No wrestling champs, but plenty of accomplishments

County wrestlers take experience from Mat Classic

By Paul Danzer, Columbian Soccer, hockey and Community Sports Reporter


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TACOMA — Clark County didn’t produce any champions during Mat Classic XXV. But that doesn’t mean there weren’t accomplishments to remember.

Just ask Battle Ground senior Kassi Strano.

A third-year wrestler, Strano wrestled for the championship on Saturday in the 106-pound division of the girls tournament at the Tacoma Dome, losing to 15-0 three-time champion Rachel Archer of Winlock.

“I’m just really happy that I made it to the finals,” Strano said. “(Archer) is really good. This is my first time being in the finals and I think I let it get to me. But it’s really exciting. It’s a great experience.”

Stevenson junior Tyler Miler also got his first experience of a Mat Classic final, losing by third-round pin to Erick Garcia of Chelan in the Class 1A championship at 132 pounds,

Prairie didn’t have any finalists — nor did any Clark County schools in the 3A or 2A classifications — but the Falcons had a solid Class 3A state tournament, finishing 11th in team scoring.

Wil Treadwell took third place at 120 pounds, responding with a pair of pins after losing by fall in the semifinals.

Dallas Goodpaster, the freshman 220-pounder, lost to defending champion Stone Hart of Timberline in the semifinals. Hart, who won his second-consecutive title later Saturday, controlled the match. Goodpaster made the 9-4 loss interesting by turning Hart toward his back in the final seconds. Goodpaster then split two consolation matches and finished fifth.

Mario Gonzalez, Prairie’s other semifinalist, lost twice on Saturday at 160 and placed sixth.

Gunnar Metzger of Hudson’s Bay finished third in the Class 3A 152-pound division. He rebounded with two wins after a three-point loss in the semifinals. The Eagles’ Aaron Blaine took eighth at 145.

Kenji Yamashita of Mountain View finished fourth at 138 after reaching the semifinals. The Thunder’s Ben Dixon placed sixth at 113.

Washougal’s Zac Oster (106) and Stephen Camden (160) both placed seventh, the only local Class 2A wrestlers to medal.

At Class 1A, La Center’s Gabe Bunker placed fourth after a tough 6-3 loss to Austin Booker of Tonasket in the semifinals at 160 pounds. Woodland’s Zack Wardel was fifth at 195.

Strano, who finished 28-4 this season, was the only local girls finalist.

“Hopefully, colleges will be able to look at my wrestling and hopefully want to recruit me to wrestle,” she said. “Then they can use what I’ve done and turn it into better technique.”

Strano’s Battle Ground teammate Mixtly Simon pinned three opponents on Saturday to take third at 190 pounds.

Other girls place winners were Kearstin Williams of Mountain View (fourth, 170), Quinn O’Bryant of Prairie (fifth, 100), Sara Sanchez of Washougal (fifth, 124), Erin Locke of Washougal (sixth, 130), Haven Camden (seventh, 124).

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