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Girls Mat Classic: Prairie’s Tarrant completes perfect season with second title

Union’s Cassidy, Camas’ Wunderli also reach title matches

By Micah Rice, Columbian Sports Editor
Published: February 18, 2023, 9:14pm

TACOMA – Faith Tarrant has perfection pinned down.

The Prairie sophomore completed as dominant of a wrestling season as possible Saturday at the Mat Classic state championships. All 32 matches Tarrant wrestled this season ended with her scoring a pin.

Tarrant won her second consecutive title at 235 pounds, beating Everett’s Mai Cienega in the finals in 2 minutes, 37 seconds. Her four matches at the Tacoma Dome lasted a total of 9:48.

If Tarrant was nervous, she didn’t show it. She springfully jogged atop the mat after both her semifinal and championship wins Saturday. After clinching the title, she lifted two fingers and waved to the vocal Prairie cheering section.

But it turned out Tarrant was feeling nerves, that constant pest battled by every wrestler at the Tacoma Dome.

27 Photos
La Center’s Malachi Wallway, 120 pounds, celebrates beating Castle Rock’s Cooper Williams in the finals at Mat Classic XXXIV on Saturday, February 18, 2023, at the Tacoma Dome.
Mat Classic: Championship Saturday Photo Gallery

“I feel like it’s a lot more pressure because everyone expects it of me,” Tarrant said. “It was a lot more pressure than I thought.”

Tarrant said she wasn’t thinking about completing a perfect season when Mat Classic began.

“It was just one match at a time,” Tarrant said. “Of course I’d love to have a perfect season. I’m just happy to be here and win, no matter what my record looks like.”

Tarrant fell behind 2-0 in the first period when Cienega scored a takedown. But when the Everett freshman tried a similar move in the second period, Tarrant took advantage.

Tarrant used Cienega’s momentum against her, tumbling an extra half-rotation and ending up on top. A few seconds later, it was over.

Two other Clark County girls competed for state titles on Saturday.

Union’s Niah Cassidy achieved her goal of becoming the first in her family to reach the state finals, going one step farther than older brother Elijah and older sister Nevaeh.

Cassidy, a junior, rolled through her 125-pound semifinal, beating Parker Lastala of Glacier Peak 11-0.

The championship match, however, was a different test against the defending 125-pound champion Karianne Baldwin. The Glacier Peak junior completed an undefeated season with a second-period pin.

Camas senior Addie Wunderli reached the finals at 140 pounds despite having taken up wrestling just over one year ago.

In Friday’s quarterfinals, Wunderli beat last year’s 135-pound state champion. Alanna Haney of Chiawana. She reached the title match Saturday with a 9-2 win over Cheyenne Wakeham of Federal Way.

But Flor Parker Borrero of Graham-Kapowsin was too tough in the championship match, pinning Wunderli in the second period.