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New state champ leads Raider placers at Tacoma

Horn, Nichols, Shelley secure first, third, fourth


Kaleb Horn uses a leg ride to try to remain in control of Tonasket's Dawson Bretz in the 113-pound championship match Saturday. - Jennie McGhan/The Daily Sun photo

Three Raider wrestlers participated at the state's Mat Classic XXIX in Tacoma this past weekend where all three placed, including Kaleb Horn, who is the first Lake Roosevelt sophomore to win a state championship, and the 11th state champion in school history.

"It's very hard to even put yourself in the position to have a chance to compete for these spots," Raider Head Coach Steve Hood said. "It takes a tremendous amount of dedication and being accountable to what you're trying to accomplish."

Wrestling in the 113-pound division, Horn pinned Chad Doyen of Republic in only 32 seconds. Horn then defeated Elias Harvey from Chief Leschi 8-4. Horn had lost to Harvey at state last year. From there, Horn defeated Austin Brock of Tonasket by technical fall, winning 16-0.

Horn then faced off against Dawson Bretz of Tonasket, who had been ranked first in the state most of the season. Horn defeated him 10-7 to become state champion.

"Kaleb is pretty driven to be as good as he can be," Hood said. "He puts in a lot of extra work during the whole year. It was awesome to see it all come together for him to win a state championship."

Tony Nichols vies for position during the match for third or fourth place at 138 pounds against senior Vance Frazier from Tonasket. - Brittany Cozza photo

Wrestling at 138, Tony Nichols, down 3-2 against Tristan Chantry of Selkirk with 30 seconds left in the match, got a takedown to win 4-3. Nichols then narrowly lost to Jack Odneal of Ilwaco 3-2, unable to get a final takedown. Odneal went on to take first in the division. Nichols went on to defeat Jack Jordan of Raymond 12-3, then Vance Frazier of Tonasket 5-2 to take third in the division. Nichols had taken third in the 132 division in 2016.

In the 120 weight class, freshman Jon Shelley defeated Kaleb Orton of Westport 22-5, then lost to Ryan Issakides of Selkirk 11-4. Then Shelley defeated three seniors, besting Karson Krouse of Pomeroy, 18-4; pinning James Guard of Friday Harbor, in the second period, and pinning Tony Merino of Ilwaco in the second period. Shelley then lost 12-9 to Gilbert Martinez, from Mabton, but still took fourth in the division, becoming the fourth LR freshman to ever place at state.

"Jon wrestled his best of the year at the state tournament," Hood said.

All three wrestlers brought home medals to commemorate their victories.

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