The Raider wrestlers came home with a championship trophy from the Eastern Washington North B Sub-Regional last Saturday.
Lake Roosevelt scored 173 points, edging out second-place Kittitas by only one point. The placing was so close that the difference between number-one LR and number-five Mary Walker was only seven points.
This is the first District/Sub-Regional championship for LR wrestling since 2002. Head Coach Steve Hood and Coach Lee Largent both commented that it was also the first tournament win since 2003-04.
“Everybody took part and made this championship possible,” Coach Hood told his team. Almost the entire squad moves on to regional competition next week at Reardan.
At 106 pounds, Jacob Smith took fifth, and Zack Erickson secured sixth by pinning Merkley of Selkirk in 43 seconds.
At 120, Oscar Pakootas took fourth, and James Monaghan pinned Gleason of Kittitas in the second round to take fifth.
At 126, Coltin Williams finished third by beating Ripley of Oroville 10-1.
Lukas Hermetz finished seventh, pinning Chantry of Selkirk in 43 seconds, Hermetz is an alternate for Saturday.
Josh Jim took 6th at 132. Kodie Horn, at 138, beat Fink of Liberty Bell 7-5 to secure third place.
At 145, Orrin Gross made a statement by manhandling Weiss of Selkirk 19-2 and then blowing past Harris of Northwest Christian in the championship match to take first place.
Lucas Beneditti finished eighth at 160 and will not be moving on, but his placing helped the Raiders score needed points that helped secure the championship.
Newcomer Jordan Allen is moving on at 170 after placing third by beating Hitch of Mary Walker (Springdale) by second-round pin.
Sean Waters finished second at 182 after beating Clifner of Mary Walker, 19-2. He lost the championship to Sax of Selkirk, who pinned him in the second round.
Andrew McClure also took second at 220, as he beat Morgan of Kittitas but fell in a close-fought match to Barkalu of Mary Walker, 4-3.
At 285, the Raiders have two moving on with Tristian Goss taking fourth and Octavio Alejandre finishing second. Coming back after a knee injury that almost made it impossible for him to wrestle, Alejandre won his first match of the season by beating Acord of Liberty Bell in a third-round pin.
The Raider girls travelled to East Valley for their Sub-Regional where 92 girls from all classifications came together to decide who would move on.
“The girls wrestled really tough and faced a lot of girls they have not seen before,” Coach Largent said.
Alexa Hanway went 2-2 on the day and placed fifth at 106, which makes her an alternate for this Saturday’s regional. Jazymne Marchand gave it her all but was not able to place, said Largent, who has watched the growth of the girls wrestling for the Raider team.
“Girls’ wrestling is no longer the place for a girl who just wants to get a letter at something, or be part of the novelty sport,” Largent said. “Now the girls are treating it as the real meal deal and are getting serious about doing what it takes to win and be competitive.”
At the Eastern Washington B Regionals at Reardan this Saturday starting at 10 a.m., the Raiders will face the top wrestlers from the south, which has good squads at Reardan and Pomeroy. Colfax, White Swan, A/C-H, and Tri-City Prep will also bring good individuals to Reardan.
The brackets are all 12-man, with the top four moving on to the Matt Classic at the Tacoma Dome.
Both Coach Hood and his wife Sandy Hood, a veteran of wrestling tournaments, commented that Republic did a great job hosting the tournament, making it a good experience.