TACOMA — Wrestling in the Tacoma Dome can be intimidating for first-timers.
But, for Prairie freshman Dallas Goodpaster, Friday’s debut at Mat Classic was just another big-tournament experience.
“It’s just like another tournament. It’s just like nationals, just like Fargo, Reno Worlds,” Goodpaster said. “It’s just like that.”
And just like that Goodpaster finds himself in the Class 3A state semifinals at 220 pounds, joining two seniors and a junior in Saturday’s semifinals after pinning both of his Friday foes.
“I’m just sticking to the plan of being aggressive,” Goodpaster said. “Make them make a mistake and counter off it.”
Goodpaster was the last of three Prairie Falcons — all state tournament first-timers — to qualify for the semifinals. Wil Treadwell at 120 pounds and Mario Gonzalez at 160 will also wrestle for a spot in a Class 3A championship match.
“The kids are wrestling really well,” Prairie coach Rob Smith said.
The semifinals start at 10 a.m., and the winners will be part of the 5 p.m. championship show.
Mountain View’s Kenji Yamashita and Hudson’s Bay’s Gunnar Metzger also reached the Class 3A semifinals.
No Class 2A wrestlers from Clark County are in the semifinals. Stevenson’s Tyler Miler (132 pounds) and La Center’s Gabe Bunker (160) are Class 1A semifinalists. And Battle Ground’s Kassi Strano is the only Clark County wrestler in the girls tournament semifinals.
After a quick pin in his first-round match, Prairie’s Gonzalez survived a high-scoring quarterfinal. His 14-12 win over John Fairbanks from University earned the junior a semifinal match with fourth-ranked Morgan Smith of Meadowdale.
Treadwell’s day started with an 8-4 win. That was followed by a first-round pin against Santos Gurrero of Sunnyside. Treadwell’s postseason run now features a semifinal match against top-ranked Matthew Iwicki of Eastside Catholic.
Mountain View’s Yamashita and Hudson’s Bay’s Metzger were dominant in both of their matches — one fall apiece — on Friday.
The day did not go as planned for Hudson’s Bay junior Aaron Blaine. Ranked second at 145 pounds in Class 3A, Blaine injured his shoulder in the first round of his quarterfinal match and couldn’t overcome fifth-ranked Dylan Schmidt of Shadle Park.
Blaine did recover to win a consolation match, so he is still alive for a medal.
In the 1A tournament, La Center’s Bunker used a pin and a technical fall to reach the 160-pound semifinals. Stevenson’s Miler had a pin and a decision at 132.
In the girls tournament, Battle Ground’s Strano had a pair of solid wins en route to the 106-pound semifinals.