Mariner dominates Gulls

EVERETT – The Mariner Marauders clearly have the inside track on a division title, but their coach is far from content.

“We’re gonna keep working. Our goal wasn’t to finish the season tonight,” Mariner wrestling coach Otto Olson said after his team dominated the Everett Seagulls Tuesday night.

Olson’s crew won 11 of 14 bouts, including the final eight, to zoom to a 54-12 victory in a key Western Conference South Division meet at the Everett High gym. Mariner (2-0 in division, 3-0 overall) used a combination of great effort and some Everett misfortune to turn what was expected to be a tight contest into a blowout. Tyler Millerup (152 pounds), Jason Wright (171), Woo Song Do (103), Justin Hammond (112) and Austin Kintner (140) all earned pins for the Marauders, who took advantage of a rash of injuries and illness that sidelined three Seagulls and limited a fourth.

Michael V. Martina / The Herald

Everett’s Cole Anderson (front) and Mariner’s Corey Hendrickson grapple during their 145-pound match on Tuesday night. Hendrickson won the match by a 13-8 decision to lead the Marauders.

“They weren’t at full strength tonight,” Olson said of Everett, “and that took a little bit away from it.” Nevertheless, with early-season victories over division contenders Everett (1-1, 2-1) and Kamiak, Mariner is firmly in control of the Wesco South race. Last season Mariner lost 38-19 against Everett, the 2004-05 league champ, and finished fourth.

“As long as they can stay healthy, they should have the upper hand,” first-year Everett head coach Brien Elliott said of Mariner.

Michael V. Martina / The Herald

Mariner’s Mohammad Mustafa (top) wrestles Everett’s Justin Boyce in a highly anticipated 215-pound match. Boyce won the match by a 5-3 decision to help lead Mariner to the win Tuesday night.

Injury and illness forced Everett to forfeit two matches and start a freshman in place of a banged-up, experienced senior in another bout. But Elliott made no excuses.

“You gotta give Mariner credit,” he said. “They came to wrestle. They earned it. They’ve obviously worked very hard and (Olson has) done a great job with that team.” Olson, an Everett grad who went on to star at the University of Michigan, and Elliott have been friends for 20-plus years. Elliott, who coached Olson at Everett, said he admires how Olson has invigorated the Mariner program.

Everett and Mariner have developed a strong rivalry over the years, but Tuesday’s meet could mark the end of an era, at least for the near future. Everett will move from the South division to the North beginning with the 2006-07 school year. A lopsided defeat isn’t how Elliott hoped to go out, but he took solace in at least one thing: Everett’s Justin Boyce topped Mariner’s Mohammad Mustafa at 215 pounds in the bout of the night. Seeing Boyce hold on for a 5-3 decision “kind of took the sting (of Everett’s loss) away for me,” Elliott said.

In a highly anticipated showdown, Boyce, the 2004-05 4A state champ at 189 pounds, built a 4-1 lead with two first-period takedowns and emerged with a victory over Mustafa, considered a favorite to win this year’s 189 title. Olson bumped Mustafa up a weight class to set up the crowd-pleasing clash.

“It was good for both of them to have that (tough) of a match this early in the season,” Olson said, adding that he left the final decision up to Mustafa.

“He said ‘Yeah, let’s do it.’”

Mustafa created buzz in recent weeks with a victory over last year’s 4A state runner-up at 189, Jon Wilbourne of Lake Stevens. The Mariner standout gave up plenty of weight against Boyce but largely held his own.

“That’s two possible state champions wrestling each other,” Everett’s Elliott said. “Man, that was a fun match to watch. You can’t ask for anything better than that.”

In another close bout, Mariner’s Zak Rydzak earned a 4-3 decision against Everett’s Kenny Hudson, who last season placed sixth in the state at 215 pounds.

At Everett

145-Hendrickson (M) dec. Anderson 13-8; 152-Millerup (M) pinned Husman 3:24; 160-K. Burns (E) dec. Vongphrachanh 5-2; 171-Wright (M) pinned Salsbury 6:12 OT; 189-Anstett (E) pinned B. Do 4:43; 215-Boyce (E) dec. Mustafa 5-3; 275-Rydzak (M) dec. Hudson 4-3; 103-W. Do (M) pinned Lucero 1:13; 112-Hammond (M) pinned Pound 1:36; 119-Tiongco (M) won by forfeit; 125-Yee (M) dec. 15-10; 130-Bush (M) dec. Jacobson 10-3; 135-Bui (M) won by forfeit; 140-Kintner (M) pinned Crook 3:50. Records-Mariner 2-0 in Wesco South, 3-0 overall. Everett 1-1, 2-1.

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