Mat Classic is about a month away as top local wrestlers competed for county bragging rights
VANCOUVER — Defending state champions won.
Defending county champions won.
A wrestler won at her home gym, too.
In all, 28 titles were won Saturday night at Skyview High School at the annual Clark County Wrestling Championships.
The Union boys cruised to their 11th consecutive team title, winning six individual titles — Spencer Needham (106 pounds); Dilyn Jimenez (120); Ryan Esperton (126); Andrew Nicacio (138); Kyle Brosius (170); and Levi Harms (220).
Washougal won the girls team title. Aleksi Donahue (120) led the way with a county title.
The event, in its 49th year, is all about pride. Classifications do not matter at Clark County. Just show up and see who’s the best in the region.
Many athletes were fired up to claim championships — Korben Modoc of Washougal comes to mind after he upset a ranked opponent, VA Ili of Mountain View, at 182 pounds. Tyla Engrstom, too, showed emotion after beating Eliana Duff of Fort Vancouver at 110 pounds. Duff was going for a four-peat in this tournament.
Some athletes were reserved in victory. Levi Harms won the 220-pound title but did not over-celebrate. After all, he faced teammates Logan Wilson in the finals.
In a few weeks, the wrestlers will head to tournaments in classifications, with advancement on the line. Go to district, advance to regionals. Go to regionals, advance to state. That’s the plan anyway.
Clark County, though, means something, too.
By random selection, the finals started at 170 pounds. Brosius picked up the first win for the Titans on the boys mat. He has a fascinating story. He has made it to state the past two years but did not place at state. Since then, he has become absolutely dominant. He is ranked No. 1 in his weight class this season by the Washington Wrestling Report, and he has a win over a defending state champion.
He said it is his love for the sport that has fueled him, but not an obsession with the sport.
“I’ve always had fun in the sport. I love wrestling, but I don’t need wrestling in my life. I love what I do,” Brosius said.
By not putting too much pressure on himself, it has allowed him to enjoy the process of improving.
“I haven’t made it a chore,” he said. “I just work my butt off every day.”
He said he wakes up every day and asks himself: “What can I do today to get better?”
Allison Blaine of Hudson’s Bay is hoping to finish her high school career as a three-time state champion. On Saturday, she won her fourth Clark County title.
“This is going to be the only tournament I can be a four-timer in,” she said with a smile, seconds after winning the 135-pound title.
She said she “ruined” her state tournament her freshman year. And then, for various reasons, her team has not wrestled in four of the same events each year, except for Clark County.
“It felt really good to be a four-time something, to put the ‘four-up’ for the fans,” she said.
CJ Hamblin of Seton Catholic is a defending state champion, as well. He won at 152 pounds Saturday. But he was not alone.
“I wouldn’t be able to do it without my lord and savior,” Hamblin said. “I’m happy to be a Clark County champion.”
Noah Messman of Mountain View won at 132 pounds for his second county title.
“I feel like I could have wrestled better, but I’m pretty happy I could come out on top,” he said.
Of the 28 championship matches, only one featured teammates.
“Wrestling a teammate is quite a big privilege,” Harms said. “The greatest part about it, whoever wins, you feel honored. Win or lose, it still feels great.”
Back to the girls mat, Jaelyn Sayler of Skyview got a victory at 235 in front of the home crowd.
“This title means, to me, that I’m getting better,” Sayler said. “I have a lot of pride in Skyview. Makes me feel really good I can show that and get some recognition for girls wrestling at Skyview.”
Here are the results from Saturday’s championship matches:
106: Spencer Needham (Union) d. Malachi Wallway (Prairie) 9-1
113: Israel Gonzalez (Heritage) d. Luke Golphenee (Washougal) 5-1
120: Dilyn Jimenez (Union) d. Noah Larsen (Prairie) 6-0
126: Ryan Esperto (Union) d. Edward Jones (Mountain View) 2-0
132: Noah Messman (Mountain View) d. Elijah Cassidy (Union) 11-3
138: Andrew Nicacio (Union) d. Bridger Paradis (Prairie) 7-2
145: Jason Wilcox (Prairie) d. Denny Roa (Evergreen) 4-1
152: CJ Hamblin (Seton Catholic) p. Cyle Workman (Ridgefield) in 1:03
160: Alex Newberry (Heritage) d. Atticus Kurtz (Columbia River) 11-6
170: Kyle Brosius (Union) p. Ben Matson (Prairie) in 2:35
182: Korbe Modoc (Washougal) d. VA Ili (Mountain View) 15-13
195: Tayler Shega (King’s Way Christian) p. Henry Jones (Washougal) in 3:55
220: Levi Harms (Union) d. Logan Wilson (Union) 3-1
285: Brody Schlaefli (Prairie) p. Matt Kinswa (Ridgefield) in 3:20
100: Dayzie Barragan (Columbia River) p. Caitlyn Phan (Camas) in 1:21
105: Uwa Abe (Ridgefield) p. Presley Lindeman (Kelso) in 1:42
110: Tyla Engrstrom (Ridgefield) p. Eliana Duff (Fort Vancouver) in 3:19
115: Freydis Metzger (Hudson’s Bay) p. Ava Weatherl (Camas) in 1:21
120: Aleksi Donahue (Washougal) p. Mayci Bloomfeldt (Kelso) in 3:24
125: Alejandra Ayers (Union) p. Melina Aguilar (Washougal) in 1:01
130: Riley Aamold (Union) p. Kyla Shoddy (Kelso) in :26
135: Allison Blaine (Hudson’s Bay) p. Ashley Garrison (Washougal) in :32
140: Envee Sakhoeun-Hem (Union) p. Yana Paskar (Prairie) in 3:08
145: Liz Stump (Hudson’s Bay) d. Rion Hoots (Skyview) 16-14
155: Nevaeh Cassidy (Union) p. Jordan Mann (Skyview) in 5:05
170: Katelyn Cera (Mountain View) p. Leighann Linge (Prairie) in 1:23
190: Autumn Aho (Camas) p. Indra Gutierrez-Gaitan (Mountain View) in 3:41
235: Jaelyn Sayler (Skyview) p. Regan Schlaefli (Prairie) in :48