By David Krueger Herald Writer
SNOHOMISH –Sean Elledge thought he was no longer needed in the Glacier Peak gym.
After winning the 182-pound district title, and padding the Grizzlies’ lead in the overall team standings, Elledge left the gymnasium and did what few do after pinning their opponent in a title bout: he ran.
“After every match I try to hustle off the mat and run,” Elledge said. “I try to keep my gas tank big.”
Elledge was one of three Grizzlies to grab individual titles as Glacier Peak won the inaugural Wesco 3A South District tournament with a team score of 328.5 Saturday.
While announcing awards, the Glacier Peak gym — and all three wrestling mats laid out across it — quieted as the search for Elledge was underway. Nobody found the defending 182-pound 3A state champion because he was still hard at work, running to keep his conditioning up.
Grizzlies’ head coach Bryan Mossburg said that Elledge rarely relaxes. In fact, he almost has to be ordered to relax.
“It’s not often. When we tell him to rest he listens,” Mossburg said. “But he’s on a mission. He realizes that second title won’t come any easier than the first.”
“I know it’s my senior year and I don’t want to take anything but first,” Elledge said. “I don’t want to leave anything on the mat. From this point on, I only have (two weeks) of wrestling left.”
Sean Elledge wasn’t the only Elledge in attendance to win a first-place medal for Glacier Peak, which hosted the tournament. His cousin Jacob Elledge won a 10-2 decision at 152-pounds. It was the Grizzlies’ first individual title of the tournament.
“That’s Sean and Jacob doing what they do,” Mossburg said. “Going out and wrestling hard.”
Jacob Elledge’s title bout was an all-Grizzlies affair, with him going up against teammate Logan Coleman for the title. While Elledge, a senior, beat Coleman, Mossburg was happy to see two Glacier Peak wrestlers grappling for a title.
“It was nice to see Logan Coleman in the finals going against Elledge,” Mossburg said. “?It was fitting to have them both there. They’ve worked really hard.”
Mosese Fifita closed out the tournament with the Grizzlies’ third individual championship of the day when he pinned his opponent in the heavyweight division (285-pounds) in 3 minutes, 2 seconds.
The top two wrestlers from each weight class go on to next week’s regional tournament at Sunnyside High School, southeast of Yakima. The third place finishers enter into a pigtail tournament where they can wrestle their way into regionals.
The Grizzlies had six others qualify for the tournament directly – including the very appropriately named wrestler Mats Haneberg at 106-pounds – and three wrestlers finish third.
Mossburg was pleased with the amount of Glacier Peak wrestlers who will be making the trip to Sunnyside next weekend. He said it’s a great experience for some of the younger wrestlers, like Haneberg, to see what the regional tournament is like.
“There’s strength in numbers,” he said. “For our guys just to get the experience to travel, to get to go and compete, makes that goal at the end of the road a bit more visible.”
That goal is to bring home a state trophy. Last year, the Grizzlies finished 12th at the 3A state tournament.
“We talked about it early on,” Mossburg said. “Our goal is to bring home a state trophy. We have the guys, if they go out and compete and believe, we can do that.”
Meadowdale (209.5 points) finished second thanks to a tournament-high four individual champions. Nate Tibbott (145-pounds), Morgan Smith (160-pounds), Ciaran Ball (195-pounds) and Tim Smith (220-pounds) all won their respective weight classes.
“The boys that took first have been taking first all year long,” said Meadowdale head coach Brian Boardman. “It’s not surprising. It’s not by accident.”
Boardman praised his team’s hard work, and said there’s no reason the Mavericks can’t continue to be successful in the regional tournament and beyond.
“Everybody that won had success and is going on to regionals. There’s no reason they can’t have success there too,” Boardman said.
Third-place Shorewood (205), which finished 4.5 points behind Meadowdale, had three individual champions. Matthew Floresca, who finished fourth at state at 120-pounds last season, improved to 24-0 this season with a title at 126-pounds.
Floresca began a string of three straight Thunderbird champions, with Rikio Campbell – a national Tae Kwon Do champion – and Erik Harris-Uldall following his win with victories in the 132- and 138-pound weight classes respectively.
Mountlake Terrace (187) barely edged out Shorecrest (186.5) for fourth place. Hawks’ senior Trung Banh, an alternate to state last year, began the championship round with a 10-2 decision in the 106-pound weight class. Syd Springberg, the other individual champion from Mountlake Terrace, pinned his opponent in the 170-pound weight class in 3:24.
Shorecrest was led by individual champions Luke Lotawa (113-pounds) and Kyle Smythe (120-pounds).
Sean Elledge and Mossburg agreed that it was a big advantage hosting the district tournament. The players got to wrestle in familiar territory, with many familiar faces surrounding them.
The big downside?
“You’ve got to clean up all this afterwards,” Elledge said, surveying the gym.
Before he goes off to regionals Elledge is going to stop running for at least one night. Saturday night was a tolo dance at Glacier Peak High School and Elledge had one plan for the evening.
“Yeah, I’m going to dance the night away,” he said with a smile.
At Glacier Peak High School
Team scores: Glacier Peak 328.5, Meadowdale 209.5, Shorewood 205, Mountlake Terrace 187, Shorecrest 186.5.
Championship match results
106–Trung Banh (MT) dec. Mats Haneberg (GP), 10-2; 113–Luke Lotawa (SC) dec. Abiel Tesfamarian (SW), 6-2; 120–Kyle Smythe (SC) pinned Erik Fussell (SC), 2:57; 126–Matthew Floresca (SW) dec. John Kim (GP), 5-0; 132–Rikio Campbell (SW) dec. Taron Castleton (MT), 7-2; 138–Erik Harris-Uldall (SW) dec. Michael Matwichuk (GP), 8-2; 145–Nate Tibbott (Me) dec. Braden Kalloway (SW), 8-5; 152–Jacob Elledge (GP) dec. Logan Coleman (GP), 10-2; 160–Morgan Smith (Me) dec. Tyler Sabin (GP), 9-1; 170–Syd Springberg (MT) pinned Griffin Thomas (GP), 3:24; 182–Sean Elledge (GP) pinned Konnor Carpenter (SW), 3:46; 195–Ciaran Ball (Me) tech. fall over Brett Potter (MT), 17-1; 220–Tim Smith (Me) pinned Marcus Becerra (GP), 2:22; 285–Mosese Fifita (GP) pinned Erca Erdenebayer (SW), 3:02.
Other advancers (third-place goes to play-in game for regional tournament)
106–Spencer Coffee (SC); 113–Owen Donnelly (SC); 120–Taylor Hetherington (MT); 126–Edom Tesfaye (SW); 132–Ethan Barr (GP); 138–Josiah Glesener (SC); 145–Dawda Dibba (SW); 152–Colton Davis (Me); 160–Shawn Poole (MT); 170–Brock Just (GP); 182–Tim Zuehl (MT); 195–Noah Palmaffy (GP); 220–Taylor Murgallis (MT); 285–Jonathan Colgrove (Me).