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CHS Van will be Full for Trip to Mat Classic

School-record six wrestlers, including three regional champions, going to state

Photo by Sverre Bakke

A Columbia High-record six wrestlers, including three regional champions, will be competing Friday at the 30th annual Mat Classic in the Tacoma Dome.

Senior James Bell won the WIAA Region 3 title at 145 pounds last Saturday in Castle Rock, while senior Samantha Morley (120) and junior Hailey Johnson (115) claimed their first regional titles last Saturday at the girls regional meet in Aberdeen. Those regional titles were the first for the CHS girls program

All told, four boys and two girls from CHS qualified for the WIAA state tournament, which begins Friday morning and runs through Saturday evening. Columbia also is sending three alternates (one boy, two girls) to Tacoma, just in case berths open up in their weight brackets.


Region 3 Championships

Columbia High Results

106 PAYDEN WEBSTER, so. (3-1) placed 3rd; 3rd-Place Match - Won by technical fall, 16-0, over Roly Martinez (Warden) at 5:00.

Coach Stoner Bell: Pay-den had a tough 2nd match where he ran into a style of wrestling that he had not seen up to this point in his season. I think Payden could have beaten [semifinal opponent] Tony [Martinez of Warden], but he did not know what to do in a cracked down position and ended up pinning himself late in the first period. Payden bounced back and had two decisive matches to take third place.

This will be Payden’s first State appearance and I look forward to seeing him get some State-level wins under his belt.

Of all my male wrestlers going to State, he will be the only one that returns to Columbia High next year.

120 MYLES MOON, sr. (2-2) placed 5th, Alternate; 5th-Place Match - Won by 6-0 decision over Rafa Gomez (Connell).

Coach Bell: Myles also had a tough second round match wrestling a very good wrestler. Myles had to win his third match for a chance to wrestle for 3rd and 4th and the match ended up being a rematch of the sub-regional championship with Erickson from Castle Rock. Late in the third period, while Myles was decisively winning the match, Myles returned Erickson to the mat, injuring Erickson.

It was ruled that Myles used excessive force to return his opponent to the mat and was penalized a point. The tournament doctor determined that Erickson had sustained a concussion from the throw and was unable to return to finish the match. Because the return to the mat was judged illegal due to excessive force, Myles lost the match and Erickson was awarded the win.

Myles then wrestled for 5th and 6th, winning the contest easily. It was a real heart-ache to see Myles disqualified and his state berth hopes disappear. However, he did make it as an alternate and there is a small chance that he may wrestle at State.

It is important for all wrestlers to remember that whenever we elevate our opponents off the mat, their safety is our responsibility. This was very unfortunate for Myles and our state-bound team.

126 ELIJAH BELL, sr. (2-1) placed 2nd; Championship Match - Lost to Elijah Volk (Seton Prep) by a 4-1 decision.

Coach Bell: Eli wrestled the best he has all year, which is what I expect from our wrestlers during the postseason. Eli had a very tough first-round match. As the time on the clock ran down to zero, Eli was behind Martinez 2-3. We thought we had lost and that we were dropping down to the consolation brackets. Then suddenly the referee awarded Eli a stalling point after the clock had run out.

The referee had been warning Martinez throughout the third period about stalling. This penalty point tied up the match and sent it into sudden death overtime. Eli got the takedown and continued to advance in the championship bracket. Eli won his semifinal match and advanced to the finals.

The finals ended up being a rematch of the Sub-regional finals with Elijah Volk. I am so excited for Eli making it into the finals and advancing to the State Tournament. This will be Eli’s second State appearance. Eli went to State as a sophomore.

145 JAMES BELL, sr. (3-0) placed 1st; Championship Match - Won by fall at 3:34 over Daniel Bonilla (Royal).

Coach Bell: James was untouchable in the Regional tournament. I am not sure why [Holden] Haworth [of Warden] injury-defaulted to James. I believe he went on to wrestle two more matches and took third place in the tournament. This is James’ third appearance at the State Tournament, and I expect him to wrestle deep into the medals this year.

220 ALEX MEDINA, sr. (2-1) placed 2nd; Championship Match - Lost to Martin Dominguez (Warden) by a 6-2 decision.

Coach Bell: Alex wrestled very tough and had decisive wins in the quarterfinals and semifinals. Alex re-injured his knee during the finals and had some trouble being mobile during the match with Dominguez. I am very happy for Alex’s second-place finish.

We will get Alex healed up this week and I expect him to get the medals on Saturday at the State Tournament.

This will be Alex’s fourth trip to the State Tournament. His freshmen year he went as an alternate. Last year he placed 6th.


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