Weiss stays cool, reaches 3A semifinals

10 area wrestlers reach final day of state tournament

By Paul Danzer, Columbian community sports reporter

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TACOMA — When he fell behind early in his state quarterfinal wrestling match on Friday, Camas senior Tyler Weiss did not panic.

He just got back to basics.

And then scored the last nine points to secure his spot in the Class 3A semifinals at 132 pounds, by beating Boyce Johnson of Sedro Woolley. Weiss joined Hudson’s Bay senior Emilio Alcantar and Prairie’s Cody Geary as 3A semifinalists.

“Those two points (Johnson) scored in the first round, I knew I screwed up,” Weiss said. “So I had to just come right back and do my stuff.”

And that stuff was basics, such as decisive shots for takedowns followed by smart decisions on the mat.

Weiss, who placed seventh last season, said this time around he was ready for the Tacoma Dome scene.

“Coming here last year helped a lot,” Weiss said. “I got a feel for how state effects you, how your emotions get super high and low. I just had to get in my zone, do my stuff, warm up my way.”

Bay’s Alcantar has been a regular here. But he hasn’t been to the finals since a second-place finish as a freshman in 2009. On Friday the senior scored a pin and a seven-point win to reach the semifinals.

Prairie’s Geary opened the tournament against a familiar foe, beating Mountain View’s Sterling Reynolds 5-0 at 182 pounds. Geary, who placed seventh at 171 pounds as a junior, edged Ferndale’s Sam Alexander 2-0 in the quarterfinals.

In the Class 1A tournament, La Center’s Patrick Mayolo won by technical fall and by pin to reach the semifinals at 126 pounds.

Stevenson’s Karl Ball used two tight wins, one in overtime, to reach the final four at 145.

Stevenson senior Marcus Carter and Ridgefield junior John White both made the 1A semifinals at 220 pounds.

Three local girls are in the state semifinals: Mountain View senior Kyra Batara at 112 pounds, Evergreen senior Stephanie Simon at 145, and Battle Ground junior Mixtly Simon at 195.

Simon got a scare in the quarterfinals when her already injured left ankle was tweaked in the second round. She persevered to score a 17-7 win. After placing second in state last season, Simon plans on persevering all the way to a state title.

“I could have pinned that girl, but (with the injury) it’s hard to dive my feet,” she said.

As for the challenge that sore ankle — injured in practice two weeks ago — might pose on Saturday, Simon intends make sure it doesn’t spoil her title dreams.

“I’m going to win it. I don’t care about the injury,” she said.