Vikings wrestle away district title

SNOHOMISH — Wrestling powerhouse Lake Stevens hadn’t won a tournament all year.

Until Saturday.

The Vikings, who had four individual district champions, took the team title at the Wesco 4A District meet Saturday at Snohomish High School, beating out the Panthers by 23.5 points.

“It’s the first tournament we’ve won this year, so it’s pretty cool,” said Lake Stevens head coach Brent Barnes. “We haven’t won a tournament this year. Hopefully we can win a few more.”

Lake Stevens — the defending 4A state champions — had six wrestlers in title bouts, including both finalists in the 113-pound weight class. In the second championship match of the day, Vikings teammates Michael Soler and Tyler Headland competed for the district title.

Soler, the defending 4A state champion at 106-pounds, won with a 10-0 decision over Headland. Both wrestlers qualified for regionals next week.

The top five finishers from each weight class advanced to next Saturday’s 4A Region 1 Tournament at Central Kitsap High School for a spot in the following week’s state tournament.

Jake Douglas (126 pounds), Noah Cuzzetto (132) and Cody Vigoren (195) took individual titles for Lake Stevens (379.5 team points). All three placed in the top four at last year’s Mat Classic, with Cuzzetto winning the 113-pound title.

“It was a pretty good day,” Barnes said. “We’re going to have to wrestle a little bit better down the stretch, if we want to achieve our ultimate goal, but we had some really good performances by some young guys. … I think these kids are pretty resilient. They know what’s on the line. The ultimate goal here is to qualify. Everything else on top of that is frosting. Next week is the same deal.”

The Vikings were able to hold off Snohomish (356), which finished strong winning three of the last four championship matches.

Senior Garrett Stich got the ball rolling for Snohomish with a 14-2 decision over Edmonds-Woodway’s Spencer Schultz at 182 pounds.

After Vigoren’s victory at 195 over the Panthers’ Justin Kearney, Tristan Baus — who has only one loss this season — defeated teammate Alex Fairhurst for the 220-pound title.

Both Baus and Fairhurst were state participants last season.

“Those matches where you have both your kids in the finals, those are easy. I don’t say a peep,” said Snohomish head coach Rob Zabel with a laugh. “Those are really boring matches for me because I see them every day in practice.”

Mario Rojas pinned his opponent at 285 to end the night on a positive note for Snohomish.

“I couldn’t have asked for anything more from my kids,” Zabel said. “There’s some matches that we lost that we could have won but overall, my kids performed really, really well. If you look at the growth that they made, this year, you can’t help but be pleased.

“Last year Lake won the tournament by 160 points over us and this year it was a lot closer. We had aspirations of winning this thing, and it didn’t happen, but we’re going to regroup and get better this week and see if we can’t put a run in next week too.”

Like Lake Stevens and Snohomish, third-place Arlington (267) found itself with two wrestlers in the title bout of the first championship meet, where 106-pounders Jeremy Nygard pinned Trey Swanson in 3 minutes, 47 seconds.

Nygard remained undefeated this season with a win.

“Trey Swanson went 23-2 during the regular season, and a fantastic season,” said Arlington head coach Rick Iversen. “Jeremy Nygard went undefeated at 113 — Trey was at 106. Jeremy is a very good dieter and he dieted down to 106 and now we take two (to regionals). That’s pretty cool.”

Heavyweight Tyler Lindberg proved to be the biggest surprise for the Eagles, finishing second at 285 pounds. The junior struggled in his first two seasons, but had a breakout performance at the district tournament.

“He is a Cinderella story, if you can equate a big heavyweight kid to Cinderella,” Iversen said. “I like to say about Tyler, he was playing with boats in the bathtub two years ago. He was just a big, happy kid who didn’t have a lot of confidence in himself. Today he does. He beat a couple of people in this tournament that he probably shouldn’t have beaten. But he wanted it, and he’s worked hard for it and he deserves it.”

Bryce Thomas (138 pounds) also took an individual title for Arlington.

Hunter Lord of Lynnwood (149) got an individual title at 160 pounds and Tyler Webley led fourth-place Kamiak (183) with a 6-0 decision in the championship bout at 170 pounds.

Edmonds-Woodway’s (163.5) Nathan Vulliet took the 145-pound title before the closest bout of the day came at 152 pounds. Rafael Ibarra, from Mount Vernon (158.5), needed overtime to fend off Arlington’s Scott Bardell. After a 1-1 tie at the end of the third period, Ibarra got a takedown with 19 seconds left in overtime to prevail 3-1.

At Snohomish H.S.

Top 5 qualify for regionals

Team scores: 1. Lake Stevens 379.5, 2. Snohomish 356, 3. Arlington 267, 4. Kamiak 183, 5. Edmonds-Woodway 163.5, 6. Mount Vernon 158.5, 7. Lynnwood 149, 8. Cascade 147.5, 9. Mariner 135.5, T-10. Jackson 74, T-10. Monroe 74.

Championship matches: 106—1. Jeremy Nygard (A) pinned 2. Trey Swanson (A), 3:47; 113—1. Michael Soler (LS) maj. dec. 2. Tyler Headland (LS), 10-0; 120—1. David Garcia (C) dec. 2. Alex Rodorigo (LS), 7-2; 126—1. Jake Douglas (LS) maj. dec. 2. Wyatt Larsen (C), 13-2; 132—1. Noah Cuzzetto (LS) pinned 2. Conner Gonzales (A), 3:11; 138—1. Bryce Thomas (A) dec. 2. Matt Calkins (L), 4-2; 145—1. Nathan Vulliet (EW) maj. dec. 2. McKinley Braa (Mon), 14-3; 152—1. Rafael Ibarra (MV) dec. 2. Scott Bardell (A), 3-1 OT: 160—1. Hunter Lord (L) dec. 2. David Bikoev (K), 11-6; 170—1. Tyler Webley (K) dec. 2. Easton Edwards (MV), 6-0; 182—1. Garrett Stich (S) maj. dec. 2. Spencer Schultz (EW), 14-2; 195—1. Cody Vigoren (LS) maj. dec. 2. Justin Kearney (S), 14-1; 220—1. Tristan Baus (S) maj. dec. 2. Alex Fairhurst (S), 14-3; 285—1. Mario Rojas (S) pinned 2. Tyler Lindberg (A), 1:41.

Additional regional qualifiers

106—3. Sidat Kanyi (EW), 4. Anthony Carillo (Mar), 5. Cole Anderson (J); 113—3. Wyatt Butler (S), 4. Brad Hodkinson (S), 5. Danny Herrera (A); 120—3. Garrett Gershmel (LS), 4. Boston Jones (A), 5. Kevin Mach (Mar); 126—3. Keaton Mills (S), 4. Wyatt Bell (LS), 5. Michael Leger (MV); 132—3. Trysten Perales (LS), 4. Noah Bomar (S), 5. Luis Reyna (MV); 138—3. Zach Cunningham (LS), 4. Hiram Martin (EW), 5. Devian Jones (LS); 145—3. Riley Todd (S), 4. Tyler Frisch (K), 5. Ty Stacy (LS); 152—3. Nick Semrau (MV), 4. Spencer Mitchell (K), 5. Sawyer Sahlinger (S); 160—3. Logan Johnson (LS), 4. Jonah Perez (EW), 5. Bhodi Scott (LS); 170—3. Mason Beaver (LS), 4. Kellen Polk (C), 5. Cameron McIntosh (K); 182—3. Juan Garcia (C), 4. Edgars Plorinsh (Mar), 5. Jacob Mast (Mon); 195—3. Peder Morrill (S), 4. Michael Powell (K), 5. Mahdi Shahhasioni (L); 220—3. Manual Vasquez (L), 4. Draven Hodgins (MV), 5. Melvin Zepeda (L); 285—3. Francisco Flores (Mar), 4. Daniel Huynh (Mar), 5. Tanner Kunard (K).

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