MILL CREEK — Several times a week Kamiak coach Bryan Stelling makes his young Knights wrestling team run 100 flights of stairs. Kamiak is a fit team to say the least.
But while Stelling admitted he hasn’t seen his wrestlers run out of gas during matches this winter, against Jackson on Friday night, he wasn’t able to put his athletes’ stamina to the test.
Kamiak won eight matches, all with pins. And of those eight, only three lasted beyond the first period as the Knights earned a 47-35 dual meet road win against Jackson.
“I am very pleased with their efforts,” Stelling said. “What I’m happy about is we have a very young team. We only have one senior in the lineup, so a lot of these kids will be returning, so I feel fortunate.”
All season Stelling has preached technique and that brain beats brawn. That maturation showed throughout Kamiak’s lineup, and was highlighted during critical wins by 152-pound wrestler Anthony Armad and 182-pounder Max Furlong-Benedetti.
Stelling considered their duals swing matches, but both Armad and Furlong-Benedetti dominated throughout. Armad led Jackson’s Noah Lewis 7-1 in the second period before earning a pin at 3:00. Furlong-Benedetti built a 10-1 third-period lead over Timberwolves’ Garrett Miller before getting a pin of his own at 5:02.
“They both got pins, and it was really exciting to see that,” Stelling said. “Two juniors and they just keep getting better and better. Sometimes Max will muscle moves. He loves to throw guys, and he stayed away from that and just wrestled a solid match.”
Both wins helped Kamiak get off to a strong start.
After Jackson’s Cole Anderson (145 pounds) opened the dual with a 0:42 pin against Kamiak’s Guage Holland, the Knights pinned four out of their next five opponents to take a 24-11 lead.
A key heavyweight win by Kamiak’s Austin Pomada and back-to-back victories from the Knights’ Richard Chung (106) and Peter Kim (113) extended Kamiak’s lead to 42-17.
Although Jackson had no chance of winning when the 126-pound match came around, Timberwolves freshman Matt Kastelle produce the performance of the night, pinning Kamiak’s Sean Sohlberg in the final seconds after trailing by as many as eight points.
Sohlberg led 11-3 with under 20 seconds to go, but only needing to run the clock out, he got in trouble when Kastelle, seemingly out of nowhere, flipped him to his back. In a matter of seconds, the referee slapped his hand on the mat, and Kastelle emerged with a rousing, improbable win.
“He’s a gamer,” Jackson coach Sherm Iversen said of Kastelle. “He’s always looking for a pin. When the opportunity was there, he took advantage of it. What I was impressed with was he didn’t panic. He just stuck in there and got the pin. I looked up and there was only 10 seconds left.”
The win was a true bright spot in an otherwise disappointing performance for a Jackson team which was 7-0 in duals before falling to Monroe by two points on Monday and to Kamiak on Friday night.
“We got to work on some stuff,” Iversen said. “We didn’t wrestle real well, but Kamiak did, and they were tougher than we thought. That’s a pretty tough team.”
The presence of Warren Han (160) makes the Knights a whole lot tougher. The lone Kamiak senior extended his undefeated season with a 0:55 pin against Jackson’s James Ryan.
Kamiak 47, Jackson 35
At Jackson H.S.
106—Richard Chung (K) pinned Anders Haugen 1:34
113—Peter Kim (K) pinned Christian Wilson 1:29
120—Josh Vail (J) pinned Jin Terrada-White 3:54
126—Matt Kastelle (J) pinned Sean Sohlberg 5:49
132—Satya Fawcett (K) pinned Julien Lucas 1:24
138—Ben Brindle (J) pinned Barrett Stengle 0:41
145—Cole Anderson (J) pinned Guage Holland 0:42
152—Anthony Armad (K) pinned Noah Lewis 3:00
160—Warren Han (K) pinned James Ryan 0:55
170—Dartagnan Phan (J) dec. Steven Berry 16-0 (TF 3:39)
182—Max Furlong-Benedetti (K) pinned Garrett Miller 5:02
195—Jaden Stetler (K) pinned Da’Marquis Chapel 1:25
220—Jose Viayra (J) pinned Drew Kindle 3:24
285—Austin Pomada (K) pinned Justin Young 3:28