There is a possibility of Wesco wrestlers facing each other in three Class 3A finals on Saturday.
Arlington’s Jeremy Nygard and Stanwood’s Mason Phillips both advanced to the semifinals at 138 pounds; Arlington’s Azariah Crew and Edmonds-Woodway’s Mason McDaniel are both semifinalists at 160 pounds, and Stanwood’s Arie VanVeen and Edmonds-Woodway’s Spencer Schultz both advanced to the semis at 182.
Phillips is the top-ranked wrestler in his weight class, and Nygard is ranked second. Crew is ranked No. 1 at 160 pounds after defeating the second-ranked McDaniel at the regional meet. Schultz is ranked fourth at 182, and VanVeen is eighth.
Arlington coach Rick Iversen was excited about the possibility of seeing Nygard and Phillips square off in the final.
“We would love it and everybody in the Wesco would love it,” Iversen said. “We Wesco coaches are very proud of our conference. They wrestled a great match in regionals (Phillips won 4-3) and it would be real classy if we could showcase that again here at Mat Classic.”
Carroll wins in three OTs
Sultan junior Jamell Carroll, ranked No. 1 at 145 pounds in the Class 1A meet, needed three overtimes to win his quarterfinal match against Cole Ahrendt of Lakeside and advance to the semifinals.
“We knew there would be a tough match there,” Sultan head coach Garth MacDicken said. “We were just hoping to come out and be aggressive. He was real aggressive late in the match and that’s what won it for him.”
Carroll faces Elma’s Jeremiah Leonard on Saturday morning for a spot in the state-championship match, and MacDicken said he would like to see Carroll be more aggressive.
“I want him to set a stronger pace earlier,” MacDicken said. “I’m hoping tomorrow he comes out and just trusts himself and sets a higher pace from the get-go.”
Hernandez reaches semifinals
Arlington senior Robin Hernandez reached the semifinals of the girls tournament at 105 pounds with two victories Friday.
Hernandez pinned her opponent in 30 seconds in the opening match, but had to squeak out a 3-2 victory over her quarterfinal foe.
“Robin is about as good of an athlete as we have on the team, boy or girl,” Iversen said. “She also is as good of a worker as we have on the team. She’s put a lot into the sport.”
After assisting Iversen the past several seasons, Jim Smoots is in his first season coaching the girls, and Hernandez is his star pupil.
In order to advance to the state championship, Hernandez has to beat defending state champion Viannei Perez of Grandview on Saturday morning.
“We’re a big-time underdog,” Smoots said, “but she does have a secret weapon in her cradle and she does catch some really good wrestlers and put them on their back.”
Aaron Lommers covers prep sports for The Herald. Follow him on Twitter at @aaronlommers and contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.