Raiders wrestlers take second in state
Four medals include gold for Gross
The Raider wrestlers took home their highest placing trophy ever Saturday, placing second in the state in the B classification.
Liberty Bell took home the championship, scoring 112 team points to the Raiders’ 79.
LR edged out Pomeroy for second by 13 points, 79-66.
The Raiders had left the Tacoma Dome on Friday night in fourth place.
“We talked it over at the hotel about how to remedy the situation and put ourselves back into position to challenge for second,” Head Coach Steve Hood said. “That is what the guys did on Saturday.”
Orrin Gross, who graced the cover of the Mat Classic program, led the way for the Raiders by making good on his season goal of being a two-time state champion. Gross on Friday made easy work of his first two opponents, pinning Wyatt Ginter of Pateros and Walter Harris of Northwest Christian to set up a championship match with Milo Holston of Liberty Bell Saturday night.
The match was hard fought but Gross began to pile on points and came away with his second gold medal, beating Holston 13-5.
Gross joins Shane Innes as the only back-to-back state champions from Lake Roosevelt High School.
This year’s was Gross’ third appearance in the finals in three years. He finished second his sophomore season.
Sean Waters came home with a silver medal after dominating the 182 pounders Friday, beating Jeb Jewell of Adna in a second-round pin and making mincemeat of Lane Monteith of Darrington with a pin in 55 seconds. Garet Sax of Selkirk lost to Hunter Borden of Raymond so Waters would not have a chance to win a rematch of the Regional championship. Waters hung with Borden in the close match but Borden beat Waters 6-3 in the championship match.
Oscar Pakootas, in his first state appearance at 120, brought home a bronze medal. Pakootas won his first match over Connor Maben of Ocosta in a second-round pin Friday, but fell to Taylor Woodruff of Liberty Bell 7-3. Pakootas rebounded quickly against Darrington’s Colton Anderson, whom he pinned in 28 seconds. That set up Saturday’s 3rd-4th match between Pakootas and Jose Kike Marin of Kittitas. Pakootas made the right moves and racked up a second-round pin to win third place and take home the bronze.
Kodie Horn, at 138, started off with a win over Bryan Gibbons of Napavine in a second-round pin. Horn then lost in a rematch with Jon Walling of Kittitas in a close match, 6-4. In his next match Horn rebounded by beating Elijah Towery of North Beach, 8-6. Then, in Saturday’s 3rd-4th match, Horn met Mason Mackey of Wahkiakum and pinned him early in the second round to take home the bronze medal.
Octavio Alejandre, in his first Mat Classic and coming off a knee injury that nearly took away his season, came home with a fourth-place medal at 285. In his first match against Daniel Fruth of North Beach, Alejandre forced the match to the third round when Fruth won by pin. Alejandre was not down for long and beat Daniel Helman of Ocosta 7-3, then set himself with a placing match by pinning William Ziemantz of LaConner in the first round.
In the 3rd-4th match on Saturday, Alejandre met up with the old foe Mark Dituri of Mary Walker (Springdale) who got the advantage and pinned Alejandre right before the end of the second round.
Freshman James Monaghan, at 120 in his first Mat Classic, took on top-seeded Tyler Osborn of Mary Walker. Osborn’s experience showed as he pinned Monaghan in 22 seconds. Monaghan looked to rebound against Colton Anderson and did make it through all three rounds but Anderson won 13-4.
“Sometimes in the Dome for the first time the experience is overwhelming,” Hood commented. “This experience does set James up with a goal for next year.”
Senior Andrew McClure at 220 faced off against Austin Reisdorph of Pomeroy, the eventual state champion, who won by pin in the first round. McClure then faced off against Steven Broom of Adna in a well fought match. Broom beat McClure in overtime 4-2. This being his first season wrestling, McClure exceeded all Hood’s expectations
“Andrew has been an inspiration for the whole team,” Hood said. “Some of the others have been wrestling since kindergarten or first grade and understand the process one has to go through to be a great competitor, and Andrew did that in one season.”
McClure was named the 220-pound Academic State Champion for State B, the first time since 2005 that a Raider has received such recognition.