Thursday, December 2, 2021
Dec. 2, 2021

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Martinez: Wrestling trying to pin down when season can start

By , Columbian Assistant Sports Editor

Area high school administrators are grappling with a new state requirement that is delaying many athletes from beginning competition.

Last week, the state announced that high school and middle school wrestlers must be tested twice a week before they can compete with wrestlers from other schools.

The 4A/3A Greater St. Helens League was scheduled to hold its first wrestling meets on Wednesday. Because of the new protocols, those meets have been rescheduled for May 26 as schools scramble to find ways to meet the new requirements, said Camas athletic director Rory Oster.

“League schools are meeting with district superintendents to discuss the new requirements that state only kids participating in wrestling need to test for COVID-19 twice per week, with one of those times being on match days,” Oster said.

According to the new protocol, wrestlers need to be tested three to four days before their match day — 4A/3A GSHL matches are scheduled for Wednesday, so that would be Saturday or Sunday — and then again on match day.

As of now, Oster said matches slated for May 5 will be held as scheduled.

However, if schools run into hurdles in getting kids tested, those May 5 matches could also be rescheduled.

If that happens, the wrestling season could be wiped out if Clark County is forced to revert to Phase 2 when the state reassesses county’s phase eligibility on May 3. Wrestling matches cannot be held in counties in Phase 2.

And that brings us to the question I’ve been getting from coaches around Clark County: Do you think the county will stay at Phase 3 after May 3.

Predicting that is a little like guessing how many jellybeans are in a jar. It’s hard, but if you know the area of the jar and the average size of a jellybean, you can make a pretty good guess.

So here is mine. I believe Clark County will remain at Phase 3.

There are two metrics that a county must miss in order to revert back to Phase 2. It looks like Clark County will miss the first — having a case rate of below 200 per 100,000 residents. It will be close, but I think our case rate rises above 200.

The second metric is the rate of new COVID-19 hospitalizations of below 5.0 per 100,000. When the state did its last assessment, Clark County’s rate was 2.4.

And while the county does not release new hospitalizations in its data, it does release total hospitalizations. And we just have not seen a spike big enough in total hospitalizations to support that our rate of new hospitalizations has doubled in the past three weeks.

That’s my jellybean guess. We’ll see if I’m right on May 3.

• • •

Way back on Feb. 6, during a preseason cross country jamboree, Fort Vancouver cross country coach Owen Frasier predicted the Seton Catholic girls would win four straight 1A state championships because of the Cougars’ outstanding class for freshmen runners.

There was one problem with that prediction. There is no WIAA state meet this school year.

But that didn’t’ keep the Cougars from winning a state title.

The Seton girls were crowned the 1A state champions in a virtual state meet held by the Washington State Cross Country Coaches Association.

The way the virtual meet worked is teams had a four-week window to run 5,000 meters around a track, then submit times on

Seton Catholic was one of eight 1A girls teams to participate, and the Cougars dominated, easily outdistancing South Whidbey 23-79.

Junior Lara Carrion placed first overall in 18:25, followed by teammate, freshman Alexis Leone in 18:26. Freshman Avery Garrison was fourth (19:20), sophomore Sara Cordova was sixth (19:38), freshman Virginia Carrion (20:21) was 14th, and senior Alexandra Traffalis (20:33) was 16th. There were 77 runners in the virtual meet.

• • •

Erick Johnson is the softball coach at Fort Vancouver. His daughter, sophomore Chloe Johnson, is a player for 2A GSHL rival Washougal.

So when the Trappers and Panthers met in the 2A GSHL game on Friday, it was expected to be a memorable one.

But the Johnsons had no idea.

The game went eight innings before Washougal prevailed 26-25. The game was tied 20-20 after seven innings. Washougal scored six runs in the top of the eight, before the Trappers rallied for five in the bottom of the eighth.

And Chloe Johnson was the winning pitcher for Washougal.

Erick Johnson said 117 batters came to the plate in the game, with only two striking out.

Washougal took a 17-3 lead after the top of the fifth before the Trappers rallied 11 runs in the bottom of the fifth to cut the deficit to 17-14. Fort scored four runs in the bottom of the seventh to force extra innings.

“Played baseball for 15 (years), have coached (high school) the past (nine),” Johnson posted on Twitter. “Wildest game I’ve ever been part of. And in the end, my daughter ends up with the pitching win … for the opposing team.”

Now, that’s memorable.

Tim Martinez is the assistant sports editor/prep coordinator for The Columbian. He can be reached at 360-735-4538, or follow his Twitter handle @360TMart.