Bonney Lake High’s Colton Tracy had always wanted to stand on the mountain his brother built.
Now it isn’t exactly scaling Mount Kilimanjaro – but for a wrestler, standing on the tallest step of the championship podium sure feels that way.
The Panthers’ junior was part of the South Puget Sound League 3A’s domination at the Region II wrestling championships at Bonney Lakes High School on Saturday. That league took home 10 of the 14 titles, and top seeds to next week’s Mat Classic XV in the Tacoma Dome.
By a little bit of a wider margin than last week’s SPSL sub-regional tournament, Enumclaw again rode its depth to the regional team title. The Hornets scored 233 points, just ahead of runner-up Decatur (212).
Decatur and Bonney Lake did crown the most individual winners – four apiece. Tracy got it started for the Panthers by winning a 9-1 decision over Enumclaw’s Tyke Reid at 126 pounds – and other Bonney Lake champions included Matt Yuste (145), Cayle Williams (160) and Chili Sabin (182).
The Gators had a tournament-best eight finalists, and won with Leviticus Arizpe at 113, Isaiah Diggs at 132, Nick Karis at 170 and Kyle Gleed at 285.
Peninsula had a pair of winners, too, in Randy Nimrick (135) and Casey Larson (152). Larson pinned North Thurston’s Marcus Ulloth, the Narrows 3A champion, in 2 minutes, 54 seconds.
Enumclaw’s lone regional champion came in an all-Hornets’ final at 103. Kyle Opland pinned Levi Norton in 5:01.
In recent years, Bonney Lake was always grappling in the same regional as the Southwest District. That meant Tracy had to go through Kelso’s Josh Newberg for the title – and he has lost in all five meetings.
Tracy thoroughly dominated Reid on Saturday – in the same manner he won last week in a 9-2 decision.
And that mean Tracy would finally stand on the podium his older brother, Addison, had built.
“He built it for his Eagle (Scout) project,” Tracy said. “I had stood on it for little tournaments, but this is the first big tournament.”
One of the biggest storylines Saturday developed off the mat for Enumclaw, the defending Class 3A champion. Two-time defending champion Lucas Somera, who crashed hard and hit his head in the regional 145 finals last weekend, and had to default because of injury.
This week, Somera was not cleared to compete Saturday. He is out for the remainder of the postseason.
“He would wake up with headaches, and be dizzy,” Enumclaw coach Lee Reichert said. “He took a bigger shot than what we thought.
“It’s crushing, absolutely crushing. His big dream was to be a three-time champion. He would have been our first.”
The night’s most anticipated matchup was at 195 between Wilson’s Jake Ferris (30-1) and Decatur’s Rowland Gaydosh (33-4) – two of the top three ranked wrestlers in 3A.
Gaydosh had handed the reigning 3A runner-up his only loss of the season, 3-2, at the Decatur Invitational.
And the rematch came down to the wire. After a stall penalty was called on Ferris in the third period to tie the match at 3-3, suddenly the Rams’ senior went on the offensive.
In the final two seconds, he got into Gaydosh’s body and turned him to his back for the clinching takedown, and 5-3 victory.