MARYSVILLE — Over the past four years Sean Anderson got used to the dreaded close-but-not-quite feeling.
He finished second and third in high school wrestling tournaments more times than he can remember, including runner-up performances at the 2008 district and regional competitions.
But on Saturday, during the conclusion of the Class 4A District 1 Wrestling Tournament, Anderson finally enjoyed a trip to the top of the podium. A senior who wrestles for Lake Stevens High School, Anderson won the championship in the 125-pound weight division, defeating Kamiak’s Colton Kusilek with a 5-2 decision.
“I knew it was a possibility,” an elated Anderson said. “It’s just weird for me because I always get second.”
Not this time. Besides placing first as an individual, Anderson contributed to Lake Stevens’ team championship. The Vikings — two-time defending state champs ranked No. 1 in 4A by Washington Wrestling Report — scored 441 points, finishing far ahead of Snohomish (324), ranked No. 3 in the state.
Anderson was one of six individual district champs for Lake Stevens. The Vikings won the first four finals: sophomore Ryan Rodorigo at 103 pounds, junior Josh Heinzer (112), senior Jack Stilwell (119) and Anderson (125). Lake Stevens’ other winners were junior Jacob Anderson (Sean’s brother) at 145 pounds and senior George King (152).
The top seven finishers in each weight division qualified for the regional tournament Feb. 13-14 at Snohomish High; eighth-place finishers are alternates. Lake Stevens had 16 top-seven placers, including five runners-up.
Following a regular season that featured notable out-of-state success and now a thoroughly dominant effort in Lake Stevens’ first postseason tourney, one might wonder: Is this the best Vikings team ever?
“It’s one of our better teams we’ve ever had,” Lake Stevens head coach Brent Barnes said, “but we’ll wait (to decide). That’s the kind of stuff you do later on after the season’s over, or maybe a couple years down the road.”
Other individual district champions were Snohomish’s Sam Ottow (130 pounds), Stefan St. Marie (135) and Derek Britton (215); Arlington’s Chris Myers (160) and Bryant Dickerson (285); Oak Harbor’s John Tuttle (140); Monroe’s Chase Vasquez (171); and Edmonds-Woodway’s Rudy Johanson (189).
Johanson, seeded third in the tourney, beat top seed Brad Gee of Stanwood 10-6 in the 189 final. Gee is ranked No. 2 in 4A.
“He definitely has the skills to wrestle against the best of them,” Edmonds-Woodway head coach Mike Hanchett said of Johanson, ranked No. 9 in 4A. “It was nice that he was able to stay focused and finish that match out.”
The last championship match of the tournament was a heavyweight thriller that pitted Arlington’s Dickerson against Lake Stevens’ Zach Teuber — grapplers ranked third and fourth in the state, respectively. Dickerson prevailed 4-3 after an official ruled Teuber’s takedown at the end of the final period was too late.
Though that was a disappointing result for Lake Stevens, it was still a wildly successful weekend for the Vikings. With regionals and the state tournament still to go, Lake Stevens is focused. “In some ways we wrestled really well today. In others we have quite a bit of work to do,” coach Barnes said. “I guess that’s a good thing — we still have room for improvement.”
District coach of the year awards were presented to Hanchett, Arlington assistant Jim Smoots and College Place Middle School’s Aaron Swett.
At Marysville—Pilchuck H.S.
Team scores—1. Lake Stevens 441, 2. Snohomish 324, 3. Edmonds—Woodway 251.5, 4. Kamiak 222, 5. Arlington 186.5, 6. Stanwood 186, 7. Oak Harbor 167, 8. Marysville—Pilchuck 160, 9. Mariner 157.5, 10. Monroe 141.5, 11. Shorewood 105.5, 12. Jackson 82, 13. Cascade 78.5, 14. Mountlake Terrace 46.
The top seven finishers in each weight division qualified for the regional tournament Feb. 13—14 at Snohomish High. Eighth—place finishers are alternates.
103—Rodorigo (LS) pinned Vulliet (E—W) 5:05; 112—Heinzer (LS) major dec. Duran (Stan) 14—6; 119—Stilwell (LS) major dec. Warren (E—W) 8—0; 125—S. Anderson (LS) dec. Kusilek (K) 5—2; 130—Ottow (Sno) dec. Walkley (LS) 11—4; 135—St. Marie (Sno) dec. Alewine (LS) 11—5; 140—Tuttle (OH) dec. Jacobson (K) 12—8; 145—J. Anderson (LS) pinned N. Regan (K) 3:09; 152—G. King (LS) major dec. Mi. Morrill (Sno) 10—2; 160—Myers (A) dec. Welch (LS) 10—4; 171—Vasquez (Mon) pinned LeHuquet (LS) 1:57; 189—Johanson (E—W) dec. Gee (Stan) 10—6; 215—Britton (Sno) dec. Hillis (M—P) 8—4; 285—Dickerson (A) dec. Teuber (LS) 4—3.
103—Krafft (K) dec. Bates—Mundell (Sno) 4—3; 112—Leach (Shore) injury default Lucey (Sno); 119—Studley (Stan) dec. Cardwell (OH) 8—4; 125—Zimmerman (OH) dec. Mead (Jack) 5—3; 130—Donaldson (M—P) injury default Elliot (OH); 135—Johnson (LS) dec. Reim (K) 10—3; 140—Perry (Sno) dec. Shortt (A) 11—9 OT; 145—Alfi (E—W) major dec. DiMaggio (Mon) 14—0; 152—McAllister (E—W) dec. Tyson (OH) 8—2; 160—Jo (Shore) pinned Thody (Sno) :32; 171—Ma. Morrill (Sno) major dec. Elledge (Mon) 12—4; 189—Caraballo (Sno) dec. Kenagy (Mon) 4—3; 215—Kroshko (Mar) dec. Rutledge (E—W) 6—2; 285—Maybin (Sno) pinned Ratuniyauravu (Mar) 4:32.
103—Cardona (M—P) pinned Z. Regan (K) 1:47; 112—Hutchison (E—W) dec. Quinteiro (MT) 6—2; 119—Cervantes (LS) injury default Kalmey (Sno); 125—Strickland (K) pinned Johnson (Mon) 2:33; 130—Deweese (E—W) major dec. Boyd (Mar) 15—6; 135—Duncan (Cas) dec. Berenson (Shore) 7—4; 140—Linari (K) dec. Pennington (LS) 4—2; 145—A. King (LS) dec. Ulrich (Stan) 10—3; 152—Barquist (Stan) pinned McPherson (A) 1:36; 160—Ahmad (Cas) pinned Stangeland (Stan) 1:25; 171—Henderson (A) dec. Mortera (Jack) 7—0; 189—Grow (LS) dec. Nelson (Mar) 5—1; 215—Ingersoll (Mon) pinned Howard (OH) 1:27; 285—Cutek (E—W) injury default Dschaak (M—P).
103—Yun (Shore) dec. Reynolds (LS) 4—3; 112—Mendoza (M—P) pinned Kim (Mar) 4:33; 119—Blevins (M—P) dec. Floresca (Shore) 501; 125—Bascom (Stan) pinned Johnson (LS) 2:53; 130—Berg (A) pinned Reeves (LS) 1:48; 135—Stratton (OH) pinned Wiganosky (Stan) 4:29; 140—Martin (Jack) pinned Quinlan (Cas) 4:35; 145—Bentley (K) pinned Stephan (Jack) 2:32; 152—Coffman (Mar) dec. Eidsness (Stan) 8—7; 160—Perez (E—W) injury default Call (MT); 171—Martin (E—W) dec. Smith (Shore) 9—3; 189—Pedroza (Stan) major dec. Kim (E—W) 15—5; 215—Quinton (A) pinned Brunswick (Mar) :33; 285—Torve (A) pinned Bakeberg (Mar) 3:41.
Writer Mike Cane: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out the prep sports blog Double Team at www.heraldnet.com/doubleteam.