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News / Sports / Prep Sports

2A Boys Regional Wrestling: Hockinson’s Jacob McKee, Bay’s Talan Guerrero bloodied but unbeaten

Washougal's Davis and Gil, Columbia River's Kurtz also win regional titles

By Micah Rice, Columbian Sports Editor
Published: February 10, 2024, 8:20pm
5 Photos
Hockinson junior Jacob McKee, back, wrestles against Graysen Serl of W.F. West in the 144-pound title match at the 2A Boys Region 3 Wrestling Championships on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024 at Washougal High School (Micah Rice/The Columbian).
Hockinson junior Jacob McKee, back, wrestles against Graysen Serl of W.F. West in the 144-pound title match at the 2A Boys Region 3 Wrestling Championships on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024 at Washougal High School (Micah Rice/The Columbian). Photo Gallery

WASHOUGAL — Jacob McKee and Talan Guerrero wore their battle scars like medals.

Both were bloodied but unbeaten at the Class 2A Region 3 Boys Wrestling Championships on Saturday at Washougal High School.

McKee, a Hockinson junior, repeated as regional champ by beating Greyson Serl of W.F. West 9-7 in the first period of overtime. Their 144-pound title match was a tense, sometimes violent clash that left McKee with a welt on his forehead and blood on his lips.

Guerrero wrestled much of his 190-pound title match with gauze in both nostrils after suffering a bloody nose in the first period. But the Hudson’s Bay senior’s toughness led to a 3-1 win over Kyle Nowels of W.F. West.

McKee and Guerrero were among five Clark County 2A wrestlers to win regional titles Saturday. Washougal’s Brody Davis and Isaac Gil joined Columbia River’s Tennyson Kurtz as champions at the next-to-last tournament of the season.

McKee’s title match picked up steam in the second period. Serl raised his intensity after being accidentally poked in the eye, scoring a takedown to lead 4-2. But McKee responded with four quick points on a reversal and nearfall in the final 30 seconds of the period.

Serl forced overtime with a takedown in the final 10 seconds of regulation. But McKee didn’t need long to secure a sudden victory, getting a takedown 1:21 into overtime.

“Positioning is the number one thing in wrestling,” McKee said. “It came down to positioning.”

Now McKee is headed to the Mat Classic state championships next weekend in Tacoma for the third time. The top four wrestlers in each weight class Saturday earned state berths.

McKee, who placed sixth in state last year, heads to the Tacoma Dome with plenty of confidence.

“A match like that will definitely help you for seeding,” McKee said. “If you lose you go against a harder person.”

Guerrero is headed to Mat Classic for the second time and first as a regional champ. After he scored an early takedown, Guerrero sustained a injury that temporarily halted the match.

An escape put Guerrero ahead 3-0 in the second period. He then used his defense to ward off his opponent’s attacks.

“Last year was a new experience for me,” Guerrero said of Mat Classic. “But this year I’m going to handle business there. I learned that the Dome is pretty big and I got excited. Now that I know the experience, I’m going to go out there, wrestle my best and have fun.”

Davis was happy to see history repeat itself. The Washougal senior won his second regional title, matching a feat he achieved as a sophomore when regionals was also at his home gym.

“All day I’ve been reminiscing about how I did it my sophomore year,” Davis said. “I just wanted to do it again. It’s probably one of the best feelings a person can feel.”

Davis led 4-2 after the second period of the 113-pound title match against Roberto Rivera-Jesus of Black Hills. He put the match away with a five-point flurry, scoring a takedown and nearfall 10 seconds apart, en route to a 9-5 win.

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Davis is headed to Mat Classic for a third time. He believes the experience gained along the way will be an asset in Tacoma.

“This year I’m seeing the bigger picture,” Davis said. “I’m a senior so I’m ready to let it all out there and finish the best I possibly can. I want to do better than my brother did his senior year. My brother (Caleb Davis) got third so I’ve got to do better than that.”

Gil is also aiming to end his Washougal career with a bang. Ranked No. 5 in the state at 175 pounds, the senior scored a technical fall and a pin before being crowned champ when his opponent, Tucker Land of W.F. West, couldn’t wrestle the title match due to an injury.

Perhaps no wrestler at Saturday’s tournament was as dominant as Kurtz. The Columbia River senior steamrolled through his 157-pound final, building an 8-3 lead before pinning Ammon Combs of Black Hills 3:31 into the match.

Ranked No. 1 in his weight class statewide, Kurtz heads to Tacoma looking to better last year’s third-place finish and his fourth-place finish as a sophomore.

After blazing through the league and regional meets, Kurtz enters Mat Classic with a full tank.

“I’m feeling refreshed,” Kurtz said. “I’m just really ready for the competition and to win a state title.”

2A BOYS REGIONAL

At Washougal HS

Team scores – W.F. West 187, Washougal 143.5, Shelton 119, Aberdeen 107.5, Columbia River 107.5, Black Hills 103, Tumwater 97.5, Ridgefield 71.5, Hockinson 61, Mark Morris 43, Rochester 38, Woodland 30, Fort Vancouver 29, Centralia 25.5, Hudson’s Bay 23.

(Top four to state, locals)

Championship matches

113 – Brody Davis (Wa) def. Roberto Rivera-Jesus (BH) 9-5; 126 – Ty Fleshman (Sh) def. Liam McKee (H) 16-0; 144 – Jacob McKee (H) def. Graysen Serl (WFW) 9-7, SV; 157 – Tennyson Kurtz (CR) p. Ammon Combs (BH) 3:30; 175 – Isaac Gil (Wa) def. Tucker Land (WFW) by forfeit; 190 – Talan Guerrero (HB) def. Kyle Nowels (WFW) 3-1.

Third place matches

106 – Cesar Solorio (Ri) def. Lincoln Freeman (FV) by TF, 18-1; 113 – Carlos Juarez-Estrada (T) def. Aidan Deeney (CR) 12-6; 120 – Caden Rossi (CR) def. Cash Boos (BH) 7-3; 126 – Jack Givens (CR) p. Adrian Jaimes-Montineg (WFW) 3:40;  132 – Michael Leontyev (A) p. Austin Wallace (H) 3:19; 138 – Mason Townsend (Ri) def. Andrew Yocom (T) 12-5; 144 – Owen Leifsen (Wa) def. Nolan Carney (Ri) 5-4; 150 – Landon Draper (Ri) def. Michael Hatton (A) by forfeit;  165 – Ben Johansen (Wa) def. Kallon Homan (WFW) 5-2; 175 – Hunter Leth (Sh) p. Samuel Nava (CR) 0:35;  190 – William Cooper (Wa) def. Cash Short (T) 5-3; 215 –Angelo Peters (WFW) def. Carson Jones (CR) 7-2; 285 – Nathan Nellis (FV) p. Jose Alvarez-Cruze (Wa) 1:40.

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