It doesn’t happen often, but Stanwood’s Mason Phillips lost a wrestling match.
The Spartans star, who will wrestle at North Carolina next season, was pinned late in the third period by Brock Hardy, a Box Elder, Utah, native who is committed to Nebraska, in an exhibition match at the MyHouse Who’s #1 of Washington tournament at Tahoma High School in Maple Valley on Dec. 27.
Phillips, who is ranked No. 1 in the nation at 145 pounds by FloWrestling and undefeated in high school competition, still holds that perfect prep record as the catchweight bout against Hardy at 150 pounds was sanctioned by Washington USA Wrestling (WSWA). Phillips has been wrestling primarily at 152 this season, and Hardy has been at 145.
Only matches at tournaments sanctioned by the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) count toward Phillips’ official record. Both Phillips and Stanwood High School wrestling coach Ray Mather confirmed to The Herald that the bout with Hardy, FloWrestling’s No. 3-ranked wrestler at 145, was an exhibition and does not affect his high school record.
All other tournaments at which Phillips will compete this season, including this weekend’s Gut Check Challenge at the Kitsap Sun Pavilion, are sanctioned by the WIAA.
The match between Phillips and Hardy was contested at the end of an all-star dual between some of Washington’s elite wrestlers from around the state. The News Tribune’s TJ Cotterill reported that Hardy found out about the tournament from WSWA tournament director Justin Newby, who is a Box Elder alumnus.
“Everyone has wanted to see me and Mason wrestle for a while now,” Hardy told The News Tribune. “So we made it happen. That was huge. Mason is an animal. I had to slow him down a little bit and wrestle my style.”
Hardy was the only wrestler at the event that wasn’t from Washington. He is a three-time Utah state champion, a Walsh Ironman champion, and a USA Wrestling All-America selection last summer in both freestyle and Greco-Roman.
Phillips is a two-time defending Greco-Roman national champion, a 2017 Cadet World Team member, a Super 32 champion, and a two-time Washington state champion.
“It was a good match, I just got caught at the end and got pinned,” Phillips told The Herald. “I do have a rematch scheduled for Jan. 9 against him, so I will (get a) shot to get him again soon.”