Stanwood wrestler Mason Phillips saw his run end at the Cadet Greco-Roman World Championships after one win and one loss Monday in Athens, Greece.
Phillips, competing in the 63-kilogram (139-pound) weight class, had his hand raised in his international debut, defeating Shintaro Yoshinaga of Japan in a 12-4 technical fall.
Unsurprisingly, Phillips began his first international match immediately on the offensive, throwing Yoshinaga for four points in the opening seconds before rolling to the victory.
In the second round of the 27-man bracket, Phillips faced Shant Khachatryan of Armenia, and again started out on the front foot. The Stanwood senior took a 4-o lead, but Khachatryan answered back with 12 unanswered points for the win.
In tournament format unique to international wrestling, Phillips had to root for Khachatryan to keep winning to pull Phillips into the repechage (consolation) bracket. In other words, the longer Khachatryan, who beat Phillips, stayed alive in the tournament, the better chance Phillips would have of continuing on as well.
When Khachatryan lost 4-3 to Russia’s Artem Erokhin in the quarterfinals, it ended Phillips’ stay at the tournament.
Phillips was up against long odds in Greco-Roman, as his USA Wrestling teammate Cohlton Schultz (100 kilograms/200 pounds) became the first American world finalist in Greco-Roman since 1998 on Monday.
Phillips, who was accompanied to Athens by his parents, Brad and Joan, his brother, Carson, his wrestling coach at Stanwood, Ray Mather. The Phillips family planned to spend time after the tournament exploring Greece, without the pressure of the competition hanging over him.
“Win or lose in Greece, I will learn and grow from this experience to compete against the best wrestlers in the world,” Phillips wrote for the Herald before heading off to Greece. “I’m incredibly thankful and honored to have this opportunity that not many kids get.”