The Kelso boys wrestling team had a pretty good day on Saturday, consider how badly things went in the week leading up to the 3A district tournament at Prairie High School.
“We lost a lot of kids this week,” Kelso coach Bob Freund said. “We lost a couple kids to COVID, a couple had concussions, couple had the flu. We had a couple of injuries. We didn’t have replacements. … But our kids stepped up and did a good job.”
Kelso had six wrestlers capture district titles and five more make the finals, helping the Hilanders outdistance Mountain View for the team title 329-256.
Top-ranked Ethan Freund led the parade of Kelso champions by winning at 132 pounds. He was joined by Preston Myren (106), Justin Broxton (126), Michael Hause (182) and Brady Phillips (285). And Ashton Ammons was a pleasant surprise, knocking off top-seeded Andy Santos of Mountain View at 113 pounds with an 8-6 decision.
“That was a good win for him,” Freund said. “It’s just that perseverance. They’ve got to gain that confidence. You just go compete, never stop moving and anything can happen.”
The Hilanders’ shortness of depth was more evident in third-place matches where they went 2-5.
Another top-ranked wrestler, CJ Hamblin at 170 pounds, led the way for Mountain View. The Thunder had five district champions.
Joining Hamblin was Jeffrey Chilson (138), Nathan Wadleigh (145), Ayden Denbo (195) and Austin Taylor (220).
Alex Ford (160), Mason Frei (152) and Lucas Lyle (120) got wins for Prairie, which placed third at 252.5 points.
The top-three placers Saturday advanced to the 3A regional next Saturday at Eastside Catholic High School in Sammamish.
“I think if they go in mentally prepare, not just us but our whole league, we could punch a lot of our kids through to state,” Freund said.