TACOMA — It was a day the White family will never forget.
On Saturday at Mat Classic XXXII in the Tacoma Dome, Marysville Pilchuck senior Cayden White and his sister, freshman Alivia White, won their first state championships within minutes of each other.
It’s the third time a sister and brother have won state high school wrestling titles on the same day, with Sedro-Woolley accomplishing the feat in back-to-back seasons (2009 and 2010). Alysia Pohren (125 pounds) and Cody Pohren (171) both topped the podium for the Cubs in 2009, and Jalysse and Derek Garcia won the same two weight classes in 2010.
Cayden completed his romp through the Class 3A field at 182 pounds with a 5-1 victory over Jaedon Hall of Lakes, his second victory over the Lancers’ senior in as many weeks. White won an 8-7 decision over Hall at the 3A Region 1 Tournament on Feb. 15 at Bonney Lake High School.
The first three of White’s victories at state came via pins, and his win in the finals was more convincing than the score indicates. He pushed the pace and initiated all of the action against Hall, and when White took Hall down with 20 seconds remaining in the second period to take a 5-0 lead, he said he knew the title was his.
“That’s exactly how I wanted it to end,” White said of his Marysville Pilchuck wrestling career. “This is one of the best moments I’ve ever had in my life and I don’t think I’ll forget it as long as I live.”
Alivia had a much tougher road to the title match, but made quick work of Connell junior Rosa Saucedo-Ramirez in the 190-pound final, pinning her in 33 seconds with her mom, Marysville Pilchuck girls wrestling coach Andrea White, in her corner.
“I’m just so happy, and so proud of my brother,” Alivia said after the win. “I worked my butt off for years for this, and it’s all worth it.”
She advanced to the finals after surviving an epic 13-10 semifinal clash with two-time defending state champion Ofa He Lotu Tuifua, ending the Kent Meridian junior’s bid for a third title in as many seasons and breaking her streak of 10 consecutive state-tournament victories via pin.
It was the second time this season that White had gotten the better of Tuifua, pinning her in 1:21 in the semifinals of the Everett Lady Classic on Dec. 14, before beating Lake Stevens’ Kiley Hubby — who also won a state championship Saturday night — 6-4 in the finals.
Cayden ended his prep career as Marysville Pilchuck’s career leader in pins with 104, and was one victory short of tying Drew Hatch’s school mark of 129 career wins. He exorcised the demons of last year’s defeat in the finals at 170 pounds and will head off to Minot State University in North Dakota on a wrestling scholarship.
Alivia, however, is just getting started.
Given her lethal combination of strength, flexibility, will and mat savvy, it’s not difficult to imagine her adding to her haul of state championships before her Marysville Pilchuck career is done.
“I want to be a four-timer,” she said. “It’s just going to take me working my butt off for three more years.”
Andrea White said she recognized the one year her two children would be in high school together could produce this magical night in Tacoma, but the hope turning to reality exceeded her wildest dreams.
“I always thought there could be the opportunity that things could work out this way, but this is just more than I could wish for,” she said. “It’s incredible. I can’t even really explain it.”
Siva beats familiar foe to earn second title
Leading up to her All-Wesco state-title bout in the girls 235-pound weight class with Edmonds-Woodway’s Vatoria Keyes, Stanwood’s Chanel Siva and coach Todd Freeman agreed that the one thing that would not be part of the game plan would be a head-and-arm throw.
After all, a reliance on the head-and-arm had resulted in Siva’s one loss in her 35-1 senior season, against Keyes at the Woolley Woman tournament Jan. 4.
That was the case until Freeman spied Keyes practicing bear-hug throws just before the match.
“I told Chanel that if (Keyes) does that during the match, you have to be ready to hit that head-and-arm,” Freeman said. “It was a little chess match between us.”
When Keyes went for the bear hug, Siva countered with the head-and-arm, and pinned the Edmonds-Woodway senior in 1:02 to claim her second consecutive state championship.
“I think it feels better (than the first one),” Siva said. “I didn’t think I was going to make it to this point, and I’ve been struggling with my confidence for some reason this year. My coaches have really helped me and they believe in me 100%.”
Siva said that working with Anna Schander, the third-place finisher at 235 pounds, every day in practice helped keep her sharp.
“(Schander) is a lot stronger than most of the girls in our weight and her legs are so long,” Siva said. “We’re basically fighting every practice, going at each other hard.”
Hubby collects her second championship
Kiley Hubby won her second state championship Saturday, pinning Kennewick’s Alexia Asselin at the second-period buzzer after racking up 14 unanswered points in their 170-pound title bout.
Hubby, who was a runner-up last season in her first year at Lake Stevens after winning a title with Glacier Peak as a sophomore, relished standing atop the podium in a Vikings’ singlet.
“Honestly, I love that I was able to win that match. Finally all my hard work that I put in paid off. I had (a state title) with my old school, and I was finally able to do it with my new school, where my teammates have been very supportive, my parents have been very supportive, and my coaches. Just being able to pull this off, I’m really grateful for everybody who’s helped me with it,” she said.
From the first whistle, Hubby had it all going on against Asselin.
“My first shot I took was very smooth, the best shot I can remember over the last few tournaments, so I felt really clean and nice,” she said. “I just kind of went out there with a clear head, which I’ve been struggling to find and figure that out, so it was nice to go out there and no matter what I was just wrestling and left it all on the mat.”
Franke closes out his career with a state title
Darrington senior 195-pounder Johnny Franke made the Logger fans in the Tacoma Dome sweat a little bit, but ended his prep career with his first state championship, hanging on for a tougher-than-anticipated 4-2 decision over South Bend’s Chase Flynn.
Franke led 4-1 early in the third period, but Flynn was awarded a penalty point for a potentially dangerous hold when Franke appeared set to turn Flynn to his back from the top position.
“All that matters is he won it,” said Ray Franke, Johnny’s father, who was coaching his last Mat Classic for the Loggers before he turns the program over to Mason McKenzie next season.
Other locals in the finals
Stanwood senior Riley Van Scoy came up short in his quest to pair his first state championship with his state record for career pins, which will stand at 144 following his 15-7 loss to Shadle Park’s Juan Escobar in the 3A 170-pound title bout.
Van Scoy held a 6-1 lead early in the second period, but by the end of the two-minute round, Escobar had knotted the score at seven apiece, and he won going away.
“It came down to the fact that his energy level just went in that second period,” Stanwood coach Ray Mather said. “Sometimes in these big moments, whether it’s anxiety or nerves, it can just zap you of energy. He was doing great things and following the game plan until then, but he just didn’t have the energy to use his strength and work his way out from (the) bottom (position).”
Also in 3A, Snohomish’s Ryan Cote couldn’t get anything going offensively in a 14-0 defeat by major decision against Peninsula’s Nolan Carroll. The two were meeting for the third time this season, and both of the other encounters resulted in one-point wins for Carroll.
Jackson’s Amanda Rasoumoff saw her unexpected run to the 145-pound girls final end short of a title, falling by first-period pin to Kentwood’s Ivy Kraght.
Both Alex Krueger of Meadowdale and Granite Falls’ Ben Vanderwel were pinned in their respective 285-pound title bouts, Krueger in 3A and Vanderwel in 1A.
Chief Sealth’s Jahvius Leui amassed an 8-4 lead on Krueger before capitalizing on a third-period takedown for a pin 15 seconds into the round.
Vanderwel and was pinned by Hunter Reinhart of Cascade-Leavenworth in 3:04.