TACOMA — It was quite a day for wrestlers from Glacier Peak High School on Saturday at Mat Classic XXXIII.
The Grizzlies had a boys and girls champion on the same day for the first time ever, and the boys squad’s eighth-place finish in Class 4A was a new program best.
Senior Jacob Erickson led the way for the boys with his state title at 220 pounds, quickly dispatching Curtis’ Jonathan Gressett in the championship match with a pin at the 1:24 mark of the first period.
“He was going heavy on the head, so I knew I had to shoot outside shots,” Erickson said, “and once I got under his arm, I knew I was in. From that point on, I knew I was gonna come out on top.”
Erickson, a senior, was a standout all tournament long while mauling opponents with his superior combination of strength and athleticism. He held control throughout each of his four matches on the way to his first career state title, including two pins and a technical fall. Even his 7-4 win by decision in the semifinals never seemed as close as the final score indicated.
“I’ve grinded the last 12 years of my life to get to this moment,” Erickson said. “This is most likely my last wrestling tournament ever, so to go out on such a high note is just outstanding for me.”
Karianne Baldwin joined Erickson atop the podium thanks to her 10-1 major decision over Olympic’s Alexandrea Templeton in the girls 125-pound finals.
Baldwin, a sophomore with a Jiu Jitsu background, never left much doubt in her finals bout and nearly scored a pin late in the second round. Templeton was able to run out the clock in the second by holding a bridge to avoid the pin. But it didn’t matter much as Baldwin closed it out with a sound third period.
“I’ve just been waiting for this for a long time,” Baldwin said. “Every day I was thinking about it and preparing for it.”
After four wins in the Tacoma Dome this weekend, the sophomore finished the season an impressive 34-1 record.
“She’s got the natural talent and she’s got the dedication and the work ethic,” Glacier Peak girls coach Jordan Gere said. “She’s willing to put in the time and the effort, going to club and going where she should go to get tough competition. She puts in the hard work every day. That’s good to see. And she strives for the other girls to get better, too.”
Freshman Connor Aney helped the boys secure their top-10 finish thanks to a strong run to the 285-pound finals. Aney knocked off Graham-Kapowsin senior Hunter Hill, an Idaho State University football signee who was a favorite to win a title, with a 4-3 decision in the semifinals and just missed out on a state title after falling in an epic 3-1 overtime loss to Kamiakin senior Jaxin McCallum that served as the final match of the evening.
E-W’s Rapelje closes career with 2nd state title
Edmonds-Woodway’s Alex Rapelje finished his prep wrestling career in style by becoming a two-time state champion.
Rapelje bulldozed through his semifinal match with a 14-5 major decision and then earned a tight 4-1 decision over Mead’s Jonathan Mason to claim the 3A 152-pound title.
Rapelje, who won the 138-pound title as a sophomore in 2020, scored a takedown toward the end of the first period in his title bout by shooting low to get Mason’s legs and gain control for two points.
“They had a very good game plan for Alex,” Edmonds-Woodway coach Brian Alfi said. “… He’s really proficient at scoring points and getting after people, so they had a good plan to kind of slow him down in the first. Alex made an adjustment to go low to get that first take down.”
Rapelje started the second from the top position and stifled Mason’s efforts to escape. He used an aggressive start to score a takedown early in the third that sealed up the match.
“We felt really good about where we were on our feet, and we felt like a takedown kind of ends the match if we turn him loose there in the third,” Alfi said. “Alex is really good in that position. No matter where Alex goes he’s gonna make it look good.”
After winning his match, Rapelje celebrated with a cartwheel and back flip.
“I’ve been thinking about it for a while so it feels great,” Rapelje said of winning another state title. “This is something I’ve been working for for two years ever since I knew I could do it the first time. I knew I wanted to be back here.”
According Alfi, the influence his standout senior has had on the program will be hard to replace.
“He’s fantastic because he worked so hard in practice,” Alfi said. “He sets the bar for everybody else because when you have a kid doing all the right things and then he’s getting success, that makes it easier for every other kid in the program to kind of fall in line. That’s gonna be a really place tough kid to leave just as a culture-setter for (our) program.”
MP phenom White defends girls title at 190
Marysville Pilchuck’s Alivia White added to her decorated resume by winning her second state title at 190 pounds in as many tries.
White’s run was never in doubt as she won all four matches by pin, including three in the first period.
The standout junior bested a familiar opponent in Burlington-Edison’s Delaney Cobbs in the finals to secure her spot as the third Snohomish County girls wrestler to win multiple state titles since Mat Classic added a girls division in 2007.
It’s the third time White beat Cobbs this season and the two have had many matches over the years. White called Cobbs a friend and said the two have been wrestling each other since White was 6 years old.
“It’s a special moment for me,” White said. “She’ll always be a good match for me.”
White joined Kiley Hubby (Glacier Peak/Lake Stevens) and Chanel Siva (Stanwood) as two-time winners from Snohomish County. The standout junior could become the county’s first three-time champ next season.
Lake Stevens takes sixth in Barnes’ farewell
Wyatt Springer delivered Lake Stevens’ top finish with a second-place medal in 4A at 160 pounds as the Vikings to finished in sixth place as a team with 93 points.
The senior’s run to the finals included first-round pins in the quarterfinals and semifinals but ended when Kennedy Catholic’s Mateo de la Peña pinned him at the 3:39 mark of their title match.
Springer, a two-time state medalist, was one of eight Vikings who placed and helped Lake Stevens to yet another top-10 finish in the career of legendary coach Brent Barnes, who is retiring after winning 11 team titles in 35 seasons with Lake Stevens.
Other locals in finals
Stanwood junior Tyler Rhue took an unbeaten record into his final match of the season but couldn’t quite find a way to win a championship in a tough matchup with Kenndyl Mobley of North Central in the 3A 126-pound title bout.
Rhue fell in an 8-3 decision for a second-place medal that helped the Spartans finish in seventh as a team. Rhue also medaled when he took third at 106 pounds as a freshman in 2020. It was the third time Mobley has won a state title.
Shorecrest senior Thomas Rhodes made his way to the 3A 145-pound finals but ran into a buzzsaw in University’s unbeaten Q’veli Quintanilla. Rhodes, who earned his second state medal, lost in the second round in a 22-7 technical fall. It was Quintanilla’s second state title.
Shorewood junior Hunter Tibodeau couldn’t get much going in his 3A 195-pound finals match with Yelm’s Logan Platt. Tibodeau fell in a 14-4 major decision and settled for a second-place medal. It was the second time the 195-pounder placed at state.
MP junior Juju Kilroy nearly gave the Tomahawks two girls title winners but couldn’t get past unbeaten White River junior Shelby Moore in the 130-pound championship match. Kilroy’s first state medal paired with teammate White’s top finish helped the MP girls finish seventh as a team with 61 points.