Kentwood’s Alex Long, top, battles Auburn Mountainview’s Brennen Hanson during their 152-pound semifinal at Mat Classic XXXI at the Tacoma Dome on Saturday. Long pulled out a 4-3 decision to reach the final. Rachel Ciampi, Kent Reporter

Kentwood’s Alex Long, top, battles Auburn Mountainview’s Brennen Hanson during their 152-pound semifinal at Mat Classic XXXI at the Tacoma Dome on Saturday. Long pulled out a 4-3 decision to reach the final. Rachel Ciampi, Kent Reporter

Wrestlers compete at supersized state meet

The 2019 Mat Classic looked a bit different from years past with more than 2,400 wrestlers competing in six classifications over the weekend at the Tacoma Dome.

Tahoma finished as the No. 8 team in the 4A race with a team score of 97.5.

Kentwood was ninth in the team chase. The Conquerors finished with a team score of 92.5.

And Kentlake placed 31 overall with 23 team points.

Chiawana of Pasco ran away with the 4A title.

The WIAA doubled the draw for each weight class, a move necessitated after a major regional snowstorm wiped out last week’s regional tournaments. Larger fields meant more bouts that stretched the plans of coaches, tested the patience of fans and pushed the performances of wrestlers at a prolonged mat show played out well into the night.

Tahoma

The Bears had nine wrestlers compete at this year’s Mat Classic.

Three from Tahoma finished in fourth place.

In the 126-pound weight class, Austin Michalski lost to Drew Roberts from University in the third place match to claim fourth place.

Gage Dress-Moran at 195 pounds lost to Isaac Clark from Puyallup in the third place match.

In the 220-pound weight class, Levi Kovacs finished in fourth place.

Competing in the third place match, Luke Purcella from Curtis won in a sudden victory against Kovacs.

Two wrestlers finished fifth overall — Steele Starren in the 138-pound weight class and Michael Gasper in the 182-pound weigh class.

Also placing for the Bears was 120-pound Braydon Hanson who finished eighth overall.

Kentwood

Kentwood’s Alex Long realized his dream by getting to the big show at the Tacoma Dome, and performing well.

The 152-pound senior went on a tear in his weight division, surprising Auburn Mountainview’s Brennen Hanson with a 4-3 decision in the semifinals at Mat Classic XXXI late Saturday night. But in the final, Curtis’ Adrian St. Germain (29-4), a two-time state champion, defused Long by major decision, 14-2.

“Never been here before. My first time in the Dome,” Long said afterward. “I’m a state medalist. It’s the best I could do and I’m happy about it. … I just wanted to be on top of that podium.”

Other Kentwood state placers were: Wylder Kraght, 113 pounds, sixth; Carson Yancey, 132, eighth; and Dominic Kremer, 195, seventh.

Kentwood girls shine

The Conquerors’ Alexandria Sanford, a junior, settled for second at 145 pounds. Ivy Kraght, another junior at 135, finished third.

Sanford scored four quick, first-round falls before Ephrata senior Mya Spencer caught and pinned Sanford at 5:59 in the final.

“It got off to a rough start but I’m really happy with the way it ended,” Sanford said of her season. “I improved from last year … hopefully next year I’ll be able to take it all.”

Kraght pinned North Kitsap’s Elise Scrafford in the third round for the bronze.

The Kentwood girls finished No. 14 overall and scored a team score of 54.

Kentlake

The Falcons had eight wrestlers compete during this year’s state tournament.

One placed among best in state.

Alex Lopez was seventh at 138 pounds.

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