It was Wallway all the way at the 52nd annual Norm Friehauf Clark County Championship wrestling tournament Saturday at Union High School.
And for Malachi Wallway, it came the hard way.
The La Center senior fended off Lance Draper of Ridgefield 4-2 in the final at 120 pounds to capture an elusive Clark County title.
And it came with an added bonus.
“It was important because since freshman year I’ve finished second (in this tournament),” Wallway said. “I haven’t finished it. Today I finally did it. And now, me and my sister for the third time ever in Clark County history are brother-sister champions (in the same year). So that means a lot. It really does. I’ve got a bunch of emotions on that.”
About 20 minutes earlier, sophomore Leah Wallway pinned Isabel Brown of Battle Ground to win the girls 100-pound title.
But Leah Wallway said watching her brother was more exciting than earning her second Clark County title.
“Malachi and I, we both put the goal together of ‘Let’s do this. Let’s become the third brother-sister to win Clark County. We’ve got it this year,’ ” Leah Wallway said. “He’s a senior this year, so this was our year to do this. We can pull it togheter. We can train hard. We can do our best to be on top of the podium together. And it happened. I saw him win and I started crying. I was jumping up and down. It was joy.”
It was a shining moment for a small school against bigger schools.
“La Center’s team scores might be low, but there are good wrestlers on the team who are tying their hardest,” Leah Wallway said. “They are pushing each other. The team captains are doing an amazing job of pushing people to thier limits. ”
Host Union finished with the most points in the boys standings with 234 points. The Titans got first-place finishes from Jordin Jimenez (126), Noah Koyama (132), Armando Nicacio (152) and Clayton Maus (215).
Camas finished second with 199 points led by Clark County champion Jackson Lougen (182).
Other champions in the boys tournament included Liam McKee (106) of Hockinson, Brody Davis (113) of Washougal, Owen Pritchard (138) and JJ Schoelein (170) of Skyview, Tennyson Kurtz (145) of Columbia River, Nathan Wadleigh (160) of Mountain View, Seth Blick (195) of Prairie and Austin Steinbach (285) of Heritage.
Led by Kiersten Lees’ victory at 135 pounds, Washougal edged Union 99-96 to capture the girls team title.
Union got titles from Niah Cassidy (120) and Janessa O’Connell (130) and Virginia Thomason (190).
Other champions were Maritza Sanchez (105) of Hudson’s Bay, Delilah Governor (110) of Hockinson, Uruwa Abe (115) of Ridgefield, Reagan Fallon-Small (125) and Addie Wunderli (140) of Camas, Kaytlynn Honga (145) of Kelso, Sofia Aragon (155) of Seton Catholic, Aaliyah Young (170) and Faith Tarrant (235) of Prairie.