig of Tenino. In his third match Seylor ran into some trouble and dropped the match to eventual champion Asa Schwartz of Chelan. Like Gross, Seylor simply brushed himself off and went into his placing match with J.R. Siperly of Adna and pinned him in the second round to take home a third place.
Other wrestlers continue to show gains from pervious hard matches, Hood said, and the effort put into practice with wins or trying new moves on the mat.
The Raiders still have a hard road ahead of them as they go into tonight’s match with number-one Readan and Saturday’s matches at the Dream Duals at East Valley High School in Spokane Valley.
Today’s match begins at 6 p.m. at Readan High School. Dream Duals begin at 10 a.m. at East Valley.